…when someone wishes me merry Christmas or happy holidays or season’s greetings. I’m just amused.
Because, while we have plenty of holidays here, only the Christians celebrate Christmas, and not all of those celebrate it on 25th December. The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th according to our calendar, the Armenian Church on January 19th.
When I lived in England, the day was special for us because it was a day off for most people. We used to spend it with my uncle and aunt and cousins in their house, and we always enjoyed it.
But here in Israel it’s a non-holiday for us, a normal day. If I went to the Old City, I expect I’d see signs of celebration in the Christian Quarter, but elsewhere there are no signs at all. What amuses me is the assumption by some people that the whole world celebrates Christmas in some way. So if I send greetings, I usually get the same back.
People who think about it a bit more might say, “Happy Chanuka.” Most years that would be suitable, but Chanuka came early this year.
Only one person replied in the same way as I usually do when people wish me a happy whatever: “Thank you.”
Today I went into town to get a new battery for my watch and do some shopping at the market. I took some photographs to show how normal everything was. Well, almost.
The train was crowded, as usual.
More so on the way back when it would have been hard to take out my camera.
All the shops were open, including the watch shop that I needed.
Ben Yehuda Street looked as usual,
except for the piles of snow, still there eleven days after the last snowfall.
All over the Machane Yehuda market, it was business as usual,
including my favourite sweet shop.
Back at the end of the light rail line, a bus weaved between
the mounds of snow.
And I carried my shopping home.