It’s close to the time of year when people of Jewish faith come together to celebrate Hanukkah, which is also known as the “Festival of Lights.” Many people throughout the world have already begun shopping for gifts for each day of Hanukkah. While these Hanukkah gift ideas may inspire you on your shopping trips, it’s important to not forget about the meaning behind this special day.
Why is Hanukkah Celebrated?
The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
During the second century B.C., the Jewish religion was outlawed and the Jews were ordered to worship Greek gods. In 168 B.C., Syrian soldiers attacked Jerusalem, massacring thousands and desecrating the holy Second Temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls. The Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Referred to as the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
According to the Talmud, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply. This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival.
Each of the eight days that a candle is lit, you are supposed to present your loved ones with a gift. When shopping for children’s Hanukkah gifts, many people will give the child seven small gifts and a large gift on the eighth day. Hanukkah gifts for toddlers often include toys and clothing, while older children are occasionally thrilled to see a new bicycle on the eighth day.
Here are the Unique Gift Ideas to Make Each Day of Hanukkah Special:
As far as selecting the best gifts for Hanukkah, you should choose presents that are thoughtful and heartfelt. The following Hanukkah gift ideas may help you put a smile on each of your loved ones faces this holiday season.
Be Traditional on the Day of Hanukkah. Gift Something Traditional!
Hanukkah is all about traditions, so one gift should be traditional in nature. Many people enjoy the tradition of playing the dreidel every Hanukkah, so giving the children a new dreidel is suggested as a traditional Hanukkah gift.
Keep the first day of Hanukkah fun for the family by playing a dreidel game, winning stashes of gelt, and teaching your children the meanings behind the Hebrew letters. Alternatively, everyone will enjoy a box of Hanukkah cookies! Traditional Hanukkah gifts for adults include Menorah bracelets and personalized glass or a Hanukkah coffee mug.
Show a Little Care: Gift Skin Care on the Day of Hanukkah
Most people enjoy receiving gift sets of bubble bath, body spray, and cologne, so you can’t go wrong with skin care gifts on Hanukkah. Men may love receiving their favorite aftershave, while women on your list may thank you for a pedicure or lotion set. Even children may be thrilled with a bottle of bubble bath!
Give a Book if they are a Book Reading Lover
A book is always a much appreciated gift for those who love to read, especially if you choose a book that’s written by their favorite author. If you are unsure about what types of books your loved ones enjoy, you can always select a book about the Jewish faith, such as The Diary of Anne Frank, in celebration of the holiday. There are many children’s books that teach kids about Hanukkah through stories and illustrations that they will enjoy reading through the holidays.
Spread Love by Donating to the Needy Ones
Sadly, there may be members of your Temple that can’t afford to buy Hanukkah gifts. Donating food and gifts to your local Jewish Family Services is a meaningful and generous way of celebrating Hanukkah. You may also consider giving a donation to a local charity in your loved ones name or taking your kids with you to pick out Hanukkah gifts for needy children to teach love and compassion.
Make Them Feel Special by Giving Handmade Gifts
If you are interested in painting, crocheting, woodworking, or needlepoint, this is the time of year to get creative. Handmade gifts are special because it took time and effort to create them. A crocheted blanket, fresh baked cookies, or handmade spice rack will mean more to your loved ones than any store-bought item. As Hanukkah is approaching, you can get your kids involved in arts and crafts, so they can also gift handmade items.
A Camera that Catches Moments in Time
Pictures can last forever and capture moments together with your loved ones. Although many people have begun using their cell phones as cameras, a traditional camera is still a wonderful gift to give for Hanukkah. Rest assured that plenty of pictures will be taken, and this will be one Hanukah season that’ll never be forgotten!
A Personalized Reel Viewer with Their Fondest Memories
If you really want to get sentimental this Hanukkah season, you can create a personalized reel viewer that displays all your loved ones' most cherished memories. Make sure to have the Kleenex handy because once this gift has been unwrapped and viewed, there will definitely be tears of joy flowing!
A Hanukkah Video Gift like No Other
If a reel viewer sounds too old-school, you can alternatively create a group video gift using the Celebrate video making tool. It’s simple enough for your whole family to participate in the video making. Have each person contribute a short message and Celebrate will handle all the storing and organizing. Once you throw in your personal touch, you will have a truly unforgettable gift to give this Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is a time to remember the gift that God gave to the Jewish people when He allowed the Menorah to remain lit for a full eight days and gift-giving has become a traditional part of celebrating this holiday. Regardless of what you decide to give your loved ones this Hanukkah, make sure that your gift comes from the heart.