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Finding a Home Where the Hanukkah Candles Outnumber the Christmas Trees.

The neighborhood in Las Vegas where I grew up was not a Jewish one. Christmas trees popped up everywhere as soon as the tryptophan from the Thanksgiving turkey wore off. Plastic deer and elves dotted our neighbors' lawns. Santa and his entourage waited at the mall for the youngest shoppers to confide their Christmas wishes. At my public junior high school, my classmates hummed "Jingle Bells," donned fuzzy red and green sweaters, and compared plans for the coming holiday over lunch in the cafeteria.

My family, meanwhile, celebrated Hanukkah quietly: My sister and I kindled our menorahs alongside our mother's. And we'd gather at my grandparents' house, where we exchanged gifts wrapped in blue and silver while Grandpa fried up crispy latkes and Grandma baked dreidel-shaped sugar cookies, icing them in blue and white.

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Author:Klempner, Rebecca
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Nov 25, 2013
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