For Jewish people everywhere, Chanukah is a holiday that celebrates miracles and is often enjoyed with festive family celebrations that include the making (and eating!) of delicious potato pancakes called latkes, playing a game of dreidel, and lighting the candles of a menorah.

The word Chanukah shares a root with the Hebrew word l’chanech or chinuch, which means ’to shape ‘or ’to educate.’ The education of children about Jewish traditions is the foundation of Chanukah celebrations. As an incentive, children used to receive gelt (Yiddish for money). Although the only true gift-giving holiday used to be Purim (the ‘Jewish Halloween’), the rise in consumerism in the late 19th century created a shift from Purim to Chanukah, especially because Christmas falls so close to Chanukah.

However, Chanukah is above all about learning Jewish traditions and giving to others. So why not spend a day with the family making gifts by hand? Everyone appreciates the time and care that goes into a handmade gift.

Here are some Chanukah gifts you and your family can make together that celebrate Jewish heritage and highlight the true meaning of Chanukah:

  1. Make a small bag for your child’s gelt! Find a tutorial here on how to make them out of felt or if you are crochet-savvy check out these crocheted bags.
  2. Discover the history of the dreidel and learn how you can make your own.
  3. Make your own menorah and learn about the “The Festival of Lights”.
  4. And of course there is always the option to cook! Learn how to make traditional Chanukah latkes.

For more great gift ideas for Chanukah, visit our website at www.barefootbooks.com

 

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