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Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Hanukkah Gifts that Teach Kids about Jewish Values

Hanukkah Gifts that Teach Kids about Jewish Values

As a parent of a young child, you want to be sure your child understands that gift-giving is more about the giving than the gift, and that gifts do not need to be  material items. Jewish tradition places great value on the family. Hanukkah offers wonderful opportunities to spend time with those we love. Since Hanukkah falls over our school winter break, you may find there is additional time to provide meaningful family experiences and memories.

Here are “gift” ideas that won’t collect dust on the shelf:

  • Go on a trip: travel doesn’t have to be expensive; a day trip to a park or museum can be memorable.
  • Plan an event: Going to see a movie, a live show or sporting event can be a great bonding experience. Have the kids pick their favorite place for lunch or dinner and end with some delicious sufganiyot (donuts) and a game of dreidel at home.
  • Buy a family membership: Memberships to museums, zoos, JCC’s or other organizations are a great way for families to learn and play together throughout the year.
  • Take a class: Education is the gift that keeps giving. Gift a child a class in one of their favorite hobbies to encourage interests beyond school.
  • Subscribe to a Magazine: Nobody gets mail anymore (except e-mail). Give a gift subscription to a magazine that they look forward to getting every month in the mailbox.
  • Encourage hobbies: Set aside time for a craft night, cooking night (make latkes together), or put on a family skit.
  • Engage in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world): Volunteer together at a local shelter, bring cheer to an elder care facility, sort through your toys and donate to those less fortunate. This will teach the importance of giving back and helping others.
  • Give Tzedakah (charity): It’s important to teach kids that the best gift is the one you give to others. Decide on a cause that is dear to your family. Help your children feel a sense of ownership and pride when giving tzedakah.