There might not be any snow, but that doesn't stop the Christians of the Middle East from celebrating in their own way.
Bethlehem has the feel of a cosmopolitan city more than some other cities under PA jurisdiction.
The reception, which was to be held in the House of Representatives, was themed "a Bethlehem Christmas," and was expected to draw US lawmakers as well as senior Trump administration officials.
“I finally get to visit the start of Christianity,” said Martina, 53, a Russian tourist. “It’s a very emotional moment for me.”
Star Street, the main passageway through the town’s ancient section, was decorated with festive lights dotting its walls and storefronts.
Fadi grew up in Bethlehem and attended the Lycée Français in Jerusalem. His passion for cooking is rooted in memories of flavors from his grandmother’s kitchen.
Some of Israel’s Muslim Arabs, while asking their Jewish neighbors for help in preserving their own heritage, seek to deny other ethnic minorities these same rights.
The occupancy rate of the local hotels is estimated at 40%-50% - half of what it would normally be at this time of the year.
Yuletide celebrations are under way in Jaffa, but the Palestinian Authority downplays festivities in Bethlehem.
Palestinian Authority president accuses Israeli government of continuing to "consolidate an Apartheid regime."