Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek rulers of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC. Hanukkah is one of the few Jewish holidays that is celebrated without the Torah saying it is a holiday, as the event happened in post biblical times.
Some 500 years later, the Talmud tell of a a miracle occurring at the Temples' rededication. They say that God made the oil in a lamp that should have lasted only one day, last eight days. Thus why Hanukkah lasts eight days.
Originally, Hanukkah was not celebrated with gift giving, but when Christmas became a national American holiday, or peerless consumerism spread to this Jewish holiday as well.
Some people give small gifts on all eight nights are just one big one, today we will go over some affordable options for a Hanukkah gifts for children and adults.
You can never go wrong with gelt, which is Yiddish for money. Giving gelt is one of the most traditional gifts of Hanukkah. It stems from the time when children would give gelt to their teachers to show their appreciation.
You can give whatever amount you want as gelt. For children, you can give them chocolate coins. For teenagers and adults a gift card works perfectly fine. My personal favorite gelt giving idea is to give a dollar for every candle on the menorah. The first night they get one, then the second night they get two and etcetera. Each person ends up with a total of $36 dollars at the end of Hanukkah which is an acceptable amount and affordable if you only have to give to a few people.
Hanukkah is a time for family, from lighting the candles each night to eating the world greasiest home made foods. It is an excellent excuse to spend some time with your family. Buy your family a board game to play on a few of those nights, or maybe a video game you can all play. Cook something together. Buy a traditional dreidal and play dreidal games with your family.
I forget where I read it, but I remember hearing that Hanukkah gift should be educational. What is more educational than a book. Try to find something your child likes. I recommend classic books as todays fiction is rather "bleh". If you have a boy that likes to be outside and explore, maybe buy him some nice Jack London. If you have a boy crazed teenage daughter, you cannot go wrong with a little Pride and Prejudice.
You can do no wrong with the Song of Fire and Ice series (also known as The Game of Thrones series), the books are a whole lot more age appropriate and less slutty than the television show.
They may not read them right away, but they will always be there on rainy days.
Gift Baskets seem to be a hot trend among the Tribes. They are simple and usually very affordable. Gift baskets (especially kosher ones) are great if you give gifts only on the last or first day of Hanukkah. You can fill it with gelt, gift cards, candy, bath items, or various cheese and meat log alternatives.
If you are feeling particularly fancy, you can throw in a bottle of sparkling cider. That always thrills.
Puzzles and Other Small Toys
These are geared more towards children, of course. I do not care what anyone says, you are never too old for a good old paddle with a ball and string attached. Jigsaw puzzles also make good little gifts for the individual days of Hanukkah. I have a theory that things like paddle ball on string, jacks, and bouncy balls were made for Hanukkah gifts. They are just so small and random, but super fun.
If you have a talent for handy crafts, why not make something for your loved one. Knit a pair of house shoes, fingerless gaming gloves or a stylish hat. Make them a scrapbook of fond memories. Draw them a really cool picture as them as a Medieval warrior or giant mecha dinosaur.
The economy is hard and people will understand you are short of cash. There is nothing wrong giving a homemade gift when it was made with love.
Hanukkah Gifts For Men
Shopping for a Hanukkah gift for a man is a lot like shopping for a father's day gift. Ties, watches, and random silver knick knacks are the way to go. You can get your man a nice star of David to wear around his neck or a nice decanter for those non-Jewish holidays.
Perhaps even an extra special bottle of liquor or wine if he happens to be a drinker from time to time.
Hanukkah Gifts for Her
Women are much easier to shop for on Hanukkah than men. Some popular options are kitchen wear, like embroidered aprons and hot pads. Also, women tend to get a lot more use out of the traditional go to of a coffee mug filled with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Usually those things go unused, but women tend to like them.
You can also never go wrong with giving a woman jewelery, like on almost every holiday. It does not have to be fancy, or even a Jewish symbol really. Anything shiny is sure to thrill.
A popular option, for some reason, if also given a keepsake box. Usually decorated in traditional Jewish symbols or phrases. I am sure any women could get many uses out of a keepsake box.
In conclusion, it really does not matter what you get your loved ones, it is not what the holiday is about. As long as you spend it with them, you are pretty golden. Hanukkah gifts do not need to be super flashy, unless you live to be old. People expect expensive gift from their grandparents, I have never been sure as to why.
Whether it is gelt or something your loved one has been hinting at all year, I am sure they will love it.