This year, I need a lot more Jewish joy than usual, so I’m doing eight nights of gifts, and going all out. I grew up in Israel, where Hanukkah involved zero presents — maybe some gelt — so for me, it’s still a pretty novel idea. Though I would argue that a lot of Israelis could use eight nights of gifts this year, too.
So, I’ve assembled a list of 18 types of Hanukkah presents you can get your loved ones, big and small, for Hanukkah. (We’ve also got lists of Hanukkah decorations, menorahs, plushies, sweaters and pajamas, as well as the best Target Hanukkah merch, if you need them!) I’ve tried to keep them $18 (chai!) and under, though I may have strayed a few times.
I’ve also tried to include as many gifts as possible from independent artists and creators — though yes, there are some Amazon links here, too.
If you’re on team no gifts, well, there’s no shame in that game. So don’t fret and just enjoy the online window shopping. And no matter how you celebrate, here’s to a happy and peaceful Hanukkah!
1. For your nervous friends and kids:
Did you know the famous “Pop-it” fidget toy was invented by a Holocaust survivor and a classmate of Anne Frank’s? It only makes sense that it comes in dreidel and menorah shapes! We could all use some stress relief this year.
2. For keeping away the evil eye:
We all need some extra protection from the evil eye!
3. For the one who works hard to heal the world:
We need so much tikkun in this olam this holiday season, and these are some great gifts for those who are out there trying to fight for peace and justice.
4. For the chef:
A lot of us have been found comfort by baking and cooking lately, perhaps even with our kids in these post-pandemic years. These Jewish-themed aprons, towels and more will help keep you a little less schmutzy and feeling a little more profesh in your kitchen!
5. For the Yiddish lover, young and old:
For those who adore the Jewish Germanic language and who want to raise little ones who love it too, here are some lovely and chutzpadik gifts that will help sprinkle more Yiddish into your life.
6. For the novelty sock lover:
I’m going to get real with you for a second: I own a lot of Hanukkah socks. I wear them all year round. I need and love Jewish socks — and you might know someone who does, too.
7. For the little babe:
Is there anything cuter than an adorable baby in a Jewish-themed outfit? I think not!
8. For the coloring-book lover:
If you have a friend (young or old!) who needs a little relaxing meditative activity in their love — I love the idea of a Jewish coloring book. Plus, some of these books also double up as ways to learn Hebrew words, Jewish slangs, and facts about the holidays.
9. For the Hebrew lover:
Will this be the year that your family finally learns Hebrew? Maybe! Either way, these Hebrew-themed gifts will nudge you in the right direction.
10. For your actual lover
I am my beloved mug ($16.00)
These lines from the Song of Songs are the quintessential romantic verses.
11. For the avid reader, young or old:
Get your reading on!
12. For the Jewish food lover:
Not everyone loves cooking Jewish food, but pretty much everyone in your list probably loves eating it! These pricier gifts are a great offering for someone whose Hanukkah you want to brighten (and make more delicious) and who may be far away.
13. For those with Jewish pride:
Here are some seriously lovely Judaica and Jewish accessories from independent Jewish makers! If you’re all about displaying your Jewish pride — especially this year — these are for you.
14. For the crafty:
For people obsessed with crafting, get them something they’re sure to love. From a paint your own dreidel kit to a “Fiddler on the Roof” stitch pattern that will have you howling, there’s a lot to choose from, for every possible age!
15. For the player:
Some Jewish games and toys for the kids (and playful adults!)
16. For the Shabbat fan:
In case you missed it, Kveller published a Shabbat guide! It’s a perfect way to help your entire family enjoy and celebrate the Jewish day of rest, with no stress. A great gift for someone who just needs Shabbat in their lives (i.e., all of us).
17. For the person who has everything — and for all those in need:
Give chai ($18), or two, or however much you can afford to a friend or relative’s favorite non-profit in their name. Get your kids involved in choosing a charity to give tzedakah to this year — our friends at JTA have assembled a list of charities in Israel and beyond. It’s been a difficult, difficult time since October 7, and there are certainly a lot of charities in need right now.
18. Skip the gifts. No, seriously.
Whether you don’t have the financial or the mental energy to deal with gifting, or even celebrate Hanukkah, we’re here to let you know that it’s OK to forgo tradition when you need to. You can skip the gifts, and you can even skip Hanukkah if you need to — we won’t judge. A short text wishing your friends and family a happy holidays, and asking how they are, could be just as meaningful as any gift, especially in this moment where we’re all feeling so polarized and isolated.
All of our recommendations are independently selected by Kveller’s editorial team. We may earn a commission if you buy something through one of our affiliate links.