As Hanukkah fast approaches (Dec. 22 this year), there arises the annual question of what gifts to get for your friends and family. If you’re tired of giving and receiving socks, gift cards, or body wash, you’re not alone. With eight days of gift-giving, it can be incredibly easy to run out of unique gift ideas for those you love. Luckily, Ha’Am’s “Hanukkah Gift Guide” is here to help, giving you eight wonderful suggestions that your loved ones are sure to enjoy!
Night 1: A Book
A book can be a great gift for anyone! Whether your loved one is young or old, into fiction or nonfiction, or a fan of pictures or words, there is a book out there that they will enjoy. A great aspect of giving a book as a gift is the thought and care that goes into choosing the perfect selection – when you get it right, it shows your loved one how well you know them. As an added bonus, giving a book on the first night of Hanukkah allows your friend or family member to enjoy it for the next seven nights while they continue to celebrate the holiday!
Night 2: Gourmet Chocolate
While a book is a treat for the mind, gourmet chocolate is a treat for the stomach! There’s nothing quite like biting into a rich, nougat-filled chocolate truffle on a cold winter night with the flames of candles to light the room. If you live in the western United States, See’s Candies offers a delicious variety of chocolates sure to satisfy any sweet-tooth, and has been a favorite of my own family for years. If you live somewhere else, don’t fret! Gourmet chocolate is a staple in many countries around the world!
Night 3: School Gear
No, this is not a reference to school supplies. This is a reference to school spirit gear! If you’re buying Hanukkah gifts for a student, prospective student, alumni, or fan of any university, you can’t go wrong with fueling their school spirit! As a UCLA student myself, there is almost nothing I’d rather receive as a gift than a piece of UCLA-themed clothing or an accessory item to add to my Bruin collection. Additionally, this provides you, the gift-giver, with leeway to further personalize your gift; Pick out a coffee mug, a lanyard, a picture frame, or a hat! Whatever you choose, your loved one is sure to appreciate the thoughtful gift.
Night 4: An Album
Although music streaming services initially made physical albums obsolete, the popularity of vinyl records has skyrocketed again in recent years. The sound quality is better, the album art is more visible and thus more enjoyable, and the nostalgia for the golden age of music when vinyl dominated society permeates our culture. Giving the gift of someone’s favorite album in the form of a vinyl record is both touching and nostalgic.
Night 5: A Candle
As you enter into the second half of Hanukkah, consider gifting a candle to your loved one(s). Although your menorah candles will be burning for three more nights, your friends and family will need a regular candle to light when the eighth night comes to an end. Choosing the right scent can be fun, too – there are so many flavors to smell before you decide! Plus, your loved one can use this candle to read their book at night if their electricity isn’t working!
Night 6: A Magazine or Newspaper Subscription
Perhaps I’m biased (being the Editor-in-Chief of a newspaper and all), but a year’s subscription to a favorite magazine or newspaper would make a great gift for your loved one! Or, perhaps there is a certain magazine that they’ve been meaning to read but simply haven’t found the time, and your gift will encourage them to engage with material they otherwise wouldn’t have. This gift won’t break the bank, either – many popular magazines and newspapers often offer discounts on annual subscriptions, some for as low as $12 per year!
Night 7: A Photograph
When I say “photograph,” I don’t mean that you should print out a poor-quality photograph from your personal computer and hand it to them in an envelope. I mean go to Costco or any other store that can print high-quality photos on glossy photo paper and buy a nice frame to hold it. This is a meaningful, inexpensive way to memorialize a special moment or person that your loved one will want to remember when Hanukkah and winter break end and everyone goes home for the holidays. Personally, I can tell you that I gave my mom a photograph of my sister and me several years ago and that same photograph is still sitting above our fireplace.
Night 8: A Sentimental Keepsake
As you and your family close out this year’s final night of Hanukkah, give a gift that actualizes the love between you. This can be something you’ve made, such as a painting or a piece of jewelry; it can be symbolic of a forgotten memory, such as the room key from the first vacation you took with your significant other or the stuffed animal that your younger sibling used to love. Whatever it is, there is no better way to commemorate they love that you and your family have for each other or to end the Festival of Lights.