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20 Best Thoughtful Hanukkah Gifts To Give All Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season 2022

Whether you're looking for something religious or secular.

Put on your yarmulke and dig out the menorah—it's time to celebrate Hanukkah! Or, if you don't partake in the Jewish festival of lights, it's time to get a Hanukkah gift for your friends and/or family who do. This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 18 and ends on the evening of December 26, 2022.

Whether you’ve been dishing out Hanukkah gifts your whole life or you’re doing it for the first time, you don’t have to fret. Besides, giving gifts during Hanukkah is a fairly a new tradition, says Rachel Scheinerman, editor of My Jewish Learning.

Aside from its religious affiliation, when it comes to gift-giving Hanukkah is just like any other holiday. And, while you definitely can get them something Jewish-related, it’s not obligatory. Plenty of your Jewish friends will appreciate receiving a fun, thoughtful, and unique secular gift that's relevant to their interests or hobbies, like cooking or reading.

See some of the best Hanukkah gifts below:

TL;DR: Shop for something the special person in your life will love. And to do that, this carefully curated list will give you plenty of ideas for the loved ones in your life.

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Best for the Home Decor Fan
Jewish Home Blessing
Best for the Reader
W. W. Norton & Company
The World to Come: A Novel
Best for the Jewelry Lover
Custom Hebrew Name Necklace
Best for the Chef
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Jew-ish: A Cookbook
Best for the Plant Lover
Back to the Roots
Organic Lavender Year-Round Indoor Garden Kit
Best for the Latke Maker
Rite Lite
Stainless Steel Latke Server
Best for the Recipe Lover
Family Recipe Book & Keepsake Journal
Best For The Pun Lover
Awkward Styles
Happy Challah Days Sweater
Best for the Tea Lover
Tea Forte
Warming Joy Tea Sampler Box
Best for the Earrings Fan
Star of David Earrings
Best For The Chocolate Lover
The Dreidel Company
Chocolate Gelt Gold Coins
Best for the Movie Lover
Mini Projector
Now 21% off
Best for the Olive Oil Lover
Giusto Sapore
Infused Olive Oil Gift Set
Best for the Massage Lover
Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
Now 42% off
Best for the Kitchen Ware Fan
Be Burgundy
Personalized Cutting Board
Best for the Photographer
Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
Now 15% off
Best for the Wine Lover
Wine Gift Card
Best for the Healthy Cooking Fan
Air Fryer
Best For The Hot Drink Lover
Temperature Control Smart Mug
Best For The Snack Lover
Harry & David
Sweet and Salty Gift Box
Why do you give gifts at Hanukkah?

Traditionally, gifts weren’t given at Hanukkah, but there has been a long tradition of giving gelt, aka coins, for the holiday, says Scheinerman.

The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C. when the Maccabees, led by Judah Maccabee, revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. After Judah Maccabee and the other Jews won the battle and rededicated the Second Temple, they witnessed what they believed to be a miracle, according to the Talmud. At this time, they started creating their own currency, which is one reason why coins are given at Hanukkah, Scheinerman says.

But in the 19th century, Jews started doling out gifts for Hanukkah because—yup, you guessed it—Christmas became more popular. “Hanukkah being the Jewish holiday in the winter followed suit and jumped on the commercialization train,” Scheinerman explains. “Marketers and retailers realized they could get people to buy Hanukkah gifts, too. And so all of that became part of a winter gift-giving tradition in America and most of the Western world.”

What should I look for in a Hanukkah gift?

Hanukkah can be a good time to get the Jewish people in your life a Jewish-related gift, but it’s not the end all be all, Scheinerman says. Just like for their birthday or other holidays, a personal gift that plays in to their interests is a great way to go.

“Honestly there are no rules,” she says. “There's there's no deep traditional kind of clinical gift giving. There's no requirement to give gifts on Hanukkah. But for people for whom it extends the joy of the holiday and they enjoy this part of the season, then that's great. But it should enrich the holiday experience.”

In Scheinerman’s experience, the gifts do tend to be on the smaller side, like a mug or pair of earrings, but it all depends on the person’s traditions.

How many gifts do you give?

You’ve probably heard of people giving eight gifts, one for each night of Hanukkah. If you have, don’t make an assumption that the Jewish people in your life give a gift on each day. “I think it comes out of a need to sort of compete with Christmas,” Scheinerman says.

Some families might start a tradition of giving smaller gifts at the menorah lighting for each night, but it really depends on the family. “That's one way to keep the joy going through the eight days,” she adds.

Some might opt for one larger gift to commemorate the week. Again, it really just depends on the person’s traditions and what they prefer. So if this is your first time celebrating Hanukkah, check in with the person you’re going to be with to see how they do things.

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