36 Hanukkah Gifts That Help Spread Love & Light

These Jewish-themed presents will add meaning to your family’s Hanukkah festivities.

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For many Jewish families, the Hanukkah holiday is filled with nostalgic sights, sounds, and smells — from candles burning and latkes frying, to children laughing and gifts being exchanged. Some families choose to make more grandiose presents a part of the festivities, while others stick to giving more modest tokens (like gelt, or chocolate coins) with traditional significance, as gift giving is a relatively new Hanukkah phenomenon. Either way, this year the Hanukkah holiday itself — with its eight nights of light — is exactly the gift that families need to help brighten this particular time of darkness for many Jews around the world.

The holiday, a commemoration of the ancient story of the Jewish Maccabees, who saved their Holy Temple in Jerusalem from destruction and desecration, is one that ends with the miracle of light. But it is one that thematically begins the way many Jewish stories, both past and present, do — with the Jewish people needing courage and resilience to combat hatred and antisemitism.

Hanukkah is not only a literal festival of lights and a reminder for children (and grown-ups!) to always be the light they want to see in others, but it is a much-needed opportunity for families and friends to pass along Jewish traditions through familiar scenes and make gift-giving (which focuses mostly on children) meaningful. This list — of Hanukkah-themed toys and attire, kits that encourage family playtime, symbolic items that promote Jewish values of togetherness and tzedakah, Jewish food, and more — will turn the possible oy vey of holiday gift-giving into a yay and serve as a reminder to always spread the joy of Judaism to our children.

A sweet look for baby’s first festive photo

This soft footie — adorned with a pattern of menorahs, dreidels, and Jewish stars — makes deciding what Baby will wear for that first Hanukkah photo a cinch. Not only is it 100 percent pima cotton (a material that makes the Kissy Kissy brand a cuddly newborn favorite), but it features easy-to-open snaps from head to foot, as well as mitten cuffs for the newborn and 0-3 months sizes.

To teach tots the ABCs of Hanukkah

When B starts to stand for bedtime, cozy up with your littles and introduce them to both the alphabet and corresponding Hanukkah-themed words throughout this ABC primer. Written and illustrated by Greg Paprocki, the board book features eye-catching drawings on each page, which are what prompted me to buy this book for my baby’s first Hanukkah when he was about 3 months old. (The suggested age for this book goes up to age 3, but even adults will appreciate details like R standing for a female rabbi.) Barnes and Noble also sells an exclusive edition for $12.74, complete with a punch-out, reusable menorah that older children can “light” each night of the holiday.

A plush Hanukkah playset — with self-storage!

Unzip this cheerful soft menorah to find four other soft holiday items — a dreidel, gelt, Star of David, and teddy bear — each perfect for sensory stimulation. Babies of all ages, but especially those 6 months and up, will delight in the surprise noises, as the toys squeak, rattle, jingle, and crinkle. Grown-ups will appreciate the developmental aspect of the playset. And your play area will thank you for the easy clean-up and storage — pieces are meant to be easily stowed away inside the plush menorah.

Matchy-matchy retro Jewish jammies

The late ’80s and ’90s are alive and well with these totally awesome splatter paint pajamas from Midrash Manicures. The bright two-piece cotton pajama set — also splattered with menorahs, dreidels, and Star of David symbols — is available in both childrens’ sizes (starting with a 2T) and adults up to XL. In order to avoid leaving Baby out of the festive matchy-matchy moment, also check out the site’s adorable dreidel onesie.

A menorah kids can “light” themselves

Children will feel very grown up “lighting” their very own flameless Hanukkah menorah. This fabric wall hanging features an embroidered hanukkiyah (which is what the special Hanukkah menorah with nine arms is technically called) and removable felt candles that can be correctly positioned in the arms each night. Although it is suggested for children ages 3 and up, it can serve as holiday decor for the whole family. (The candles can be stored neatly in a pocket on the back when not in use.)

For eight days (and more!) of play dough fun

Kiddos will look forward to rolling up their sleeves and digging into this Hanukkah-themed sensory kit from Young + Wild & Friedman, intended for children 3 and up. It comes with three jars of nontoxic dough, crunchy chocolate-scented gelt slime, a dreidel and Star of David stampers, and other items that encourage lots of Hanukkah-themed pretend play. Of course, between the dough that smells good enough to eat and the small pieces, like gems and crystals, grown-ups should keep an eye on their children during play time — and obviously join in on the fun!

Bear-y bright surprises for each night

This Build-a-Bear Hanukkah set is the gift that keeps on giving throughout each night of the holiday. It includes two mini plush friends and six mini clothing and accessory pieces for the stuffies — but, of course, half the fun is in finding which item awaits behind each of the box’s eight numbered doors. (Due to small parts, Build-a-Bear doesn’t recommend the set for children under 3.)

A first dreidel set with a helpful spin

No need to brush up on your dreidel game knowledge before gifting this set to your children! This solid wood Pottery Barn Kids keepsake has the playing instructions for each Hebrew letter written on each side of the four-sided spinning top. Complete with wooden coins to play and a velvet storage bag, this first dreidel keepsake (recommended for ages 3 and up) will have you and your littles playing the classic Hanukkah game like pros. A great miracle, indeed.

A bedtime book that make will make bubbe kvell

Gather the whole mishpacha (or family) for a reading of this sweet Goodnight Moon parody, written by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jill Weber. Sure it is meant for bubbulas (or sweet children) under 5, but every bubbe (or Jewish grandma) and zeyde (or Jewish grandpa) will smile (or kvell) at the Yiddish words endearingly woven throughout a bedtime filled with dreidels and dancing, bagels and kneidels (or matzah balls). Yes, there is a Yiddish to English glossary included, as well as an exclusive Ina Garten latke (or potato pancake) recipe to fill your home with Hanukkah love.

The perfect way to build a Jewish library

Simply sign up for PJ Library’s free subscription service and have your Jewish youngster receive an age-appropriate book in the mail each month. While some are holiday specific, others are stories that embody Jewish themes, values, and traditions. Sign up now to start receiving books in the new year — and in the meantime visit PJ Library’s Hanukkah hub for holiday resources and plenty of Hanukkah book suggestions for all ages, from baby to tween.

Magna-Tiles infused with Hanukkah magic

Add to your family’s Magna-Tiles collection with this 19-piece Hanukkah menorah set, recommended for ages 3 to 99 — and therefore perfect for a night of family fun. The double-sided tiles (adorned with a variety of holiday symbols) allow for plenty of construction and creativity, as they apparently can be flipped to reveal a new Hanukkah candle each night. All Magna-Tiles are compatible with other sets, so the possibilities are endless.

Tchotchkes to keep everyone busy

These silicone Dreidel Company poppers — available as a menorah-and-dreidel set or individually — are indeed the perfect tchotchke (or trinket) for the children (ages 3 and up) on your Hanukkah list. Sure they can be used to play games or create patterns — but they also might even come in handy for adults who need a holiday stress release.

A singing “Maccabot” to get the party started

A play on Hanukkah hero Judah Maccabee, this Rite Lite dancing Judah “Maccabot” Jr. is ready to light up and get down to popular Hanukkah holiday tunes, including “I Have a Little Dreidel.” (And, yes, there is clearly more than one way to spell Hanukkah … or Chanukah.) This robot is bound to be a kitschy, although wildly entertaining gift best suited for children ages 3 and up — but also appreciated by older kids and grown-ups who want to get into the holiday spirit.

Custom crayons for your budding artist

These custom-made crayon sets for children 4 and up include two Jewish symbol-shaped crayons and are personalized to spell out your child’s name. (Price actually depends on the number of letters, and therefore the number of crayons, in each box.) They’re crafted from new non-toxic crayons and perfect for fostering children's creativity — but the sets are presented so beautifully that it might be hard to actually break this gift out of the packaging.

A jewelry crafting kit with Hanukkah charm

Ready, set, sparkle with this Super Smalls Hanukkah bead kit that has all the fixings to make your young jewelry maker’s holiday shine. There are enough beads and charms to fashion either one necklace or two bracelets — all with lasting meaning. Charms include a Chai (the Hebrew word and visual symbol that means life), a Star of David, and a Hamsa (to symbolically offer protection, luck, and hope). Kids might want to keep their creations close to their hearts or gift to others to spread some Hanukkah spirit. (Of course, with its small parts, this kit is not intended for children under 4 — and even older ones, depending on the child, might need some grown-up help or supervision.)

A festive notebook fit for any Star Wars fan

Dreidel droids may be the Hanukkah imagery you never knew you needed, but this 8.5-inch by 8.5-inch Star Wars spiral notebook is the perfect Hanukkah gift for any Jedi (young or old). Not only is the cover material and color customizable (it is also available in a softcover version), but so are the inside pages — which can be blank, lined, or even filled with practice writing paper, making it suitable for writers age 4 and up.

Hanukkah dress-up for a favorite doll

This is the perfect way to outfit your little’s little (aka an 18-inch doll) in festive attire that’s sure to be a hit at any silly sweater party. The set, for children ages 6 and up to play with, includes an “I Love You a Latke” doll sweater, party invitation, make-believe Star of David sugar cookie, and matching doll-and-child menorah headbands. This pretend party is sure to be lit!

Building blocks for the LEGO-obsessed little

This 252-piece Build-a-Brick menorah set is sure to keep kids 6 and up occupied during at least one of the festive nights. Once the actual gray-toned menorah is completed, children can add a candle piece each night to mimic a real menorah. Plus, while the final product makes for a cool Hanukkah decoration, the set looks LEGO-like enough to blend in with other builds once the holiday is over.

Coloring pages you’ll want to share with the kids

Marni — the pattern designer behind the popular Instagram account and Etsy shop, Jewish Together — is the artist behind this Jewish holidays coloring book with more than 35 hand-drawn festive patterns, including ones for Hanukkah, and each on single-sided pages so the colors won’t bleed through. This activity book is perfect for both kids (younger children might be encouraged to hone their skills!), as well as adults wanting to add a pop of color to Jewish celebrations.

Beeswax candle-making fun

Help kids make menorah-lighting even more meaningful with this Rite Lite create-your-own-candle activity set. The kit includes enough brightly-colored beeswax sheets, cotton wicks, and step-by-step instructions to make all 44 of the candles you’ll need to light the menorah this year. It’s recommended as a fun activity for children ages 6 and up — but with adult supervision, as the candle wicks should be checked to make sure they are rolled tightly inside the beeswax.

An all-in-one Hanukkah kit for the whole mishpacha

Hanukkah boxes from Days United allow you to give your family a gift chock-full of holiday symbolism — without the added guesswork. The Rainbow of Hope box includes a colorful menorah-making activity, a design-your-own-dreidel kit, a set of vivid Hanukkah candles, and a celebratory guidebook to help give purpose to familiar traditions. Days United targets children ages 5 to 12 with its activities (although many are best when done in collaboration with grown-ups). Iit really can be fun for the whole family.

A Hanukkah twist on an old favorite

The classic game of Mad Libs gets the Hanukkah treatment, asking players to fill in the blanks with specific parts of speech to create some rather absurd stories. How funny the pages become depends on the players’ answers. And, yes, this is an activity book perfectly suited for your next Hanukkah gathering. Although Mad Libs are generally geared to children ages 8 and up, it is completely appropriate for younger children who are able to play.

A tote to remind tweens to help heal the world

This Tikkun Olam Tote Bag — designed by Rachel Mambach Art and available in three sizes — displays a joyful design with a whole lot of heart. Tikkun olam means heal the world, the chai symbol represents life, and 50 percent of the artist’s profits from this design go to the Anti-Defamation League, which works to combat hate, antisemitism, extremism, and bigotry. It’s a gift that gives back with a message that instills Jewish values that should shine all year long.

A menorah that adds a whimsical glow

Practical, pretty, and perfect for anyone with a playful spirit, this Jonathan Adler Elephant Menorah will be a talking point as family gathers around the pachyderm to say the Hanukkah prayers. An elephant never forgets — and that is a good reminder for Jews this Hanukkah as they remember the ancient story of Jewish pride and perseverance.

A cute way to keep candle mess at bay

Intended to collect the candle wax drip from the nightly Hanukkah lights, this 11.5-by-8-inch tempered glass tray by Arielle Ziegler features a cheerful menorah design. It’s a gift for anyone who’d want to artfully contain their holiday and entertaining messes — but it can also stand on its own as a delightful display piece.

A scent-sational Hanukkah gift for any host

If Jewish holidays are really best told through the senses, then this candle tells a savory and sweet tale through notes of warm apple, potato, pomegranate, pound cake, sugar, and more. Plus, this candle is said to be nontoxic and made from a natural soy wax blend.

Perfect for putting Hanukkah memories on display

This silver-plated Pottery Barn Kids frame adorned with a Jewish Star and space for personalization will send new parents scrolling through their camera rolls for the perfect 4-by-6 photo of their babies. What better way to carry on the love and light of the season than through our children’s smiles?

A beautiful way to encourage the whole family to give

Threaded throughout Judaism is the concept of tzedakah, which technically means “justice,” and is the Jewish obligation to give back. For many Jews that means embracing the notion of the shamash, or helper candle, and being the light they want to see in the world. For others it means dedicating the sixth night of the holiday to giving to those in need. Whatever your family’s tikkun olam traditions, Judaica artist Gary Rosenthal's stunning tzedakah box (used to collect money to give to charity) serves as a visual reminder for the whole family to try to make it a better and more just place.

A dreidel for the discerning Judaica collector

Handcrafted and hand painted by Israeli artist Orit Grader, this blue-toned brass mosaic dreidel is a work of art that will easily be passed from generation to generation. Both playable and pretty, this dreidel includes the traditional Hebrew letters that spell out “a great miracle happened there.”

An instant Hanukkah cookie upgrade

Dreidels and menorahs and stars, oh my! This set of three stainless steel, non-stick cookie cutters from The Dreidel Company will easily turn ordinary cookies into festive treats that add sweetness to the holiday and beyond. It’s a thoughtful token for everyone in the kitchen — from the holiday helper to the baking enthusiast.

For anyone with a sweet tooth

A tasting menu candy-lovers will certainly rave about, this Sugarfina set features eight tester packets of Kosher candy with one meant to be opened each night. From chocolate covered cookie dough to birthday cake cookie bites, it provides a nightly sweet treat that will still leave room for latkes.

A cookbook that keeps Jewish history alive

The act of surviving and then thriving is a theme that runs throughout Jewish history, and it is one that runs throughout this book — a collection of 110 Old World everyday and holiday recipes, along with accompanying stories from some of the last living survivors of Holocaust concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The book is a powerful preservation of traditions that were threatened by hate, and personal stories that might otherwise be lost to history. All proceeds from this book go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation and the work it does to remind humanity to say “never again.”

Nosh for each night of the holiday

Talk about food to feed the Jewish soul! This Jewish Star-shaped Harry & David Hanukkah gift basket creates the perfect Hanukkah gift spread for foodies. Containing cinnamon walnut rugelach, chocolate gelt, dried fruit, and more, this gift is kosher and meant to be eaten over the course of eight nights.

A puzzle for the whole family to complete — and kvetch about

Take a break from those eight crazy nights with this 500-piece puzzle based on Tablet magazine’s book, 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List. The end result is a round giant table of Jewish food that serves as a delectable primer and window into Jewish culture. As the title of the book indicates, it is sure to stir up some tasty controversy.

An oil and vinegar set for every kitchen

The idea of oil (the little bit that miraculously lasted to keep the Holy Temple aglow for eight nights) is central to the Hanukkah holiday and celebrated by lighting the candles and eating foods fried in oil. So why not give a gift that gets right to the symbolic source? O’Live A Little’s three-bottle Happy Hanukkah gift set includes the artisanal brand’s Italian Herb Extra Virgin Oil Olive, Traditional Dark Balsamic Vinegar, and Traditional White Balsamic Vinegar.

A grown-up gift that blends comfort and joy

This caffeine-free tea set is a gift to help any host (or parent harried by the chaos of the season) unwind after each night of Hanukkah hoopla. The five teas range from classics, like Earl Grey, to Latke Love Tea, which is steeped in notes of warm cinnamon and semi-sweet apple. Cheers to that — and to filling this year’s Hanukkah holiday with love, light, and meaningful family moments.