Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Hanukkah Gifts

Hanukkah, the Festival of Light, which began at sundown Wednesday, December 1, 2010 is celebrated in Jewish households for eight nights, and provides plenty of opportunity for candle lighting, dreidel spinning, latke making (making potato pancakes), gift-giving, gelt- getting (gifts of money), music making and story telling.

Some of the best Hanukkah presents are classic entertainment items, many are geared toward the four to eight year old range, but when shared in a family’s home setting, these gems are sure to delight all ages.

Favorites that have stood the test of time, and that will probably be around for many more years to engage, inspire and entertain are the picks that are listed below.

Please remember, best pricing at the time of this post has been provided for your convenience, but it is always a good idea to cross compare with your favorite online as well as stick-and brick-retailers.

As always, you are the final authority in selecting appropriate items for your child’s entertainment.

First, we start with books. The items that are listed below were published during the early 1990’s but have remained in print because of their delightful ability to transcend generations, and all are available through favorite booksellers as well as most local libraries.

Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story by Fran Manushkin and Robin Spowart

A gentle tale about a peasant family, whose potato crop was buried in a blinding early snowstorm and their apple harvest, meager at best – left them with nothing to eat for the Hanukkah holiday. Despite their poverty, they invite a stray cat and dog into their household for shelter and care from the cruel winter storm, and are blessed with a miracle of sorts on the eighth day of Hanukkah. With beautifully illustrated chalk drawings, the book also includes an explanation of the holiday, directions for playing dreidel and a wonderful recipe for latkes.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (October 1, 1992)
Best price available is at Amazon Marketplace for a new paperback is $1.75

The Chanukah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel and Giora Carmi 

A totally silly story about 97-year old “Bubba” (Grandmother) Brayna, who each year during Hanukkah, makes the best latkes in the village, but this year, because she is very hard of hearing and almost blind, mistakes a hungry bear for her invited guest (the Rabbi), and feeds him all her latkes.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (September 1992)
Best price for paperback is at Amazon Marketplace for .59 cents

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman

Worse than the “Grinch,” a number of holiday-hating hobgoblins (each a nasty prankster) set out to ruin Hanukkah for an entire village, but “Hershel of Ostropol” outwits them all. Trina Schart’s Caldecott Award-winning illustrations are the perfect match to Kimmel’s cleverly told story.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: Holiday House (September 1994)
Best price available at Barnes and Noble online for $6.25

Now, for top recommended DVDs -

Lights: The Miracle Of Chanukah 

This 24-minute animated short explains the history behind the celebration of Chanukah, which also includes a special section about the Hebrew alphabet. A wonderful introduction of the holiday for children and features the voice over talents of Paul Michael Glaser, Judd Hirsch and Leonard Nimoy.
Presented in color, Dolby sound and full screen DVD format.
Best price at Amazon Marketplace $14.99

Lambchop's Chanukah and Passover Surprise 

"Lamb Chop," "Charlie Horse," "Hush Puppy" and of course the beloved and late Shari Lewis tell you everything you need to know about the two Jewish holidays of Chanukah and Passover. This charming, G-Rated, 128 minute DVD also features guest appearances by Dom DeLuise, Robert Guillaume and Alan Thicke.
Best price from for $14.59

Finally, here’s the perfect audio choice to ring in the holiday -

Chanukah Fever

"Mama Doni,” also known in real life as Doni Zasloff Thomas, an attractive and energetic 21st century, New Jersey-based Jewish mother and preschool-teacher-turned-entertainer, captivates kids and families with her fun-loving renditions of Chanukah songs.

Winners of the Simcha Award at the 2008 International Jewish Music Festival, Amsterdam, Mama Doni Band serves up a wide range of musical styles from reggae to rock with blends of Klezmer and even disco along with a few other genres mixed in.

Clever lyrics abound along with a bit of wacky shtick to celebrate not only the holiday but a beloved heritage.

You can preview all 14 tracks of Chanukah Fever at CD Baby where the CD format is available for $15.00, or the option for an MP3 album download for $9.99 or .99 cents per track.

An MP 3 download is also available through itunes with identical download pricing.

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the following: A video interpretation of “The Funky Gold Menorah” from Chanukah Fever by The Mama Doni Band. Enjoy!

To view other installments of the Holiday Gift Guide 2010, please click on the following:

No comments:

Post a Comment