10 Hanukkah Gifts That Are Way Better Than A Dreidel (And One Awesome Dreidel)
It’s almost time for Hanukkah, or as your coworkers know it, the one nobody can spell with the candles and the tiny display at the mall behind Santa’s workshop. Even though 8 crazy nights of presents will never be as cool as the single morning bonanza of Christmas, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with the Festival Of Lights. The 10 Hanukkah-themed gifts on this list will delight your kids, your spouse, yourself, or just look great in your home. As a bonus twelfth gift, the official food of Hanukkah is anything fried in oil. You’re welcome.
For The Kids
LEGO MenorahThe miracle in the Hanukkah story was that a one-day supply of oil miraculously kept the holy menorah lit for 8 days. The miracle in your case will be that all 90 LEGO bricks in this kit get assembled into a mantle-worthy mini menorah. Odds are pretty strong that at least one ends up missing. Don’t worry, your bare foot will find it. Miracle of miracles!
LEGO Minature Menorah Kit ($35)
Curious George In YiddishThis book gives your kid a storytime experience you never knew: having your great grandmother from the old country read to you about the adventures of a man in a yellow hat and his precocious little monkey friend. Yiddish transliteration and an alphabet chart and pronunciation key make reading and learning a new old language easy, and finally settle whether your nana is in fact just making up all those words.
George der Naygeriker by Sholem Berger ($10)
Shalom SesameShalom Sesame first appeared in 1986 as an anglicized adaptation of the Israeli version of the show that aimed to introduce kids to Judaism, Israel, and Hebrew. Because apparently wherever Sesame Street is, it’s not in an Orthodox neighborhood. The series has continued through more recent years, starring your kid’s favorite blue monster, Grover, plus some new Israeli friends, and celebrities like Debi Mazar. What, Beastie Boys were too obvious?
Shalom Sesame: Chanukah – The Missing Menorah ($9)
Zion Action FiguresThese have objectively little to do with the actual story or celebration of Hanukkah, but if your kid’s asking for an Iron Man action figure this season, might as well pair it with the Iron Lady. Meir! Ben-Gurion! Begin! Dayan! The Kosher Avengers, coming to theaters this summer!
Zion’s Action Figures – 4 Pack! ($63)
Mensch On A BenchYes, it’s silly. Yes, it’s a blatant money-grab enabled by the holidays’ descent into pure commercialism. Yes, you should have thought of it before that couple took it on Shark Tank. The Mensch On A Bench is Hanukkah’s answer to Christmas’ Elf On The Shelf, which is all of the above, without the beard but with more hilarious illicit scenarios. Consider that a challenge, internet.
Mensch On A Bench Doll Plus Book ($30)
For The Home
Heroes Of The TorahWhile everyone else is celebrating the Maccabees, your kid can show their hipster cred by celebrating these rabbis, who did stuff like found Modern Orthodox Judaism and preside over the holiest sites in Jerusalem. Because, while the Maccabees were badass, it was rabbis who actually turned what they did into a holiday where your kid gets awesome stuff like a bunch of mugs with rabbis on them.
Heros Of The Torah Box Set ($30)
MenorasaurThe history of evolution and this menorah have taught us that life, uh, finds a way … to use dinosaurs to trick little Jewish kids into being interested in their heritage. Would you have paid a little more attention in Hebrew school if the Maccabees had been fighting a legion of oppressive velociraptors? Yes. Yes, you would have. (Also, “Menorasaurus” is just pure dad joke gold.)
Menorasaur: Apatosaurus ($100)
Menorasaur: Triceratops ($100)
For Your Spouse
Spin That Thing!You weren’t referring to a dreidel when you said that to your spouse, but the dreidel is the only thing that’ll let you get away with saying it at the family Chanukah party. Mildly suggestive Chanukah shirts: the new ugly Christmas sweaters!
Spin That Thing! Hanukkah T-shirt ($32)
You Are My Everything BagelFoods fried in oil, like potato latkes and donuts, are staples for celebrating Chanukah, but an everything bagel with cream cheese, lox, and onion is a staple for celebrating life year-round. Except on Passover. Damn, the Jewish holidays are confusing.
You are My Everything Bagel Print ($18)
The Grav Menorah [youtube https://youtu.be/c5uMRhj_N6Y expand=1] There are miracles, and then there’s the Grav Menorah, which somehow took until the fourth “Chanukah Song” to go viral. Because 50 million Sandler fans can’t be wrong, “Leave the kids with Grandmakah, and smoke your marijuanicah…”
The Grav Menorah ($700)
Dr. DreidelSadly, you can’t buy this — yet. But if you are very good, listen to your parents, and say your prayers every night, the greatest confluence ever of hip-hop, Chanukah, and puns just might become available for purchase. Like the dreidel says, “A great miracle happened there.” If not, there’s always the Grav Menorah. Like Dre says, “Smoke weed everyday.”