Now that this year’s Hanukkah celebration is a lovely memory, it’s time to pack away the menorahs and munch on leftover chocolate gelt or turn it into spiced hot cocoa.
How about giving yourself some treats that will enrich you in 2018?
Here are some suggestions from some of my favorite Jewish creatives.
The amazing Amy Kritzer, creator of WhatJewWannaEat.com, wrote this book to give us updated ways to look at classic recipes. If you love to bake, your family will be so happy you got this for yourself!
Recipes include Chocolate Halva Hamentaschen, Apricot Fig Stuffed Challah, Tex Mex Rugelach, Honey Pomegranate Whiskey Cake, and Manischewitz Ice Cream with Brown Butter Charoset and Manischewitz Caramel! Available in hardcover and on Kindle. (If you’re not already getting her posts, go to her website to sign up. Early in her blogging days, she wrote that glitter is her favorite color. Right then, I knew she was a kindred spirit!)
I met Sarah Resnick, founder of Advah Designs, at the URJ Biennial a few years ago. Multiple times, I rounded the corner where her exhibit was and looked longingly at the gorgeous tallitot. Then I gave myself the pleasure of trying on a few, hard-pressed to make a choice. Could I splurge on this for myself? Finally, I did. And I am so glad!
Not only have I loved having this beautifully silky garment wrapping me up during services, but I had occasion, this past Simchat Torah, to put it around the shoulders of a college student who joined us for services and needed a tallit so she could carry a Torah. What a pleasure to wear – and even more to share.
Not in need of a tallit? I bought one of her art prints as a wedding gift – gorgeous. And Sarah personalized it with the name of the bride and groom and date.
In the past few years, I’ve treated our family to a tzedakah box and two menorahs by Judaica artist Yair Emanuel. Working from his studio in Jerusalem, he designs a host of items based (according to his website) on “a fusion of traditional motifs and ancient Jewish manuscripts with modern and oriental art.” Ah, now I understand more why I love his work!
He creates Shabbat candlesticks, challah covers, Kiddush sets, Hamsas, Havdalah sets, and much, much more.
I took a look at the tab called “New Products” and discovered a more streamlined aesthetic in Kiddush cups made from hammered nickel. This new look appeals to me tremendously. Then I explored his other menorahs – many of which are metal, sleek and joyful, like this Spiral Hanukkah Menorah. I don’t *need* it, but it is a beautiful piece of art! And really, we don’t have enough kiddush cups. And I definitely could use these candlesticks made of stainless steel with figures of pomegranates, so that we can share Shabbat candle-lighting. (Ask me in January whether I splurged on them!)
I hope you splurge on something that builds your Judaica collection and enhances the experience of celebration in your family!
Hanukkah Shopping – Jewish Games Bundle
In this unique three-game bundle, you get activities for three major Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Passover. All are great teaching tools for up to 5 players. Makes a perfect gift. Each game comes in a translucent envelope, making the games easy to ship, easy to store.
Or get a Hanukkah Family Fun Kit – the perfect Hanukkah gift to tuck away for next year – now at a discount price of just $29.99.
Here’s what one customer said:
I bought this as a Hanukkah gift for my best friend, who is on the path to conversion. After 10 years of gift exchanges, it was the first time I received an immediate and exuberant phone call. “This is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received,” she gushed. She said the kit was high quality and provided a fun framework for her to build tradition and celebrate the holiday with her 2-yr-old daughter.
The Hanukkah Family Fun Kit is a great way to build and reinforce family traditions that all ages can participate in, understand and enjoy. If you’re one of those thoughtful gift-givers who tries to give the best gift possible, I highly recommend gifting this to your Jewish loved ones. It might even earn kudos as the “best gift ever.”
In the mood to look at more beautiful things? Check out our Jewish Art & Illustration Pinterest board.