Please Chime In ~ Chanukah / Hanukkah Gift Giving Poll

Our sukkah isn’t even down yet, but the questions about Chanukah have already started coming:

What’s a reasonable budget for Chanukah gifts for my children?

What are some of the best buys for Chanukah presents this year?

Will you post more about Chanukah gift-buying this year?

(Will you post less about Chanukah gift-buying this year?)

Whether you spend a little or a lot, give gelt or gifts (or nothing at all), I’d love to hear about your family’s Hanukkah present customs.

Please answer this Chanukah Gift Giving poll, and then leave your comments below – I can’t wait to hear from you.

I realize that for some of you, gift-giving on Chanukah can be one of those “touchy subjects”. Ultimately, there is no right or awrong answer – as long as your choices are consistent with your values and your finances.

For more on how we “do” Chanukah gifts, here are some posts from years past:

Chanukah Gift Poll


  1. Recently saw a rhyme on Pinterest that I thought would help with gift-giving (and also reminded me of my own mother’s philosophy with regard to Hanukkah gift giving): “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read”.

  2. We do give gifts to our kids, and to a few friends’ kids. I try to keep the focus off the presents, and I think it will work better as the kids get older: no presents until after the candles burn down, one night is only for giving away presents to those in need, one night is family party night etc.

  3. I cant think about Chanukah yet. We have 2 birthdays and 2 chassidishe yomim tovim before chanukah arrives. Although donuts sound yummy right about now.

  4. We give gifts until our kiddos can understand the value of gelt.

  5. I don’t like to make Chanukah seem too much like the Jewish Xmas: I’ve seen how crazy people go spending insane amounts of money for that. So I’m not big on gift-giving – maybe a couple of things to the immediate family only. I figure that once my kids are older, I’ll start giving them gift cards of some sort instead of actual presents, which is more like gelt than Xmas presents. And we’ll make a big deal of latkes and sufganiyot!

  6. I strongly believe it depends on where a family lives. If there is a large Jewish community and/or the kids attend Day School, then I wouldn’t go big on gifts. Howver, I have always lived in a smallish Jewish community. I know that if I had not had a lot of fun with 8 nights of gifts growing up in south Texas (Bible Belt!) I would have felt resentful and deprived. Now that I am a mom,
    I decorate the house lavishly (but inexpensively) with Hannukah themed stuff, have great fun selecting presents for my small family. We also take one evening and go shopping together for our temple’s program of supplying children’s Christmas gifts needed by a local social service agency. (We have no program for local Jewish children as the need is not there.)


    • Kathy, I can so relate! I grew up in rural Georgia and the Bible Belt part of Florida. Now we’re in Virginia and they celebrate Christmas in the public schools. Not “winter holidays” – Christmas. Full-sized decorated trees in the entrance and an assembly where Santa comes. The teachers are really great about making sure there’s Hanukkah stuff and swapping out the arts and crafts for my daughter. But…

      We do presents and our shul has a latke dinner. My little ones go to the Chabad preschool and they have an ice skating party every year. It goes a long way in helping the kids not feel down about being left out of the happiest, best thing ever that surrounds relentlessly for 2 months.

  7. We do gifts as a family. Each of our children is responsible for giving small gifts for one night. They usually receive gifts one night from their grandparents. We as their parents give gifts one night. There may not be gifts every night, but we try to do something as a family.

  8. Zachary got that Menorah toy last year!

  9. My budget is almost all for buying gifts for my 4 nieces and 5 nephews. Does anyone else have a lot of nieces and nephews that they buy for? My own kids get enough gifts from their grandparents and aunts and uncles that I hardly buy them anything. I have a sock night every year for everyone in the family. The kids also buy gifts for each other with their allowance money from the dollar store (this is usually their favorite night).

  10. We tried NOT giving gifts and it never worked 😉 Grandparents and aunts and uncles love to give gifts. And so do we. We do a lot of other stuff on Chanukah – special dinners, parties, divrei torah, stories, etc. – that although the kids are excited about presents, they realize on their own that it’s not the main thing. They get gifts maybe 3 – 4 nights.

  11. We do a small gift each night (a book, or small toy under $5) and one larger gift. We host a Hanukkah party for extended family and all the adults buy for the kids. We try to tell them to keep it simple, but they always go overboard.

  12. Those who posted about the budget rising as children get older are so right. But here’s a thought that might help for one night at least – Magazine subscriptions! and a bunch of other sites often have $5 subscriptions and Recyclebank has them free ! Also, we stopped the present a night in favor of one big gift and small ones for a couple nights such as small gift cards.

  13. Honestly, I shop all year long taking advantage of sales and deals. Many of the freebies and other things you post end up as gifts for my little ones. We try to have one nice present and several small ones. We also give to close relatives only.

  14. My friend K. celebrates Hanukkah and her tradition is to give the children money with a theme each year – collectible money. For example, a two dollar bill, or a bill printed in their birth year, or Sacajawea coins or state quarters of states they’ve visited. She has a great time thinking of new themes and her children enjoy the new surprise each year. The children usually add the money to their “coin” collection, but are able to spend it if they want or ever need to.
    I was so interested in her tradition that I made her personalized gift envelopes to use this year. See they here:

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