Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Spirit

Every year, when Christmas is near, I get a little bit antsy. You see, I live in a country without Christmas! Officially that is. And when I came here in 1990, Israelis pretended not to celebrate New Year's either. They didn't even call it New Year's Eve. They call it Sylvester - who was a saint and Roman Pope and apparently hated Jews.
I came to Israel from Russia (St.Petersburg) where I lived for 23 years. The New Year's Eve was the best holiday for us. First of all, it was not political. And it was a comeback to childhood, Santa (Grandfather Frost for us), tree, gifts galore on morning, January 1st. School winter holidays (2 weeks). What else... usually hot water pipes burst from the plunging temps around that time... not a good memory, moving on.
First thing I did, after coming to Israel, was go to Bethlehem with some friends on Dec 24th to attend a Catholic mass. Of course, they didn't let us into the church (invitation only or tickets, I don't remember). We had to peek through the bars separating Catholic and Orthodox sections just to see what was going on. I remember seeing the monks in jeans and sneakers under the long robes.
You understand, I couldn't let go of Christmas and New Year's! So next year I asked my friends to get me a tree. And they did. A cypress tree that I decorated with my jewelry and some colorful ribbons. That was in 1991.
Since then a lot of things changed here. Nowadays you can buy trees, lights, decorations and everything else Christmas, and not only in the "Russian" shops. It has become a business here, though not like in Canada where I lived for almost 4 years. But still, it's in the air. And I wanted to share with you my Christmas photos. Contrary to what the date says, I took the pictures in 2007.

Here is my little tree.

They even sell the poinsettia plants! And of course, it's not Christmas without an issue of In Style and some candles.

Apartment has changed a bit since then. The TV got a bit bigger. And I moved the furniture around. But the dog is still as lazy as he was then.

Another shot of the living room.

And another one. Boomer is on the rug now, looking all picturesque.

I am posting photos from 2007 because I'm not sure if the tree survives this year. The main threat - Snooker the snowcat. We'll see what he'll do to the Spirit of Christmas.


  1. Boomer is a cutie! When I first got married we had 2 kittens who climbed our tree and kept knocking it over. That was a fun year.

    In the states we make such a big to do over the Christmas holiday. Each celebrates their holiday their own way. I can't wait till February when I can see how some people celebrate the Chinese New Year. That's what is fun about blogging.

  2. One thing for sure, I won't be putting tinsel on the tree, so Snooker doesn't eat it.
    We try and celebrate everything - Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. My son benefits the most, he gets 3 sets of presents :)