Since I moved to Israel the amount that I celebrate Christmas has slowly gone down. This year Christmas was a day just like every other day. Herman worked, I was home and Yaheli was Yaheli. We didn't celebrate, we didn't open presents and we didn't have any special meals. It's kind of weird that this part of my life is slowly disappearing, but it is. It has to do with the fact that you barely feel any Christmas spirit here in Israel. There are plenty of Arabs that celebrate Christmas, but it's so different from what I am used to I find it hard to relate to it. Herman and I have started to discuss what holidays we want to celebrate, but we haven't come to a decision yet. We have another year before it will start to affect our children, so we will have to start deciding.
That said, we had a wonderful Hanukkah this year. We lit candles on the nights that we were home. Yaheli loved picking out the candles and seeing them all lit. It was a great experience to see her enjoy it. The last night we had a family gathering with Herman's family. His sister and her husband have just returned to Israel from their years of living in the States and in Germany. They decided that this year they would celebrate Hanukkah and not Christmas, so we made a big deal out of it for the kids. It was still very different for Israeli Hanukkah (which doesn't involve presents). I am sure it is hard for kids to leave behind Christmas when you are used to getting tons of gifts and decorating a Christmas tree and such. It was fun though. We barbecued and I made a pumpkin pie. It was a very unique family Hanukkah.
I have been waiting all week to feel the baby move around. With Yaheli I felt her very early, from the fifteenth week. She is a strong kid though (she was born all muscle and no fat) and every time we had an ultrasound of her the doctors were shocked by how active she was. So I was expecting to feel this one even earlier, like this week. But what I felt I can't distinguish if it is gas or the baby. So I guess I will just keep waiting until I can say for a fact that it is baby.