Gifts on Chanukah – How Often?

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  • #588699

    Do u give your children gifts every night? Or just some? 8 little ones or 1 big one? Everyone, let’s hear what you do!

    #628066

    bored@work
    Participant

    We do one big one, you get to pick one thing that you really want rather than little gifts that you will never use. Or I just get cash to choose what i wish

    #628067

    mazal77
    Participant

    In our family, we don’t give any gifts. Not even Chanukah gelt. I just buy chocolate coins and donuts and fry some Latkes, while the kids play with dreidels. Even as a kid, my parents never gave Chanukah presents. I never understood why people gave presents every single night of Chanukah and if they did, I heard mostly people that weren’t so frum gave every single night. I just feel that buying gifts seems so goyishe.

    #628068

    Joseph
    Participant

    mazal77:

    You are absolutely correct. Gift giving comes straight from the “season” holiday of the goyim (when they historically would murder Yidden — hence Nitl Nacht.) Giving every day is a really spoiled activity.

    It IS a Minhug Yisroel to give Chanukah Gelt.

    #628069

    mamashtakah
    Member

    When the kids were little, we gave them little things each night – crayons, drawing stuff, painting kits, dolls, etc. The grandparents gave them big stuff, but only 1 thing to each kid. Now that they are older, they get money or gift certificates – and we take them out for dinner one night.

    #628070

    oomis
    Participant

    We give our kids one gift only, and some chanukah gelt (very nominal amount), plus when the kids were little, we gave toys to tzedaka for kids whose parents could not afford them. Now we just give the tzedaka. We also always have my husband’s family over for a Sunday of Chanukah. They are not frum, and it is an exciting day for my grandnieces to see how a real Chanukah day is celebrated. We had them light candles with us last year, their first time, doing so,and were very happy to share gifts with them, make latkes, play dreidel, tell over the neis shel chanukah,e tc.

    #628071

    Will Hill
    Participant

    Every day? Sounds like some American mishugass. Certainly nothing like that in the alte heim. Whats going on with this world?

    #628072

    zevi8
    Member

    I dont see what the big deal is about giving presents. So what if it comes from a non-jewish holiday. You are celebrating a jewish holiday. Maybe we shouldnt eat to celebrate holidays because non jews celebrate with eating as well. It would be a little different if people had a jewish tree in their house.

    #628073

    yoshi
    Member

    This is how we we had it growing up; My mom would buy each of us a present for every day of the holiday, and wrap them all up. Now, there were a lot of us, so no, we didn’t get expensive presents, but we each got one “big” present, and the rest little ones. Every night we got to pick one wrapped up present to open. It was loads of fun! Each of us had our own menorahs, so the entire family can share in the spirit of the holiday together. After singing all the Chanukah songs, we ate some homemade latkahs. Yum!

    p.s. who else color coordinated all the candles each night? 😉

    #628074

    Moshejoe
    Member

    Sonay Matones, Yichyeh. Chanaka gelt, sure. But gifts? People need to realize that Chanaka is not Xmas.

    #628075

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Moshejoe – I assume you wrote Xmas because you didnt want to write out Christmas, but just an FYI. X stands for the Greek letter chi, which is the first level of Jesus’s name in Greek. So you arent really doing anything.

    Depending on the year we got 8 gifts or 1. One year I got 8 pairs of fun socks – I loved it! They were all sorts of great patterns. 18 years later, I still have some of them 🙂

    #628076

    Moshejoe
    Member

    I’ll remember that SJSinNYC the next time I decide to write in Greek.

    #628077

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    we always got 8 big gifts!

    #628078

    Chacham2
    Member

    One gift on the first night. Are there really people who got a gift every night?

    How spoilt…

    #628079

    Will Hill
    Participant

    Chacham2,

    Not only is it a spoiled American habit, it is Chukas Hagoyim (from Xmas season) to give a gift on Chanuka. The Jewish custom is to give money (known as Chanuka Gelt.)

    #628080

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    in addition to giving presents being chukas hagoyim,

    the 25th day of the month of December (whichever way you want to call it)

    represents the day that Yosef HaTzaddik went to eshes potifar “laasos tzurcho ima”–this day was chaf hey/ the 25th of the month, and it was the day that the entire mitzrayim annually went to serve avodah zara (this is why potifar wasnt around).

    so the 25th day is steeped in tumah since the days of mitzrayim.

    it also says, if im not mistaken (and please correct me if i am), “Kihayom hazeh” in the passuk when it describes Yosef going to eshes potifar–“KiHa”=chaf hey=25

    #628081

    anon for this
    Participant

    Bais Yaakov maydel,

    Thank you for sharing that fact, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the discussion about gifts on Chanuka. What does the 25th day of December have to do with the 25th day of a particular Egyptian month? Are you saying that Egypt used the same solar calendar as the secular one used today, and that the incident of of Yosef HaTzadik and eshes potifar happened on the 25th day of December? And, if that’s the case, how is that relevant to giving Chanukah gifts except when Chanuka is on the 25th of December? Or are you drawing some kind of parallel with the 25th of Kislev?

    #628082

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    anon for this: it doesnt have to do with chanuka presents, when i wrote “in addition…” i meant “and heres an interesting fact that has to do with chaf hey kislev, when chanuka falls out.” lol. nothing to do really. just s/t i recently learned. 🙂

    #628083

    anon for this
    Participant

    Bais Yaakov Maydel,

    Are you saying that the incident with Yosef HaTzadik and Eishes Potifar happened on Kislev 25? I didn’t know that.

    #628084

    I think no matter how many gifts you give or don’t give is not what your children will remember. We prefer spending loads of quality time together. Chanukah candle lighting, means everyone around, singing and then a sitting down to a delicious homemade supper, which sometimes takes more time and energy than gift buying. We set the table with Chanukah (dreidel design) tablecloth, napkins, plates and cups. (from Closeout Connections). Showing ur family that they come first and that spending time with them is important will last a lot longer than gimmiks.

    As a side point ONE gift, wrapped in chanukah paper,is given. (rather than money since it is simply more exciting for the kids this way.) Never anything too expensive something that we know the kid wants. We would never have thought of the idea of 8 gifts, i think it belittles the whole thing.

    #628085

    anon for this
    Participant

    Mrs. Beautiful,

    I agree that spending time together as a family is the best way to spend Chanukah (and most other holidays). And young children often get really excited about seasonal tableware (another way to find these cheap is to buy at the end of the season for the next year). When my children were very young we would give them little treats on different nights of Chanukah (though not every night), for example chocolate coins or small stuffed animals.

    When all my kids were young they preferred to spend time reading books out loud or playing games to eating homemade latkes, so I spent the time with them & we ate frozen latkes. Now that they are older, they appreciate homemade foods more, and have the patience to wait for them to be ready.

    #628086

    tzippi
    Member

    Taking a page from Chicago voting, I say gift early and gift often.

    #628087

    cantoresq
    Member

    My children get one big gift a year period. They get to choose if it’s for their birthday or Channukah. The other occaiaions, they get smaller gifts (i.e. in the $20.00 – $25.00 price range) so as to not recieve nothing when their siblings are getting something. This year my oldest son asked for an Ipod for his birthday. Since he had a great year in school, we agreed to get it for him. For Chanukah, he’s getting a small Lego set. My daughter wants a new doll house for Channukah. For her birthday, she’ll get something small. Afikoman presents are usually something bigger for the whole family. Last year, we got a trampoline. This way I hope to give my kids some treats (which they deserve as they are, for the most part wonderful children who do well in school and behave nicely), but not serve them the world on a silver platter. Thank G-d my wife and I can afford to live this way, so long as we’re careful. Grandparents, however mess the whole thing up as they spoil my kids rotten. It’s a constant struggle to keep them in check. But I prefer that to parsimonious grandparents.

    #628088

    anon for this wrote,

    “another way to find these cheap is to buy at the end of the season for the next year”

    I know a lot of pple that shop this way for Sukkah decorations (after Sukkos), pple. buy winter clothing in the Spring for the next yrs. Winter. I always find it so hard to think so far ahead! But it’s a really good idea considering the savings!

    #628089

    heimesheyid
    Member

    When I think of Chanukah I think of Latkes, chocolate coins, and donuts YUM…WHO NEEDS ANYTHING MORE?

    #628090

    myshadow
    Member

    Every year I get my siblings and parents chanuka presents. We always have our own cute little party besides for the ones the grandparents throw. This year there is b’emet no money for presents but I still want to do something and maybe give them something small that will make it exciting.

    Any suggestions?

    #628091

    noitallmr
    Participant

    If you’re in Israel- try the two shekel shops!

    #628092

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    since so many of you in the coffee room are around 20 yrs old, i was wondering what to get for a20 yr olds that i know for chanuka!!! for a boy & girl!!! thnx

    #628093

    asdfghjkl,

    It depends how much u r willing to spend. A really nice gift, is a carry on rolling suitcase. I got that yrs. ago as a gift and I cannot tell u how useful it has been for me.

    Something a little cheaper might be a gift certificate to a Judaica store or to a perfume shop depending on how spirtual u want to get…When u give a gift certificate the person always has the option to add to it, and they can choose something to their own likings.

    #628094

    noitallmr
    Participant

    20 yr old boy- depends what he’s like. Some guys would love a new sefer some would love an iPod. Is he Yeshivish or not really?

    20 yr old girl- iPod speakers, perfume, something with a picture of you 2 on, cheap jewelery…

    #628095

    jphone
    Member

    Is there a mekor for gift giving on chanukah? Is it based on a midrash somewhere? a comment of a rishon or an achron? Is it simply the brainchild of a store owner who capitalized on the “season” and it caught on?

    #628096

    noitallmr
    Participant

    Chanuka Gelt is in Mishna Brura I think.

    Chaunak presents comes from Kratzmach…

    #628097

    myshadow
    Member

    noitallmr, nope not in israel unfortunately!

    asdfjkl, 20 yr old girl, perfume-like a whole mini set, coach wristlet, gift-certificate to manicure,pedicure/massage/shopping…

    20 yr boy I really have no clue depends what type maybe cologne, wallet, watch or like sefarim or something

    #628098

    asdfghjkl
    Participant

    thank yous to—Mrs. Beautiful, noitallmr, myshadow!!!

    #628099

    noitallmr
    Participant

    Any time- I’n not a noitall for nothing!

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