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Dec 11 2014

Eight Hanukkah Gift Ideas for the Grandchild Who Has Everything

By at 4:03 pm

Eight Hanukkah Gift Ideas for Grandparents to Give The Grandchild Who Has Everything

When our kids were young, we busily searched for gifts to give them for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. Now that we’re grandparents, we don’t send a gift for each night. These grandkids seem to have EVERYTHING in abundance. So what do grandparents do when they want to give something to their grandchild that’s both memorable and meaningful, and won’t be left out in pieces the next day on the living room floor?

I recently asked a number of adults which gifts they remember fondly from their grandparents and I’ve compiled the responses. Here are eight gift ideas that are memorable and stand the test of time in years, and even decades. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2014

Free Stuff Alert: The Chanukitty Sweater

By at 11:45 am

chanukitty sweater giveaway

Well, if you’ve been looking for the perfect Hanukkah sweater for the little girl in your life, you can stop. This is it. The “Chanukitty Sweater.” Featuring both adorable cats and dreidels, it really doesn’t get better than this. Which is why we’re very excited to be giving one away, courtesy of ModernTribe.

(Oh, and before you ask why only little girls get to have all the fun, check out these amazing Hanukkah sweaters for boys, women, and men.)

To enter to win the sweater, fill out the form below. We’ll choose a random winner next Tuesday, December 9th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 26 2014

The New Tradition I’m Extra Thankful for This Year

By at 11:17 am

gratitude jar

Sukkot may be the holiday when I de-clutter and get things out of my life, but on Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, I make sure to pay attention to my stuff.

We are at the start of the season when every store, television commercial, and radio jingle reminds us that we are supposed to let other people know how much we appreciate them… by buying them things. I’m not against the occasional Hanukkah present for my kids or tipping some of the hardworking and often underappreciated people in my life during the holiday season, but this year I am trying to focus on what I have and appreciating how lucky I am before I add to my collection of “things.” And I’m making my family join me.

I read recently that writing down what you’re grateful for every day can be transformative. In addition to cultivating an ongoing sense of gratitude and respect for our belongings and privileges, apparently the practice of putting pen to paper while thinking of how grateful we are can also lead to higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy throughout the day. That sounds pretty good to me. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 20 2013

What Tamara’s Boys Want for Hanukkah

By at 1:00 pm

As we scrambled to find the perfect Hanukkah gifts for kids this year, we thought it might be best to go straight to the source. So we asked our contributing editors to ask their kids what they really want. Here goes Tamara Reese who shares what her sons, Owen and Gil, want for Hanukkah this year.

Owen, 3.5: 

Diecast Dusty Plane ($9.88)


Me: Owen, Why do you want a Dusty plane for Hanukkah?

Owen:  “Well, one (finger pointing at me) I don’t have one of those. And two (two fingers) I don’t want to wait for my birthday and THREE (three fingers up) I also want the guy who is mean to Dusty in that movie. Can you check in your computer and order that from Amazon?”

Melissa & Doug See and Spell ($19.99) 


Daniel Tiger Figure Set ($19.95)


Engineer Ari & the Hanukkah Mishap ($7.01)

engineerman copy

Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah ($6.11)


Gil, 1:

Bath Toy Net  ($7.99)


Noah’s Ark Playmobil ($29.99)


Earlyears Roll n Swirl Ball Ramp ($14.91)


Wooden Play Menorah ($35.00)


Hanukkah Bear ($12.73)



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Nov 19 2013

Hanukkah Gift Guide: What Sarah’s Kids Want

By at 4:00 pm

As we scrambled to find the perfect Hanukkah gifts for kids this year, we thought it might be best to go straight to the source. So we asked our contributing editors to ask their kids what they really want. Up first, a wish list from Sarah Tuttle-Singer’s kids.

DISCLAIMER: Hanukkah isn’t the big present orgy in Israel as it is in the US–since we don’t compete with Christmas, we keep it simple.

So I had to pull teeth to get some responses from my kids–and in fact, I MAY have had to say “OK, fine, what do you want for Christmas.”

M’s list:

1. Four Small and one Large Assorted Dreidels ($4.59) “Ani rotsah sevivonim.” “I want dreidels,” she says!


2. Disney Princess 2-in-1 Tiana Doll ($18.99) “I want a Princess Tiana doll, because she is beautiful.”


E’s list:

1. Happy Family Midge & Baby ($75.95) “I want a Barbie with a baby in her belly.”


2. Harry Potter Firebolt Broom ($15.31) “I want to fly wid Hawy Poddah”


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Nov 13 2013

Hanukkah Gifts You’ll Want the Grandparents to Buy

By at 12:32 pm

So these gifts for kids may range a bit over your desired price point–but, hey, isn’t that what grandparents are for? Share this list with your parents and let them be the ones who spoil them!

1. Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set  ($120) For kids 3 and above, these are a great way to learn mathematical spacial relationships & logic while engaging in some creative building. We promise, it’s more fun than it sounds.


2. Mini 3-in-1 Scooter ($114.99) This is the most economically savvy scooter we’ve ever seen. It “grows” with your kid–you can adjust the height and handlebars as he/she gets taller. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 12 2013

I’m Buying My Girls a Bunch of Plastic Toys for Hanukkah & I Don’t Even Feel Guilty

By at 1:59 pm

plastic dolls

Two years ago, I wrote these words in a post for Kveller: “We’re trying something new this year. Instead of giving gifts, we’re going to focus on experiences that honor Hanukkah for what it is, and don’t try to make it into something it’s not.”

Last year, I wrote a post titled, “An Obscene Amount of Princesses for Hanukkah” in which I described buying a ton of plastic Disney Princesses for the girls. After a long paragraph expounding on all of the possible problems with these toys, I finished the post by writing, “It’s certainly not my job to make them happy. But sometimes I get tired of following the rules and always trying to do the right thing. Sometimes I want to do something for my girls for no other reason than it makes them happy. Because that makes me happy, too.”

Hanukkah comes early this year (in case you hadn’t heard), so I’ve been hoarding toys from the discount racks at TJMaxx and CVS for a few weeks now. The pile in our basement now includes: plastic figurines of Doc McStuffins and all of her little stuffed friends, a LaLaLoopsy tree house, and two bathtub-friendly mermaid/Barbie/princess dolls in the form of Belle and Ariel. I can’t wait to give these toys to my daughters–no apologies, no excuses–just straight up commercial plastic fun. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 18 2012

A Hanukkah Without Presents: A Report From the Trenches

By at 4:29 pm

“On the first night of Hanukkah, my mommy gave to me,” my 13-year-old son began singing, as the 9-year-old and 5-year-old joined him in the chorus, “Absolutely no-ooooo-thing!”

Well, it’s not like they weren’t warned.

A good week before Hanukkah started, I informed my kids that, due to the damage done by Hurricane Sandy, with people not 50 miles away losing everything they owned, not to mention the high unemployment rate, the millions of people going hungry all around the world, and the fact that my children already had so much stuff they couldn’t even manage to keep their rooms clean, there would be no Hanukkah gifts this year. Instead, we would spend the eight days of the holiday doing good deeds, and the eight nights discussing them as we lit our candles. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2012

Eight Nights of Hanukkah Gift Mistakes

By at 12:45 pm

Yes, of course, anyone who gives your children Hanukkah presents is super-nice, thoughtful, and should be thanked for being such a good person. That being said, here are eight Hanukkah gifts that should be marked “return to sender.”

1. “Sand art” kit: I’ve said it before and will say it again: anyone who gives your child a sand art kit secretly hates you. They don’t hate your kid–they hate YOU. Because there is no imaginable scenario in which the opening of the box of sand art does not end with you having arguably toxic sand permanently embedded in your floor, clothing, and home generally. On the plus side, now someone no longer hates you in secret! Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 11 2012

The Fifth Night Project: Teaching Giving During Hanukkah

By at 11:15 am

box of toy donations for charityLet’s face it; in order to help Jewish children from feeling left out of the Christmas season, Hanukkah has lost much of it’s traditional meaning and has become a holiday based around eight nights of presents. Customarily, Hanukkah is celebrated with candles, dreidels, and latkes; the eight crazy nights of toys and books was only added to compete with Christmas. Read the rest of this entry →


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