Is Chanukah really on our doorstep? You bet it is!! Time to get out the chanukiya (aka menorah). Stock up on candles and buy the potatoes and oil – and figure out who gets what this year.
In the market for a new chanukiya or need one for a gift? The Judaica Store has a wide variety in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from “designer” styles from Quest to those made of traditional brass, copper and silvertone. There are colorful kinetic ones from Israeli artists Yair Emanuel, Adi Sidler and Dabach – and one of a kind fused glass from American artists Tamara Baskin and Sarah Beames. Not to mention ones that are electric or battery-operated. Children may prefer more whimsical menorahs – trains, planes, ballet slippers and princess themes to mention but a few. Along with them add some Tzfat candles from Israel which are beautifully colored and are dripless.
For Grandma’s little loved one, how about a plush dreidel that plays music? Or a bib that proclaims “I Love You A Latke”? Or a plush menorah that you can “light” with plush candles.
For Dad or Grandpa, a festive tie, with subtle designs of dreidels or menorahs will brighten the Chanukah work week.
Chanukah in a Box comes complete with your very own Maccabee, story book and dreidel. Kippah Kantor hides and appears when a child does a mitzvah and comes in both boy and girl versions.
Dreidels, dreidels and more dreidels are always popular ranging from porcelain collectables, such as an acorn from Quest, aluminum from Adi Sidler, and fused glass, metal and silver, from a variety of artists. Adding to the fun are Emoji dreidels, as well as dreidels that jump, play music, light up, and are filled with gel.
For the littlest boy or girl, the adorable board book The Itsy Bitsy Dreidel by Jerry Burton and Chani Tarnow is a charming adaptation of the classic spider finger rhyme.
Speaking of books and children, there’s… The Missing Letters by Renee Londner. It tells the tale of missing Hebrew letter ‘gimel’ and how the dreidel came to be a symbol of Chanukah. Sammy Spider’s Colors of Hanukkah is another in the series of Same Spider board books. In Little Red Ruthie by Gloria Koster, the Big Bad Wolf is no match for Ruthie and Grandma – and is so stuffed with latkes that he cannot eat another thing!
For cooks and foodies: For kids, an interesting take on Chanukah food looks at Indian fare with Queen of The Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg. Among the many other cookbooks new on the shelf this year: Jewish Soul Food by Janna Parker, King Solomon’s Table by Joan Nathan, and The Modern Jewish Baker by Shannon Sarna.
A perfect addition to any coffee table: The Jewish Baseball Card Book by Bob Weshler, a lavishly illustrated book featuring Jewish players; and My Jerusalem by Gefen Publishing, which offers a stunning pictorial view of the Eternal City.
On the less literary front, for small fry and oldsters alike there are Chanukah socks decorated with dreidels and menorahs and fluffy slippers in blue and white.
For craft enthusiasts, there is a DIY Menorah kit, Make Your Own Beeswax Candles, and Glitter Foam Shape Decorations to assemble.
For gamesters, Climb and Slide – Chanukah Race To The Finish is a Jewish take on the classic game Chutes and Ladders; and Chanukah Checkers includes silver and blue “gelt” playing pieces.
Whatever the choices, may your homes be filled with warmth and your holiday be filled with light and joy!
Chag Urim Sameach from Rivka and Marla at The Judaica Store in West Hartford!