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dgraab
dgraab , Parent asks:
Q:

Should we gift our Jewish friends' children for Hanukkah? If so, what are appropriate gifts?

We typically give small gifts (under $10) to our friends' children for Christmas (even those who aren't Christian but who celebrate Christmas in a secular manner). I wonder if we should also gift the children of our Jewish friends during Hanukkah? If that is an appropriate gesture, what do you recommend as gifts (any cultural taboos we should avoid)?

We haven't been invited to any Hanukkah gatherings, so don't have a specific gift-giving date in mind. Is there a particular day during Hanukkah that is better for giving the children their gifts? Would it be better to send a card during Hanukkah, and then give the Jewish children their gifts at the same time as the other children receiving Christmas gifts (typically at play dates and parties in the last few days before December 25)?

Thanks for sharing your recommendations!
In Topics: Family fun / holiday celebrations
> 60 days ago

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Louiseasl
Dec 9, 2009
Level

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hello!

Thanks for asking such a great question.

Over the years we have celebrated as a family Christmas and Chanukah on a date that was "in between" if both holidays did not coincide.  Many times we would have friends and their children come to our home for latkes (potato pancakes) and to play dreidel. Our Christian friends often would bring Christmas Cookies to share, too. Then we exchanged small gifts.  Books were a favorite as were arts/craft supplies, Leggos, and other small items.  Together we would light the Menorah (if it was indeed a day one of the eight days in which Chanukah was being observed). I also would leave our books, games and other fun items to help our children's friends learn about the Chanukah story.  " "RUGRATS CHANUKAH" also was a favorite show/DVD to watch and an excellent way for young children to learn about this holiday.

Keep in mind that despite Chanukah being a very much celebrated holiday in North America it does deserve mention that it is not observed as "grand" in other countries. Why? Well, in the total spectrum of Judiasm, Chanukah is considered a minor celebration as compared to what is considered the more holy or important of days in the Jewish years, such asRosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Purim and others.

Hope this helps!

Louise Masin Sattler

p.s.  The holiday Chanukah can be spelled a multiple of ways.  Your spelling is not incorrect!  :-)

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Additional Answers (3)

mrabbi
mrabbi writes:
Any child is thrilled to get a gift, but talk to the parents of the child first.  Every body celebrates in their own way, since it really is not a major holiday.  Talk to the parents in advance, about what the family finds appropriate for a gift.  Think of the child's age and interest when picking out a gift. My own children love gifts that are Hanukkah themed, or books that either have a Jewish or Hanukkah themed. Regular books, coloring books, puzzle books. Games that kids like, scrabble; monopoly, cards, uno.  Be creative.
> 60 days ago

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eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
This is a great question.
I'm not aware of any cultural taboos (obvious ones might be symbols from other religions)  
Jewish kids get presents pretty much on any of the days during the holiday (it last for 8 nights)

If you want to stay close to the holiday spirit then anything with Dreidels, light games or Hanukkah Gelt is great.
 
One of the classic presents would be chocolate coins or "Hanukkah Gelt" http://www.hanukkahgelt.com/ or http://www.giftswish.com/155406.html

Depend on the family and their heritage, the kids might not know much about the holiday and a book about the history of Hanukkah might be fun too.

Happy holiday season
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
A related article I found via Twitter that adds additional insights...

To Gift or Not To Gift: A Chanukah debate
by Deena Yellin (a reporter for The Record in Bergen County)

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1027256/jewish/To-Gift-or-Not-To-Gift.htm
> 60 days ago

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