I came across this news piece posted for Christmas Eve. I thought today at Mass, while singing “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem”, that once you have been to Bethlehem the song gets a new depth of meaning. Check out this video to get a taste of what it is like to visit today — a message of peace and unity. They are enjoying more Christmas pilgrims than usual which is good for them.
Here is another video by the same news source that discusses some of the tourism economics of Bethlehem. During my pilgrimage, they were celebrating the 10th Annual Olive Harvest Festival and were promoting locally grown fair trade. My motivation in buying my shawl there was to support local handmade goods.