Santa and Mrs Claus come to Jerusalem

50 Santas and Mrs Clauses from several different countries visited the Old City.

Several Santas in front of the Old City walls of Jerusalem  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Several Santas in front of the Old City walls of Jerusalem
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Jerusalem’s Old City was painted a festive red and white on Sunday as 50 Santa and Mrs. Clauses from the US, Germany, Romania and Denmark toured Jerusalem’s Old City spreading cheer and post-holiday joy to all who came their way.
The 50 Santas were on a four-day tour with Issa Kassissieh, the Jerusalem Santa Claus. Apart from Jerusalem, they will also be visiting the Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Santas are all graduates of the Michigan-based Charles W. Howard Santa School. Kassissieh invited his colleagues to come to the Holy Land. He approached the Ministry of Tourism, who liked the idea and assisted in arranging the program.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post while parading through the Christian Quarter, a Santa visiting from Germany said there’s nothing like getting to be Santa in Jerusalem.
“I’m so happy to be here,” he said. “There is something very special about the Holy Land.”
Asked where he was most excited to visit while in Israel, he said that Bethlehem was at the top of his list.
“To be in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified is very meaningful,” the German Santa said, adding that he had visited Israel twice before.
Most of the Santas and Mrs. Clauses didn’t want to reveal their identities “because that will spoil the Santa magic.”
A Santa and Mrs. Claus visiting from Delaware in the United States told the Post that it was “deeply moving to be in Israel.
“From the minute we stepped off the plane it’s been fantastic,” the couple said. “It’s been much more moving than we expected.”
A Santa and Mrs. Claus from Minnesota added that “to walk where Jesus walked is really special.”
They said that their initial perception of Israel was very different to what they expected.
“We’re so impressed, and the food is amazing,” they said.
Another Santa visiting from Romania, couldn’t hold back his excitement about being in the Old City.
“I always hoped to be able to come to Jerusalem and spread the Christmas cheer, and here I am,” he said, holding up a small Romanian flag. “It’s a very special way to start 2020.”
Although most of the Santas looked similar in their red and white suits, some put little badges with reindeer, holly or decorations on their hats to create a unique look.
For Kassissieh, the group visit was “a dream come true.
“It’s so special to have everyone here together,” he said. “I’d been wanting to do this for some time, and now with the help of the Ministry of Tourism, I could do it – I made my dream come true.”