The alternative name for this post is
"Saba Sukkot is coming to town?"
One of the wonderful things about Israel is that come December, all the red, green and white tinsel of Christmas is for the most part, absent. Since I'm in California now for a week on business, I'm bombarded with Christmas culture everywhere; the trees in my hotel lobby, the street signs, the sales -- everything revolves around it. Most American Jewish schools match their vacations to the "seasonal" winter holiday, and its impossible to ignore this holiday unless you live in a ghetto with no TV, radio or newspapers, and you have no connection with the outside world.
Curiously, many charedi and religious kids in Israel recognize Santa Claus, but not as the Christian toy delivery person, but as "Saba Sukkot." Saba Sukkot adorns many sukka decoration packages of wonderful glittering decorations and blinking lights that are sold in Jerusalem's pre-sukkot markets of Geula and Mea Shearim. These kids have no clue that we're using Christmas lights and tree decorations for the sukka, and that's certainly no big deal.
While Christmas awareness in Israel is growing (we have in our yishuv a few non-Jewish Israeli families from Russia, who have trees in their homes), its still a pleasure not having the in-your-face Christmas season everywhere. I'm thrilled that my kids only know of one holiday season in the winter-time, and its full of Chanukiyot, Sufganiyot, and a message of renewal to Judaism.
Update: This one is also pretty good (from last year). Just click on the candles, and try to avoid clicking on the silly casino links.