Christmas Eve in the Holy Land

Ahh, Christmas Eve is here. The chestnuts are roasting on the open fire (barbecue style with hummus on the side) and Jack Frost is nipping at my nether regions (OK, so it’s not that cold, it is Israel after all…). And Christmas being Christmas, we’re here to give! Oh yes, we’ve scoured the web and come across four nice little videos that’ll get you in the festive mood…

Kicking things off, here’s a great little clip of four guys who take the bus down from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and back on Christmas Eve, accompanied by a great version of O Little Town of Bethlehem (sung by who?) and a walk down the quaintly named Martyrs Street.

If you were wondering what Christmas Eve is like in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, the main focal point of Christmas activities in Bethlehem, here’s a nice little clip that gives a taste of what it’s like as the choir belts out its Christmas songs.

OK, so not all of us can make it to Bethlehem. As an alternative, there’s always Nazareth – and here’s a nice little clip of Midnight Mass from Christmas Eve a couple of years ago, held at Nazareth’s Basilica of the Annunciation.

And the picture postcard beauty of a white Christmas Eve as Santa sets out with his reindeer is something we all want – but how about some snow in Bethlehem (OK, OK, not at Christmas, but still, it’s snow in Bethlehem!)? Here’s a nice little clip of the snowy streets of Bethlehem, complete with a cute little Arabic song in the background. And yep, not a burning Israeli flag in sight…

Happy Christmas to you and yours!


  1. gisele

    December 24, 2009 at 8:30 am

    I just came across your website. I am new in Israel, my hubby is Israeli. Do you by any chance know the time of the mass at the Basilic of Assuption in Nazare is?
    Thank you so much.

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  3. Ashley

    December 24, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Welcome to Israel!
    I was talking to a shopkeeper in Nazareth and he said things kick-off at 9pm. Sounds about right, but you might want to get there early to grab a parking spot.

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  5. Tim

    December 24, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Hi Ashley – is it possible to take in a car with regular (yellow) Israeli plates? Do you go in with your Israeli ID or a foreign passport?

    It’s probably about 9-10 years since I was in Bethlehem and things were a good deal simpler then :)

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Tim

    December 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    And of course, it would have probably been helpful if I read the previous article more thoroughly before opening ma mouth ;)

  7. Ashley

    December 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Merry Christmas Tim! Don’t forget the passport!


    December 26, 2009 at 12:00 am

    You are so phony you won’t even publish the comments you receive. Bethlehem is not in Israel and if you think it is, then you should study your Bible to see what God says about loving your neighbor, not steeling, not killing, and a few other verses you can’t just throw out either. Equal rights for all “Israeli’s”!

  9. Ashley

    December 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    So phony I don’t respond within the hour to your comment. What can I say, celebrating Christmas n’all…

    Mmm, let’s see if anybody has something to say in response to your awesome comment…

  10. Sharon Dixon

    December 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I have something in response to say to Ken Sayler’s comments.

    What in the world does your comment have to do with this particular article anyway. What are you even talking about. Bethlemem IS IN ISRAEL and if you’d read YOUR Bible (if you have one) you would have known that. Try taking your own medicine: You love YOUR neighbor, Ashley, and judge not lest you be judged; you stop stealing (my Christmas joy and every body elses, by trying to get political here, obviously); you stop killing (Ashley’s credibility and motives, when we can clearly see that you’re the one whose appearing a bit shady here.) And, you give some equal rights, like the right for the man to have some Christmas dinner and time with his family before having to come back and write a response to a dumb post that has nothing to do with this article in the first place. Have a happy holiday, if you still can and try to make a New Year’s resolution to be kind. P.S. Get a King James Version Bible instead of that Koran you’re reading out of.

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