Family Time: A Holiday Gift Guide

By Lana Gersten

Published December 11, 2008, issue of December 19, 2008.
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This year, Christmas falls right in the middle of Hanukkah, which means that for the duration of the holiday, most kids will be free from school, eating latkes and jelly donuts. With more time to spend with relatives, here are three Hanukkah gift ideas that the whole family can enjoy.


For kids who can’t get enough of arts and crafts, Rivky Koenig’s “Crafting Jewish: Fun Holiday Crafts and Party Ideas for the Whole Family” (Mesorah Publications, $29.99) is an ideal choice. The book features innovative art projects for children and adults, as well as simple holiday food recipes. In easy-to-follow instructions, aspiring artists can make clay dreidel charm jewelry, glowing glass menorahs, challah covers and Lucite mezuzahs.


Get the kids in the kitchen with “Jewish Holiday Cooking: Festive Meals for Celebrating the Years” (DK Publishing, $19.99), by Jill Colella Bloomfield. Perfect for the novice cook, this tome provides easy holiday recipes and includes information on why certain foods are important to Jewish culture. If you’re looking for an activity to do with your child, or simply looking for a painless turkey kreplach recipe, this is a great gift.


Israeli artist Laura Cowan has created two new space-age Hanukkah gifts: the Smart and Saturn dreidels. For those who can never remember how to play the game, the Smart Dreidel ($80) is a brilliant option — the disk and cone design features the rules, written in colorful print, on the top of the toy. The Saturn Dreidel ($160) will appeal to those with minimalist sensibilities, its sleek form inspired by the rings of the planet for which it’s named. Both are made from anodized aluminum and available at www.lauracowan.com.


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