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The Holiday Season Means More Than Christmas

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For Jewish children, the festival of lights known as Hanukkah is a festive time.
RALEIGH — Shopping for the perfect gift is rarely easy at holiday time, especially if you're not shopping for Christmas. At Mazel Tov Gifts in NorthRaleigh, the store has been packed with people looking for Hanukkahpresents.

"A lot more children this year coming in with their parents," says storeowner Susie Kosten. "We have more space now, so people are bringing in thewhole family to shop. It's been very nice."

Folks looking for specialty gifts like menorahs and dreidels can find them at Mozel Tov Gifts, a sign the Triangle's population is becoming morediverse.

For some, recognizing Kwanzaa is how they celebrate the season. AtBlacknificent Books in Raleigh, they have cards and books about the African-American cultural celebration.

"Look for a local book store or cultural store in your area that hasKwanzaa materials dealing with the seven principles," says customer ShaEverlasting. "If you're a first-time practitioner, you'll want to go someplace like a cultural center."

The focus in Kwanzaa is not on gift-giving, rather it's on education andcelebrating black culture.

Store owner Kamau Kambon says the holiday is an opportunity for familiesto get together at the end of the year and prepare themselves for thecoming year in terms of economic development.

That's something many families of all races and faiths do this time ofyear. Unlike Christmas, Hanukkah lasts for eight days, Kwanzaa for seven.

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