BETHLEHEM, West Bank ? There is no Christmas tree in Aida Ghaneim’s Bethlehem home this year.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank ? There is no Christmas tree in Aida Ghaneim’s Bethlehem home this year. No festive lights hang from the ceiling, and the 48-year-old mother of four has no plans to cook her usual feast. It is not that Ghaneim is abandoning Christmas. On the contrary, she said, “It abandoned us.” A shriveling economy, continuing Israeli restrictions and other hardships caused by three years of Mideast violence have left Christians living in the traditional birthplace of Jesus with little desire to celebrate.