Hanukkah is less than 1 month away!
Hanukkah or Chanukah is December 3-11 this year. Traditions for Hanukkah include lighting a Menorah candle each night, eating foods cooked in oil, playing dreidel games and exchanging small gifts of Hanukkah gelt*. The tradition of gelt has changed over the years and now may include small gifts that may or may not be based in tradition.
I love tradition, and I love to put modern spins on tradition. As a cruelty-free advocate, there are ways to incorporate ethical, cruelty-free gift giving right alongside with traditional gift giving. In Hebrew, “Hanukkah” means “dedication” so, for those of you that are dedicated to living and gift-giving cruelty-free, it’s easy to put non-animal tested personal items on your list of gifts. Some of the suggestions below are very traditional while some add a modern twist on old traditions by incorporating some cruelty-free gifts.
Lets start with the most traditional Hanukkah gift. A candle lit for each day of The Jewish Festival of Lights. The Tree of Life Menorah is beautiful and comes in a nice gift box! This beautiful piece would be wonderful for that first home or the collector in your life.
“In the Book of Proverbs, the tree of life is associated with wisdom: “[Wisdom] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy [is every one] that retaineth her.” (Proverbs 3:13-18) In 15:4 the tree of life is associated with calmness: “A soothing tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a wound to the spirit.”**
Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil and it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes during the holiday time. A cruelty-free facial oil or an aromatherapy oil collection is a thoughtful alternative to gifting a bottle of olive oil.
Shop Squalane Facial Oil and more here: For anyone in your life that is concerned with keeping their skin looking its best. Improve the appearance of texture and tone, skin elasticity and cell turnover with this readily absorbed, 100% pure, cruelty-free, Olive derived Squalane. Non-pore clogging, this oil leaves the complexion soft, nourished and never greasy.
Shop Essential Oils and Aromatherapy at Camomile Beauty: The purest of oils, sustainably sourced and cruelty-free for your every aromatherapy desire. Use in diffusers or dilute properly for massage use.
Shop Kindri Organic Facial Oil: Developed by L.A. Esthetician Robin McDonald. Just a few cruelty-free drops required to beautify skin and hair. Smells beautiful!
A good scented candle can set the mood in any room. Candles should be free of phthalates and paraffin and consciously crafted with soy-coconut wax and a non-lead wick. Skylar Candles fit that bill and smell oh so good! Once the candles are done, wash out the container and you’ve got 4 classic glass tumblers. Skylar Body is a cruelty-free company.
Traditionally for Hanukkah, gelt (Yiddish for money), a small amount of money or chocolate coins were gifted to children. This has evolved into gold covered chocolate coins. For the teen or adult in your life, add this pretty gold compact to give a little glimmer of gold for the face. This powder highlighter gives the pretty shimmer of gold for the holiday parties and dinners. It’s subtle and not over-done. Winky Lux is a cruelty-free company.
Jerusalem: A cookbook. A very personal cookbook by the New York Times Bestselling Author of Plenty.
Mexican Train No, this is not a shot about the happenings south of the US border. It’s just a great game.
Yes, Dreidel is the traditional game played during Hanukkah but I’m assuming that every Jewish family has it already. My new favourite game is a spin on Dominoes. It involves planning, strategy and is suitable for all age groups. It’s fun and a great way to spend time with friends and family!
Kiddush Cups This is a beautiful traditional set with a fountain for those that are uncomfortable sharing a cup or goblet.
HYDY Tumblers. These are definitely not Kiddush Cups, they are an everyday metal tumbler that’s pretty fabulous and a nice gift. Designed for everyday use and can be for keeping hot beverages hot or cool cocktails cold. These don’t sweat and leave rings on your furniture. The HYDY Tumbler comes in 4 colours and a wonderful gift to receive. Shop the HYDY Tumbler Here from one of my favourite cruelty-free companies.
Dyson Supersonic: If you want a splurge gift, consider a Dyson Supersonic Hair dryer. They’re pricey but if getting hair done quickly without frying it is a priority this will be the new bestie. The new Dyson Air-wrap Styler is a huge hit as well. So much so that it sold out EVERYWHERE almost immediately. Keep your eyes peeled though, with the holidays coming it will surely be back in stock soon; check back with this link>>> Dyson Hair Dryers
Apple Watch: Another splurge, the Apple Watch. I can’t help it, I’m still fascinated by these. The price on them is reduced so hey, it’s a bargain right now! More Apple watches are here>>>>>Apple Watch
Gift for The Family
Amazon Echo: You’ve seen her advertised, Alexa, she’s there for you when you need her to change the music, turn up the heat or find a recipe. This is a must-have gift for the season!
Echo connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, and more—instantly. Find more Amazon Echo here>>>>Amazon Echo
Facebook Portal: This has been all over television ads lately, just in time for the holidays. What a cool way to be able to visually connect with loved ones from afar!
Facebook Portal moves with you, has Alexa built in and can connect with anyone if they have Faebook Messenger, they don’t even need to have a Portal on the other end! Here’s more info:
- Move and talk freely with Smart Camera: With Smart Camera, you don’t have to worry about being out of frame. Whether you’re moving around the kitchen, prepping dinner or chasing the kids through the living room, Smart Camera adjusts to follow the action. And as more people enter a room, Smart Camera automatically widens to keep everyone in view, so you don’t miss a moment.
- Private by design: Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Calls on Portal are encrypted, so conversations stay between you and those you’re calling. You can also completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, or block the camera lens with the camera cover provided.
- Connect with friends, even if they don’t have Portal: Easily call friends and family on Messenger — calls can be made seamlessly to and from smartphones and tablets. And you can bring up to six other people into a group call.
- Alexa built-in: Portal has Alexa built-in, so you can ask a question, set a timer, add items to your shopping list, control your smart home or more. Just ask.
- Product feature bullet point Experience more together: With Portal, story time will never be the same. With music, animation and augmented reality effects, Portal lets you become some of your children’s favorite characters as you read along to well-loved stories. And if friends or family also have Portal, you can listen to your favorite music together as if you were in the same room, without delays or feedback.5
- Stay close with Superframe: When you’re not in a call, Portal can display your Facebook photos and videos. You can also see when your closest contacts are available to connect, and get birthday reminders.
- Active Facebook account required for product use.
All the best to you and your family for Hanukkah!
The traditional Chanukah or Hanukkah gifts of books, Chocolate, cooking oils and Kiddush Cups doesn’t have to be done literally. As you’ve read, I have a spin on it that has incorporated the very traditional and ceremonial Menorah, Jewish cookbooks by award-winning chefs, modern electronics gadgets and most importantly for me, personal and home gift ideas from a few of my favourite cruelty-free companies. I hope you find something on this list that will appeal to your family or friends, I enjoyed putting it together for you. Wishing you the very best for the holiday season and I wish you a very Happy Hanukkah!