HOW DO YOU MAKE CHANUKAH LESS MATERIALISTIC IN YOUR FAMILY?
We don’t buy the children gifts. This is not what the chag is about. We focus on repeating the story of Chanukah by the candlelight, and we also talk about other momentous times in Jewish history. We do simple and fun activities like spinning dreidels and making latkes together. – Mindy S.
We have a custom of buying small gifts like stuffed animals and distributing them to children in local hospitals. We also try to go to nursing homes and give out donuts and sing songs to the seniors. Acts like these puts everything in perspective. – Anonymous
I do give my kids a gift for each of the eight days of Chanukah. This gets them excited for menorah lighting. There is nothing wrong with giving gifts. – Tanya G.
We come up with new traditions every year. Last year we invented a game called crashing dreidels where we all sit on the floor, spin 40 or so dreidels at once, and see who can crash the most dreidels and with the most intensity. It was a blast! Other years we made up new Chanukah songs, made our own menorohs, or decorated the outside of our house. – Eliezer Feldman
Every year I try to make the holiday more spiritual and less mundane, but it never works as the kids only seem to care about what gifts they will be getting. If we don’t give in, then we get a whole speech about what cool toys the rest of their classmates got while they got nothing. – Zeesy M.
We do give gifts, but the deal is everyone has to buy a gift for someone else in the family. This makes it more about what am I giving than what I am getting. – Rivka Adler
I think it helps when the gifts themselves are not materialistic. We give our children only Judaic gifts for Chanukah. The boys all get a new sefer or kiddush cup and my girls will get a Jewish music CD or a kosher cookbook. K.L
What we do in our family is instead of focusing on gifts for everyone, we pool all our Chanukah gelt together and do a family experience. Last year, we all went to an escape room and this year we plan on going out to a nice restaurant and inviting the grandparents and cousins to join us. Gottesman Family