In Israel, Christians embrace a simple, spiritual Christmas

Compared with how the holiday is celebrated in Christian-majority countries — with dazzling lights, Christmas-themed shows and sales — the public observance of Christmas in Israel and the Palestinian territories is downright modest. Christians are a tiny minority in the Holy Land, comprising about 2 percent of the population, not including the many Christian clergy, aid workers, students, migrant workers and asylum-seekers who reside in Israel, sometimes for decades.

Read moreIn Israel, Christians embrace a simple, spiritual Christmas