It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to…celebrate?

Christmas in IsraelIf you’re not going to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, Christmas in the Holy Land is pretty much non-existent, save for the odd pub/hotel catering to a touristy crowd. If I don’t make it to England, I usually miss it badly.

Yeh right, I hear you say, all those Christmas trees, the cold, cold evenings spent fighting your way through the shopping crowds, the same 10 Christmas songs played over and over again on the radio, the Wizard of Oz on the BBC…I know most people in England are sick of the commercialism and endless advertising by the time it’s even December, but you never realize how much you love something until it’s gone. I love Chrismas, always have and always will.

And now, with two littl’uns, that pang for Yuletide festivity has got even stronger. Stories of Santa are going down very well, as you can imagine. I’ve even managed to brainwash the wife into loving it (couldn’t be down to all those presents…could it?), and we usually end up celebrating Christmas Day in Tel Aviv, somewhere…

Celebrating Christmas does get harder, especially when you no longer mix in the tourist crowds, or those same tourists you once partied with are now elsewhere or settled down in suburbia. But Christmas is something I will never give up on, wherever I am in the world. That will mean a good few beers, accompanied with a Christmas type movie, maybe even with the kids by my side, and possibly a quick visit to a top Tel Aviv pub for a pint or 3.

This year Christmas falls on Thursday, which might mean a Wednesday night Christmas Eve session drifting into Christmas Day proper (day off work, of course – yes, it’s a normal working day in Israel). So, if you spot a lanky guy wearing a Santa hat strutting his stuff in Tel Aviv, just slightly inebriated, come over and give me a kiss/handshake, whichever option suits you best. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and if that means getting all fired up by Wham’s “Last Christmas”, it’s gotta be done…

I do hereby promise, that if one day I do open my own pub, Christmas will be celebrated in style…mince pies, sausage rolls and even mistletoe. Make your reservations now!

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