By Rosemare Visser
Bright, bright sunshine acts as backdrop to the birds’ announcement since 4 am … it’s Christmas Day. It’s summer and a sense of caring and sharing hangs about in heart, atmosphere and touch of loved ones as “Happy Christmas” and “Merry Christmas” in all accents, modes of communication, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and the likes finds wings across the globe.
Yet, for me, Christmas 2012, as an MA student at the University of Haifa, it is different this year. I’m in Israel, it’s winter, Christmas is not a holiday here and most don’t celebrate Christmas. The day is greeting me with showers of rain (one could say showers of blessing), as I prepare to go to church with a Dutch and an Indian classmate. It hits me in the bus! What’s not different, is the atmosphere and touch of caring and sharing meeting me this year by the Israelis and my other classmates from across the globe. A lovely, lovely “family” dinner last night … only now the “family”, extended family, is from all over the world, including my dorm mate from Canada. Is it possible that one can become “family” in only two months? Yes, here indeed! Christmas is most adventurous and filled with love this year with wishes from those who celebrate Christmas as well as those who don’t. I’m warmed by the Christmas message in Arabic (yes, Arabic!) translated in English, after which we sing “joy to the world”, everyone in their own language at the same time. What joy!!! Blessed Christmas everyone!