So our director of content strategy, Melissa Katz, says that I need to spell the Jewish Festival of Lights, aka Chanukah as "Hanukkah" if I'm looking to please the Google SEO gods. However, I refuse to drop the somewhat phlegmy, soft "cha" sound of the Hebrew letter chet which I mastered pretty early on during my studies at Solomon Schechter Day School in Brooklyn (shout out East Midwood, the childhood home of Ruth Bader Ginsburg!). But I digress, this is about Chanukah gifts, and as the resident member of the tribe on the R29 shopping team, I am pleased to present 16 really good present ideas for eight crazy (or mashugana, if you're still with me and playing along) nights.
Opener image: Dinosaur Menorah (Menorasaur?) $39, available at Etsy.
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L'chaim To Wine!
Gift your loved ones a variety pack of minimally intervened, small-lot wines so you can raise a glass with them: to love, to friendships, to hardships overcome, to happy times, small accomplishments, to life! I've gifted Usual wines before and the single-serve bottles are always a hit.
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Usual Wines 12 Bottles of Assorted Wines, $, available at Usual Wines
For The Love Of Bubbies
Photographer, author, and creator of the Advanced Style blog, Ari Seth Cohen, has a worthy trilogy of uplifting books capturing the style of the forever young. Ari was inspired to start the blog by his best friend, his late bubby Bluma whose energy and attitude towards life continue to influence him. Pick up his last release Advanced Love, to peep stylish couples from around the world that also offer relationship advice for all ages. There's always Advanced Style first edition, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, and the charming Advanced Style coloring book.
Ari Seth Cohen Advanced Love, $, available at Amazon
Oy Vey — Socks?
Yes, socks! The gift that nobody asks for but everyone can use. So practical! And this pair — have you seen? They're perfect for the person graduating from JV to varsity in complaining.
Kule Oy Vey Socks, $, available at Kule
Now That's A Spread
Russ & Daughters has been an NYC institution for over 100 years. The original founder, Joel Russ immigrated from his shtetl in Poland to the Lower East Side and started from the bottom. In 1935 he made his three daughters full partners in his business (quite controversial at the time) and the rest is American history. Send the gift of a Jewish-style New York spread (bagels, lox, and a schmear of cream cheese) finished off with coffee and babka, to anyone who deserves to know what a real bagel tastes like.
Russ & Daughters New York Brunch, $, available at Goldbelly
I learned about HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) after the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The gunman was allegedly incensed by HIAS' mission to help rescue people whose lives are in danger for being who they are. HIAS offers free legal aid, advocacy, and assistance with U.S. resettlement, and treats refugees from all over the world with the dignity and respect they deserve. Give a donation in someone's name, here or grab a friend and become a volunteer for the organization.
Pay It Forward
Another organization that helps refugees is Choose Love, a store where you can purchase practical gifts that go directly to displaced families in need. If you want your gift to be in the name of someone you know, just download the gift card at checkout.
Choose Love Winter Warmers Pack, $, available at Choose Love
Festivus For The Rest Of Us
Okay, so this one's questionable. But, for those with a sense of humor who are more apt to bow down before the altar of Larry David than pray at all, this gift will light up their life.
Dynamite Shirts Seinfeld Prayer Candle, $, available at Etsy
Call Your Mom
"Alexa, call mom and tell her that no, I don't know how to set up that electronic picture frame she won from the sisterhood charity auction."
Amazon All-New Echo Dot (4th Gen), $, available at Amazon
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