GlobalPost: Christmastime Dispatches From Around the World

During this holiday season, our partners over at GlobalPost have filed a number of holiday reports from around the world, including one on Santa’s humble roots on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast and another on how a lack of tourists spells financial trouble for vendors in and around Bethlehem.

Meanwhile, acceptance of “La Navidad” in Cuba is growing once again on the communist-run island nation, correspondent Nick Miroff reports. In 1969, authorities canceled Christmas celebrations that reflected both Spanish traditions and American cultural influences, saying the holiday interfered with the sugar harvest. But more than a decade has passed since it was restored to being a national holiday and it’s being celebrated more openly each year:

“Government stores now stock plastic Christmas trees and gaudy ornaments, and Christmas lights can be seen twinkling in scattered Cuban homes and apartment buildings.”

In another dispatch on communism’s historical influence on Christmas, Sinziana Demian reports from Romania about the Christmastime reminder of the hasty proceedings that led to the execution of feared former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena in the 1989 revolution:

“[E]very Christmas since has brought a feeling of uneasiness — even anger at times — at how the Ceausescus were handled during their final days.”

Track more of GlobalPost’s reporting and year-end wrap ups here.