Dec 18 2012
“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
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
Let’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 →
Dec 6 2012
So–it’s almost Hanukkah, just about everyone’s favorite holiday. Gifts, gelt (Yidd., money), no fasting, no standing in shul for hours, no cooking for big family meals, nice lighting-the-menorah ritual.
Well, I never liked it. Despite the gifts, I didn’t like it even as a kid.
As a first generation American on my father’s side (especially grateful to this country since everyone who was not here were killed by the Nazis,) and a third generation American on my mother’s, I am a very patriotic American with a strong American identity.
But every Hanukkah, I felt like the “other.” Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 29 2012
The Hanukkah I see in children’s books demonstrates families playing dreidel
and eating latkes while the menorah shines brilliantly in the window. Then
there’s the inevitable illustration of the kids’ utter elation when the parents unveil
a bag of gelt night after night.
The scene sounds delightful, but I can’t imagine it’s realistic in all Jewish homes. Let’s be honest: starting in October, lots of Jewish kids obsess over the ”holiday” (aka Christmas) catalogues that arrive daily in mailboxes around the country.
Right or wrong, at some point this tradition of 8 nights of gifts as influenced by Christmas has become part of the Hanukkah many of us know and love. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 14 2011
What's inside? The BEST Hanukkah gift ever or the WORST Hanukkah gift ever?
We know it’s happened to you before. You slowly untie the bow, tear the paper, and open the box, only to find the world’s worst Hanukkah gift. Is it a new iron from your loving husband? A hand-knitted sweater vest from Aunt Irene? Or perhaps it’s a childhood memory of the year when you really really really wanted the new Cabbage Patch Kid and instead you got a knockoff baby doll?
Well, Kveller is here to help. We don’t believe in bad gifts–and we want to introduce you to ModernTribe.com, an amazing website for all gifts Hanukkah, funny, Jewish, and adorable. We’re big fans of theirs–such big fans, in fact, that we’ve partnered with them to do a Hanukkah contest and give one lucky Kveller reader a special Hanukkah present. (It’s actually a gift for the whole family–some for the kids, and some for the parents.)
So to save that lucky reader from this year’s not-so-perfect-but-maybe-well-intentioned gifts, we introduce our newest contest: My Worst Present Ever. Simply tell us in the comments section below about your worst Hanukkah present, and we’ll pick a winner. Be sure to enter by Friday, December 16, and your bad Hanukkah present can turn into a great Hanukkah present.
Don’t wait–tell us now!
Your gift includes Hanukkah cookie cutters, Hanukkah window decor, a stainless steel latke server, a Lego Star Wars mezuzah, and Jewish fortune cookies… yum!