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  • Nicole J. Burton

Christmas Traditions for a Jewish Adoptee

I loved Christmas in England. Liberated from boarding school, I loved decorating the tree with family ornaments; the Pez and tangerine in my stocking; and the white pillowcase near the fireplace Christmas morning filled with toys. Lunch in the dining room, turkey or roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and flaming Christmas pud; all of Boxing Day to recover, too. I knew nothing of Jewish traditions till I immigrated to the U.S. at age 12 where I met my first Jewish friend Lisa and learned my first Hanukkah song. Like a spy coming in from the the cold, I sang at the 1968 Lexington High School Holiday Concert, "Banish darkness, banish night, Hanukkah is the Feast of Light." Listen to the first two chapters of Swimming Up the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption, to be published in early 2008.

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