Santa's in the east

Hot presents in east Jerusalem include cell phones, Santa robots.

christmas candy 298 (photo credit: Sarah Levin)
christmas candy 298
(photo credit: Sarah Levin)
No matter what the political situation, on Christmas, children expect to receive their gifts - and lots of them. So what's hot in east Jerusalem this Christmas? Toy trends and fashions, it appears, do not know about borders or language barriers. Ihlas Malki from the Old City reveals that her 8 year old son has asked Santa for a mobile phone - even if it's only a "Talkman." "He's been begging for a mobile since last year, so after long negotiations I agreed to buy him one. At this age he doesn't really care about the brand, just that it has a few games and some cool ringtones. His second choice was a Superintendo 2 - so we preferred to by him a phone." Her daughter has asked for Barbie Doll House, which, she says "is always hot and will remain hot until they invent something more glamorous." Nasser, a vendor in one the shops in the old city told In Jerusalem that little Santa-robots are a hit of the year - but unfortunately not everyone can afford them since they cost NIS 120. Shop keepers reveal that guns and pistols aren't rating high this year - so maybe the recent relative calm had its effect on kids' preferences. And most of the adults who are running around looking for presents say, that they wish for nothing short of peace and quite for themselves and for the Holy Land, not only during Christmas. But those who are less sure that world peace will begin right after Christmas manage with more prosaic gifts - as always, perfumes and flowers are popular, together with lots of Santa-shaped candy.