HOD HASHARON – Leave it to American ex-patriates to create a home away from home with their houses decorated for Christmas even here in Israel.
That’s how it was at the second annual Christmas Cookie Exchange started by American ladies living in central Israel associated with the Baptist Village. Presents were piled under the Christmas tree, stockings were hung by the non-existent fire place, green and red Christmas candles were lit around the house, holiday dish towels and wash cloths were displayed and beautiful garland was strung around the staircase banister. The sound of traditional holiday music was heard in the background.
For the Christmas Cookie Exchange, each lady brought six dozen cookies and left with a little more than that. Yet, it was more than just cookies: It was a time for friends to fellowship and to remember why they celebrate Christmas.
In Israel, where the nation rejects any and every form of Christmas, whether commercial or religious, one thing is for sure: There are enough ex-pats in Israel without families here who gather together to replicate as much pre-holiday fanfare as they can. -SF-