Hanukkah, often referred to as the Festival of Lights, is an annual Jewish holiday celebrated usually around late November to early December. The festival spans over the course of eight days, and it’s celebrated to commemorate the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in the second century BC.
While Hannukah does not put as much emphasis on presents as a holiday like Christmas, small gifts, often Judaica, are certainly still part of the festival of Hanukkah, often given on one of each of the eight days. If you’re struggling to come up with Hanukkah gift ideas for your loved ones, we’ve put together a guide to help you out. Check it out below.
Gifts for Hosts
Hanukkah is a time when friends and family get together to socialize, celebrate, spend quality time together, and commemorate their shared Jewish heritage. If you have been invited to a party to celebrate Hanukkah, it is considered both customary and polite to bring something along for the host. A menorah or candles can be the ideal Hanukkah gift but be aware that most people will already have these.
Alternatively, your gift doesn’t necessarily have to be Hanukkah-related but could be something to simply say thanks to the host for their hospitality. Food or wine is always appreciated, as are cooking utensils that can be used to feed the party guests.
Hanukkah is a festival that celebrates the oil that burned in a lamp for eight days, so a bottle of high-quality cooking oil could be a perfect gift for your host.
Gifts for Kids
Kids love Hanukkah. It is a time when they get to see extended friends and family, light the candles on the menorah, eat lots of food and treats, and, of course, get gifts.
Traditional toys and games make for the perfect Hanukkah gift for children. Not only will these encourage socialization and engagement but can also keep the youngsters in touch with the traditions of their Jewish heritage. Dreidels are a common gift to give on Hanukkah, while board games offer something that the whole family can enjoy.
Gold coins or gelt are traditional Hanukkah gifts. For kids, you could opt for chocolate coins instead.
Gifts for Adults
Hanukkah isn’t just for children, it’s also a time for adults to come together and get some much-needed respite from our busy modern lives.
Food plays a big part in Hanukkah celebrations, so what better way to commemorate the festival and show your friend and family how much they mean to you than by giving them something tasty to eat. Some traditional Jewish foods eaten over Hanukkah include fried potato cakes called latkes, jelly donuts called sufganiyot, and brisket. Any of these can be a perfect Hanukkah gift and can be shared and enjoyed amongst friends and family.
The idea of giving presents at Hanukkah is relatively new, especially when compared to long-standing gift-giving traditions such as those found at Christmas. However, by sticking to the customs and making thoughtful choices, you can ensure you’ll pick the best Hanukkah gifts.