The holidays are here, and it’s time to begin gift shopping for our family, loved ones, friends, and co-workers. While you may be giving Christmas presents this year, perhaps you also have some Jewish friends who will be celebrating Hanukkah instead of Christmas. Or perhaps you are Jewish and still are wondering what to offer your family members this season. If the holiday is unfamiliar to you or you are unsure what to give others, have no fear: We have put together a Hanukkah gift buying guide to ensure that these eight nights of Hanukkah will be absolutely perfect.
Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that is often called the Festival of Lights. It has traditions such as lighting the menorah, eating potato latkes, playing with dreidels, and exchanging small gifts and tokens. In some households, small gifts are given the first seven nights and a big present is saved for the final night of celebration. This being said, don’t feel pressured; even giving a small gift on the last night of Hanukkah will be touching and meaningful for your Jewish friends and family.
To make shopping easier, look for items that are smaller, more personal, thoughtful, and even holiday-themed. Here are some ideas to keep the holiday festive.
If you have been invited to a Hanukkah celebration and feel inclined to give gifts, our first tip is to keep it small. A great gift idea is to bring a Kosher bottle of wine to the Hanukkah celebration, which your hosts are sure to enjoy and appreciate. If there are ladies in the house, try gifting some small simple jewelry items, like a necklace or bracelet. For adults, you can bring a pair of crystal glasses or hand-painted coffee cups, which are modest but thoughtful. For the kids, give some cute knitted cold-weather accessories ike gloves, hats, or scarves. When choosing a Hanukkah gift, you can’t go wrong by keeping it a small and simple gesture.
Another great tip for Hanukkah gift-giving is to make your gifts personal. If you are giving a gift to a Jewish co-worker, try a personalized diary or notebook that has their name or initials monogrammed on it. If you are gifting to Jewish family members or close friends, you have room to be a little more extravagant without seeming over the top. Try a set of monogrammed bath towels or hand towels for their bathroom–this gift covers all the bases of being small, personal, and practical. Alternatively, if you know your Jewish friend loves a certain store, cafe, or restaurant, getting them a gift certificate is a perfect Hanukkah gift that is also personal.
When shopping for a Hanukkah gift, another point to keep in mind is that practical gifts are often a good idea. Some nice practical gifts that are also personal and small are a subscription to someone’s favorite magazine, a house plant with someone’s favorite flowers, a cookbook for a favorite cuisine, or even just practical kitchenware like cutting boards and dishtowels. For the kids, give some games or fun creative activities like coloring books and playdough. For the adults of the house, whiskey stones are the perfect Hanukkah gift that can be readily used for celebrating the holiday.
When in doubt, keep it festive. Blue, white, and silver are considered the colors of Hanukkah. If you’re invited to a Hanukkah dinner, simply bringing white roses in a blue vase is a simple and personal gift that also adds to the holiday cheer. For a Jewish family member or close friends, a white and/or blue women’s cashmere sweater can make for a very special gift. Unlike some tacky holiday sweaters, she can wear this during Hanukkah and all year round. To keep with the Hanukkah spirit, gift children Hanukkah tokens and objects like dreidels, children’s books, and perhaps even a Hanukkah-themed bib for the baby. For teens, fun patterned socks and exotic nail polishes make great presents. With the endless amount of Hanukkah-themed items out there, you can definitely find something for everyone.
By keeping your presents small, personal, and practical, you are sure to give the perfect Hanukkah gifts this year and those eight nights festive for everyone.