Written by Magdalena Antuña in collaboration with Elizabeth Stilwell.
Every holiday season, I visit the lone Hanukkah display at Target. I don’t shop, I visit. I pine over the 'Oy Vey' aprons and wasteful, jelly window stickers. I hover until my spouse calls my name, trailing off into another aisle. Target knows that the modern Jew has at least a little “fear of missing out.” We want our own glitzy, holiday kitsch.
Now, this statement, my rabbi might chide because Hanukkah is not a holiday for gift-giving, wrapping paper, and materialism. The only thing we have given each other, historically, is gelt (chocolate coins). Through this loophole was born an industry and a tradition of giving Jewish kids small gifts to rival serious Christmas FOMO.
So, every year I skirt the line of celebrating the holiday as it was intended and giving into my inner Fran and kvetching—I want a gift guide too, damn it! So, here is my compromise: a list of practical, beautiful, conscious items that you can use to celebrate the miracle, your loved ones, and yourself.
We have a bevy of menorahs for you to choose from. The traveling variety, possibly, being my favorite. Each year, my spouse and I trade off holidays: Thanksgiving with one side, Chrismukkah with the other. On years in which Christmas and Hanukkah coincide, this is a lifesaver. There’s an entire outfit for your favorite gossip, complete with evil eye pin and ‘oy vey’ earrings. Pro-tip: If you don’t know one, it is you—you’re the yenta. In the spirit of this festive conundrum, you can give your favorite tyke a gift that screams “I’m the Jewish kid!” for them. You can even send your best cousin a ‘Top of the Latke’ care package or gold-brushed gelt.
Head over to Selva Beat to see what Magdalena chose as gifts to treat her own Christmas FOMO.
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