How to Celebrate Chanukah: 8 Days of Joyous Gift Giving

How to Celebrate Chanukah: 8 Days of Joyous Gift Giving

Chanukah is one of my most favorite holidays of the year. Why? It is a happy ending story of heroism and cooperation. Also (and I swear this is secondary), it lasts for over a week and includes the traditional eight days of gift-giving.

As I am a lover of gifts and surprises, the fun of Chanukah suits me well. For others who didn’t grow up celebrating the holiday, there can be a quandry for them on what is an appropriate gift to give for Chanukah.

Every year, I get asked in person or by email what someone should get for their Jewish friend or their friend’s kids – or both! Here are some suggestions, based on my childhood traditions and what I appreciate as a Jewish adult.


Seems that for about every occasion of Jewish gift-giving, books come in as the number one choice. For children, there are a number of Chanukah books that can be selected by age-appropriateness or family situation.

Some books that I have given my grandkids are: 

Last year for Chanukah (and Christmas), I gave friends and family a Chanukah pop-up book, Chanukah Lights. It is a spectacular book and a work of art, as many pop-up books can be.

The beauty of this book is that it is appropriate for adults and kids alike. Children are fascinated by each scene, which appears magically as the pages are turned. Adults appreciate the artistic renderings and paper engineering.

I suggest that adults read it to young children to reduce the urge that they have to disassemble it page by page – I say from experience! If you are not certain which books the person has read or their specific taste in books, give an Amazon, Kindle or Nook gift card.

Related Posts

The Power of Latkes: A Shiksa's First Hanukkah

I celebrated my first Hanukkah eight years ago, back before I converted to Judaism when I was really and truly a shiksa (aka a non-Jewish woman). I had studied Judaism a bit in college, but I didn’t have any practical experience when it came to Jewish food or holiday traditions. Meanwhile, my fiancé is as Jewish as they come. Needless to say, I was slightly out of my element.   Read more >

Celebrating Christmukkah? Ideas for Your Celebration

That year, I asked her if she wanted to celebrate Hanukkah, to honor her Holocaust-surviving family’s legacy. I had researched the basics of the holiday, its meaning, and its traditions at school and a little online and I knew what we needed to procure and mostly how it worked. I thought this would be a way to start our own traditions together, and to show her that her family history was just as important to me as that of my paternal family’s.   Read more >

Seeing My Son's Eyes Light Up With Chanukah Traditions

My four-year-old son gently placed our menorah in the front window last week. He climbed onto the window seat, centered its heavy silver arms squarely against the glass, and hopped back down. "Look Mommy, it's ready for candles! There's the Shamash!" On a menorah, the center candle is called the Shamash. It's the "helper" candle, the one that we use to light all of the other candles each night. In Max's preschool classroom, one child each week gets to be the Shamash, or the special helper. It's a privilege that all of the four-year-olds look forward to, and I loved watching Max have his turn to shine this year.   Read more >


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.