In keeping with its annual tradition, KKL-JNF will once again be distributing Christmas trees to local churches, monasteries, convents, embassies, foreign journalists and the general public as the holiday approaches. Distribution will take place in central and northern Israel, in accordance with lists provided by the Ministry of the Interior, the Municipality of Jerusalem and other bodies. Private individuals, too, can buy a tree for the token sum of 80 NIS.If you are lucky enough to be spending the winter holidays in Israel, check out the list of Yule-time activities from "I Googled Israel"
KKL-JNF foresters grow Arizona cedars, which have been selected as the variety best suited to serve as attractive Christmas trees, in a special plot adjacent to the KKL-JNF offices in Givat Yishayahu in central Israel. The trees are brought over from KKL-JNF’s Eshtaol nursery as year-old saplings, and are carefully tended for another two years until they grow to a height of around two meters.
Visit BethlehemAhh, there’s just something magical about visiting Bethlehem at Christmas. The must-see is, of course, the Church of the Nativity and the legendary underground grotto where the 14-pointed star is located (believed to mark the exact location where Jesus was born), but there’s also the carol sing-a-long in Manger Square and a Midnight Mass at the next door Church of St. Catherine (it’s all in Latin but worth the effort, just for that extra special Christmas feeling!). We’ve done it, and want to do it again! And yes, it’s also easy to get from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
Wander the alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City
Hand in hand with Bethlehem on any Christmas visit to Israel is Jerusalem’s Old City (and they’re just 10km away from each other). Must sees include the powerful and sacred Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a walk down the Via Dolorosa, and market haggling in the amazing Old City bazaar. You don’t have to be a believer to feel the spirituality and power in such an amazing city. For a taste of what to expect, here’s a clip we took one Christmas Eve in the Old City…
Some are obvious, others not so much. See the whole list here