Sunday, November 22, 2009

This and That and a New Week and Christmassy Thoughts

Chrysanthemum.Image via Wikipedia

I had planned a totally different blog post for today, one strictly about the books I am reading, but I've changed my mind at the last moment.

I am going to write about my days and some Christmas thoughts, instead...

Here, in Israel, the week starts on Sunday. It felt awkward in the beginning, but I've got used to it, finally. In the end, it is about the feeling, and not the exact name of the day. Here, Sunday for me has the feel of back-at-home Monday and I've built on this feeling, instead of thinking I have to work on Sunday (I am talking, of course, about the days when I had a paid job and I worked 5 days a week; today I am working 7 days I week for free).Well, today was a beautiful late autumn day, sunny but crisp and after I took Maya to the kindergarten I went to the library for my monthly pick of books. They have a very selection of English books, but I always manage to find something nice.

I also bought myself a new pair of trainers, as yesterday the sole of one of my old trainer came off almost completely.

Then I cleaned the house and spent some time on the internet looking for ideas for Christmas decorations. It feels odd to celebrate Christmas here, in Israel, and oddly enough, I've managed to do it for for 10 years now. I don't know why, but I always have the feeling I am doing something forbidden, illegal, like the Comunist Party in Romania after the WWII. Here, in Israel, Christmas is celebrated by a small number of people, mainly Christian Arabs, foreign workers and members of foreign embassies and such. And myself and Maya's godparents. It is easier a bit now, as I can find Christmas decorations, Christmas trees or lights at Russian stores. But no carols, Christmas specials on the TV or the smell of stuffed cabbage. And this is what I miss the most. The Christmas atmosphere, the carols, our family around the Christmas tree, food, presents. I had years when I succumbed to the darkest pits of depression just by thinking about Christmas. I am used to it know, but not ready to give up. And this year I want to really make it special. Maya is older now and she knows about Santa, Christmas and presents. Of course, we'll light up Hanukka candles also, because we celebrate Hanuka also and I really think now that I am a lucky person because I am open-minded and intelligent and can see above all limitations. Oh, and the best part of being here during Christmas is that I don't have to mind the Christmas rush, I can shop leisurely for presents...

I remember one year at Christmas we wanted to find a church and go to a Christmas mass, but because the main Christian churches are in or around Jerusalem and we live in Ashdod, we had to go to Jaffo. We knew that in Jaffo there is a Romanian church, but what we didn't know back then was that the church was Greek Orthodox and they celebrate Christmas according to the old tradition, so the church was closed. We found then a Catholic one where we heard the Christmas mass in Polish and then in Spanish or Portugese, I don't remember (one church, many communities) and I recall that they had a beautiful Nativity display in the church. I didn't understand a word they were saying, but the feeling was good and I am sure God understood us all. And this is the feeling I am going to build on this year...

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I still am surprised by the fact that Christmas gets so little recognition in the land where the whole story supposedly took place. I am sirprise dther eis no "Christmas tourism" to a grand scale.

Now maybe there is a business idea for me.

I hope you will have a lovely holiday season.