It’s hard to believe but Hanukkah is not that far away (the first night kicks off on Dec. 20).
Now, I have four kids. And we like to give at least one present to each kid, on each night of Hanukkah.
Do the math!
It’s a ton of presents and I’m often asked the following two questions.
1. How do you do it? 32 presents? Really?!!
2. Why do you do it? Why not get a few presents for the first night and leave it at that?
I’ll answer the second question first: I do it, and have always done it, because it’s our family tradition. While it’s entirely unnecessary to gift every child on every night of Hanukkah, it’s something that my kids look forward to with great excitement all year long. Something I enjoy preparing for as much as they enjoy opening the gifts.
As far as the how…
It’s actually a great deal easier, and less expensive than you think. The secret here is making the everyday and the ordinary, a little extra special.
My kids get gifts of pens, socks, and even underwear. Handmade items, beautiful white seashells, a silly re-gift. I’ll call any of these a present, if it fits.
Sure they get some biggies, like iPods and wii games. But ironically those are not the gifts they remember the most.
They remember the zebra patterned hairbrush and the strawberry-flavored milk straws. The simple little gifts that might be considered boring necessities but aren’t, because they are chosen with love and care and a true knowledge of what the particular child is “into” at the moment. More than a material good, these treats are a message that I get them. Who they are right now. And they get that.
I look forward each year for the chance to shower my kids with little gifts. I pay extra attention to them – favorite colors, characters, flavors and motifs all count! I take the time to listen and watch them. When I’m out and about and I see a little something I know they’d like, I leap on it.
Nothing is too trivial to wrap up and call a present if it’s making a connection, if it’s sending that message of love.
For me, this is what Hanukkah is all about. The celebration of light for us is one of love and the recognition of one another. For me, as sappy as it sounds, that’s the miracle.
So yes, I’m crazy. 32 gifts. At the very least.
Some years it’s double.
Looking for Hanukkah tips? Learn how to make Hanukkah cookies, jelly doughnuts, and even special cupcakes for the holiday. And check out these toddler friendly latkes that don’t involve any splattering oil.