Hanukkah gifts

Hanukkah Gifts: A History Plus Awesome Gift Ideas

Learn the History of Hanukkah Gifts and Choose the Perfect Present

It’s no secret that Hanukkah is full of fun traditions, from lighting the menorah every night to playing dreidel and eating delicious treats cooked in oil. But did you know that the tradition of giving Hanukkah gifts is actually a relatively recent custom? American Jews used to give each other presents on Purim, but in the late 19th century, the custom shifted to Hanukkah. This was likely due to the emergence of Christmas as a national holiday in America, and the accompanying consumerism that came with it. Nowadays, it’s common to exchange gifts on Hanukkah, but your children may be surprised to find out it’s mostly an American tradition.

The original Jewish custom was to give Chanukah gelt (the Yiddish word for money), rather than presents. This was often presented as a holiday tip to Jewish educators. We’ve morphed that gelt into chocolate coins, so we can enjoy the sweet taste of the holidays while we remember our cultural past.

While the trend of exchanging Hanukkah presents has really taken off since the 1950s, it isn’t expected or necessary to give a Hanukkah gift for each of the eight nights. Some families will give one large gift to represent all eight nights and some prefer to gift money because they view it as a more authentically Jewish tradition. Many families give seven small gifts each night and then one significant gift for the eighth night.

Hanukkah gelt and dreidel

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Hanukkah Gift for Adults

Allbirds, Hoka, or On Cloud Shoes

Shoes are notoriously difficult to buy for others, but these three brands of footwear are so comfortable, that your friend or family member will be skipping to the store to gift exchange for the right size. I would recommend sizing up a half size in the Hoka and On Cloud brands.

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag, Align Set, or ABC Pants

This is the “it” bag of the season and sells out frequently online, so I would recommend checking the website often and calling your local store to see if they have some in stock. If not, the Align set for women and a pair of ABC pants or joggers for men will be much appreciated.

Walking Pad Folding Treadmill

If anyone in your life is complaining about their backs or their hips from working at home all day hunched over a computer, this might just be a dream gift. Not only can you multitask your daily workout while creating a slide deck, you can save your body from unnecessary aches and pains.

Hotel Lobby Candle

Looking to gift the ultimate scent? Hotel Lobby candles were created by avid world travelers who believe that you don’t need to get on a plane to capture the essence of a luxurious getaway.

Brooklinen Bedding

Who doesn’t want a wonderful night’s sleep? Purchasing a Hanukkah gift that allows the recipient to climb into luxury bedding after a long day of work and commitments is the ultimate way to pamper your giftee.

Away or Beis Luggage

Both brands offer affordable hard case luggage options that are highly coveted and very popular. Away has an incredible warrantee and Beis has some great accessories like the weekender bag if you aren’t looking to gift an entire suitcase.

Barefoot Dreams Blanket

This is the softest and coziest blanket you will ever own. Your Hanukkah gift recipient will probably ask you for a second the following year – one to keep as a throw on the couch and another for the bed. Nordstrom Rack often has the throw blankets on sale, so be sure to check on the site for a discount before purchasing elsewhere.

Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother

Frothed creamer makes the ultimate difference when it comes to a delectable cup of Joe. Gift someone this frother for Hanukkah, and see how much better their mornings become.

Hanukkah gift ideas

Hanukkah Gifts for Kids

Blippi My First Science Kit

Magna-Tiles 32-Piece or 100-Piece Set

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Wooden Play Kitchen

LEGO Star Wars The Mandalorian Helmet

LEGO Disney Encanto The Madrigal House

Star Projector, Rossetta Galaxy Projector for Bedroom

Jewish Hanukkah Gifts

Broderies de France Tablecloths

Michael Aram Judaica

Start building a dreidel collection for your family!

What Hanukkah gifts are you considering this year? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out the other Hanukkah content on the BMA blog:

Hanukkah Blessings: Learn the 3 Hanukkah Prayers

Family Hanukkah Pajamas You Need in 2022

How to Play Dreidel: Spin a Dreidel Round

The 25 Most Significant Jewish Symbols Explained

Biblical Hebrew vs. Modern Hebrew

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