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A Hanukkah That’s Not About Presents

Does anyone else feel like Hanukkah has turned into eight nights of gimmes instead of eight nights of celebrating Hanukkah? Here is my best advice for creating a Hanukkah that’s not about presents.

What is the purpose of Hanukkah?

Sometimes to get back to the real meaning of things, you need to take things down to their roots. Hanukkah is a celebration of the Jewish people’s resilience in the face of oppression. It’s a reminder that just when we thing there isn’t hope, miracles can happen. Also, just like all Jewish holidays it’s a way to connect to our ancestors and the rest of the Jewish community. I love thinking of the holiday as a chance to feel pride in who we are and pass down traditions that have been passed down to me.

Letting go of the “8 nights of gifts” habit.

The tradition of giving eight gifts for eight nights is something that has gained popularity alongside the commercialization of Christmas. The problem is that if every night is about presents, then they’re not about the other holiday traditions. This is not going to be an easy habit to break. I recommend planning ahead and designating other nights to have other things they can look forward too.

Hanukkah Nights Schedule Printable

Kids love a schedule. This printable will give them plenty of time to get excited about everything that’s coming up and give you a chance to get all of the supplies you need. Check out my suggestions below for all the ideas of activities to fill your eight nights.

I love planning a dreidel night and a Hanukkah artwork night towards the beginning of the holiday. Then my kids will have had a refresher on the game and can play all of the following days. The art they make will hang on our walls for the whole time too. Leave some of their favorites for the end. Eight nights is a long holiday and can wear out. Give them something to anticipate.

Hanukkah Night Celebration Ideas


Special Dinner

Family Activity

Other Jewish holiday posts that might interest you:

What is Hanukkah?, Hanukkah TV Episodes for Kids 2020, Hanukkah Pajamas 2020




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