A Christmas journey part 6: Santa is bankrupt

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Important update: I turns out that this post is partially the fruit of a technical error. In the days preceding its publication I was told in confidence by my colleagues at +972 that no money at all was donated to the project. We contemplated what to do, and I decided to sing about it with hopes for the best.

Today we learned that we were misinformed due to a communication problem with Paypal. We also learned, as a consequence of publishing this post, just how generous some of you have been. I am deeply grateful to you and am uncomfortable about having published a fundraising post that gives no credit to those who have so far donated.

To those who have donated: it appears that your money was indeed received in the system, we just don’t get to see it. The whole thing should be sorted out in the next few days. In the meantime I chose not to delete the post, both because there would still probably be use for more help, but especially because I like how the tune came out. Besides, this instant in the journey provided me with one further Christmas experience I never had: that of leaving the stocking empty in the evening and finding it full by morning.

Thank you very much. Love you all.


Santa is bankrupt
Please throw him a nickel
The Christmas Journey
is now in a pickle.
It’s dependent on your
So open up your wallets
With velocity.

It’s been a grand week:
The tree lighting in Ramallah…
I met a monk and a brewer
And then said: Yallah.
Went to Haifa
Where I met
Real St. Nicolas
And to Nazareth Illit
Where the mayor has no class.

I can’t make egg nog
Out of empty egg shells
Can’t turn shells of “fistuk”*
Into jingle bells.
So don’t be a Scrooge
Give Santa some “osher”**
And even if you’re Jewish
It’s only vaguely non-kosher.

Santa is bankrupt
Please throw him a nickel
The Christmas Journey
is now in a pickle.
It was to be a window
on our land strange and fine
So make it last, make it bubble
like hot mulled wine.

One look at the attached clip and it’s clear that I’m not stranded in a bad place. There’s fire burning in the hearth and good friends to cheer my goofy fundraising song.

I am stranded, however, and this is why a fundraising song had to be quickly composed and posted instead of another post. I simply can’t afford another post, and can’t really afford leaving the Galilee. A week before the Christmas journey began, my friends at +972 published a fundraising call, in hope of allowing this project to materialize. I seconded that call in my first post. So far, not enough funds were collected to pay even for my first bus ride out of Tel Aviv.

+972 is a real grass-roots NGO, we literally have no funds. I’m currently paying for all the travel expenses out of my own pocket. I don’t get a salary or any kind of pay for my work and I don’t ask for it: I only hope to cover the losses. Help me achieve that by donating here, and we may yet make it to Bethlehem.

I’m already thankful to Swiss band Zuriwest for inspiring the tune (it’s based on their excellent “I Schänke Dir Mis Härz”) and to the Ivry family at the hamlet of Harashim for building the fire, pouring the wine, cheering at the end of the song and offering me shelter for the night.


** joy


About the Christmas Journey:

This December, Yuval Ben-Ami embarks on a 10-day journey across Israel and Palestine – to tell the stories of Christmas as it’s celebrated today, in the holy land.

As a volunteer-based media organization with a small budget, +972 Magazine must look externally to cover basic travel expenses needed for special projects like these. Please support the Christmas Journey by making a contribution here, and spreading the word to friends and family!

Read all posts in Yuval’s Christmas Journey | Sign up for email updates from the Christmas Journey