Today is the second day of Hanukkah, Happy Hanukkah to all the people around the world who celebrate Hanukkah. Thousands of years ago it was gelt that was given to children as part of Hanukkah. These days it is not only children who receive gifts but adults as well.
“As per the Talmud, Hanukkah gelt reminds people to light at least one candle per night during the festival. The widespread gelt tradition made it possible for the poor to get enough money to burn their candles during Hanukkah. There are symbolic associations with the gelt-giving tradition followed on Hanukkah. The coin given as gelt stands for freedom of the Jews from the Syrian rule. After the historic victory of Jews, they were able to get the right to print their own coins and money. The gelt reminds people of this freedom. The money also serves as the reminder to the people to share with people in need and indulge in acts of charity.
The only tradition of gift giving associated with the festival is the exchange of gelt. Since Hanukkah falls on the same time as Christmas, the Jews expanded the gelt-giving tradition to gift giving tradition. With time, the gift giving tradition on Hanukkah became very popular. Gifts serve both for the traditional aspect and the fun part. The gift-giving tradition is no longer restricted to children. Adults too participate in it whole-heartedly. This tradition brings people close to each other and enables them to spend precious moments with each other.”
Since gift giving is such a huge part of Christmas and Hanukkah these days, I would like to propose to all of you, that in your efforts to give gifts to each other you really try very hard to give a gift from the heart. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas this time of year, whether you are giving to a child or an adult; for goodness sake, take the time to make it a well thought out gift. Get organized, make a list of everyone you would like to give a gift to. As you are compiling the list think of each individual and what their likes and interests are. Whenever possible folks, give money or a gift card only as a last resort.
This is a very special time of year, whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, people are giving gifts this week, why not this year make those gifts from the heart? Here are some suggestions of gifts you can give. This is difficult so you have to sit and think about the individual you are giving to. Which is why it is so special when you give from the heart. The person that receives that gift understands that a lot of thought went into it.
- Why not offer to babysit your friends’ children for the weekend so they can go away?
- Chocolate lovers, in a basket place various types of good quality dark chocolate.
- Coffee lovers, in a basket place various bags of high quality coffee beans and perhaps a coffee grinder.
- For the snackers in your life, make a huge bowl of trail mix (nuts, dark chocolate, dried fruit, unsweetened coconut and seeds). Place it into cute plastic bags and tie ribbons around.
- For the cook, how about a basket containing a cookbook, cooking utensils, extra virgin olive oil and some great spices.
- For the man who likes to grill, why not a chef’s jacket to protect his clothing and large grilling utensils?
- For your child, this works for any age, give them a card with a weekly appointment for just the two of you. Make it a lunch date or a play date (this is great for you workaholics out there).
In an effort to refrain from a blog entirely way too long to read, I will simply say think about who you are giving a gift to, think about the talents you may have. Consider making home made gifts, offering to iron or sew with a friend, offer to help decorate if that is your forte, home made jams and jellies, home made marinades, home made salad dressings. In closing, do not give a gift just to give a gift. Give a gift with love and caring and it will truly put a smile on the recipient’s face.