christmas in palestine

christmas in palestine
my mothers memories

I was born In Jerusalem in 1932, a family of seven on the 24th of december in the morning we would board the buses with our families and neighbors and take a half hour trip to bethlehem. and the festivities would begin with the marching bands from schools from all over palestine with boy scouts, girl scouts leading the march to nativity square. then the groups from all over the world would perform dances and singing. we would spend the entire night there and get our spots in line to the church of the nativity for midnight mass. we would sing all the hymns in latin and in Arabic. My sister angela had a beautiful voice she would sing the loudest and the other voices would die down to hear her sing. after the mass was over we would stand in line to ring the church bells my brothers would sneek out of church a bit early to stand in line to be the first.And they would get a scolding from my parents but since it was christmas they really werent mad. by 1am the buses would be waiting for us to take us back to Jerusalem. we would not be able to sleep we would keep sneeking down stairs to see if santa came with the presents under the tree,Mom would catch us and send us back up to our beds. in the morning we would come down and find all the gifts under the tree(santa must have come at 3am) our poor parents must have been so tired waiting for us to fall asleep. then the parting started we would go from house to house of our neighbors to show what santa brought us and the sweets and candies we were givin by all the neighbors made us full when dinner time came. It was a beautiful time one I will always remeber I still sit with my grand children today and tell them how christmas was in the holyland. Merry christmas to all, elvira

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