(October 4, 2015 / JNS) 2015 HANUKKAH SPECIAL SECTION
By Alina Dain Sharon/JNS.org
Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights. On each night we light one more candle to remember the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple. But there are more ways to create light than using Hanukkah menorah candles. JNS.org offers a list of eight gifts, one for each night of the holiday, that are guaranteed to light up your friend or loved-one’s Hanukkah.
Night 1: Lantern
Lanterns can make wonderful gifts. Consider buying a unique, decorative lantern like this example from Etsy.com, or if you’re on a budget or feeling crafty, make it yourself. A gift can be much more meaningful when you try to make it more personal. Check out the instructions for these 11 DIY lanterns from Country Livingthat you can customize for in-door use during Hanukkah.
Night 2: Hanukkah Tree Topper
This Christmas tree topper, which gained publicity with an appearance on the “Shark Tank” reality TV show, might just be the thing for interfaith families. Celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah together—Chrismukkah, as it’s become known—with this sparkling Star of David on top of your tree. Your tree’s lights will make the Hanukkah tree topper shine even more.
Night 3: Glow Sticks
Kids love these on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve, so why not on Hanukkah? Get a bunch of these and distribute them to your family. Turn off the lights and have them wave these as you light your candles for an extra-glowing pizzazz.
Night 4: Night Light
For kids who don’t like the dark, a night light is a must. Make it a fun gift by picking a light with a cute design, such as the GummyLamp Gummy Bear Nightlight. Not only is the light fun and friendly, but kids will be reassured that they won’t have to fear the dark after the Hanukkah lights go out. For a more adult-appropriate, decorative gift that is also Hanukkah-themed, consider something like this Hanukkah Glass Block Night Light on Etsy.com.
Night 5: Flashlight or Headlamp
For the gadget or camping enthusiast, a wearable headlamp will make a cool gift. Besthiking.net surveyed the best headlamps of 2015 here. A favorite of mine, which I purchased as a gift, is the Petzl Tikka headlamp. It is available at a number of sporting stores or on Amazon.com.
Night 6: Donate, Be Social, Be Creative
Use Hanukkah as an occasion to help your local Jewish community. For instance, host a menorah or candle-donation drive, and use the items to “light up” the holiday for those in need. Alternatively, contribute to a drive already being run by your local synagogue. As part of this, you can even get your community in the creative mood by organizing an event to make your own Hanukkah candles, which can then be donated. Here are candle-making instructions from Chabad.org.
Night 7: Unique Menorah
If you’re choosing to gift someone a menorah, pick something quirky and fun. The International Business Times compiled some examples in 2014. Additional Internet research will surely yield a multitude of options. Pictured is one that I received as a gift some time ago.
Night 8: Diamonds
What special someone doesn’t like diamonds? Whether or not you have an additional reason to splurge, or just because, a shining piece of jewelry will surely make her smile this Hanukkah. While you can gift this on any night, waiting until the eighth night of Hanukkah could make this gift extra special. And if she wears the piece next to the menorah candles, she will sparkle with light like the beautiful lady she is.