Chanukah is actually a less significant religious celebration in Jewish terms than Christmas is to Christians, but in recent years Chanukah gift giving has risen in popularity because of where the holiday falls in the month of December. If you plan to treat a Jewish friend or family member this season, consider these delightful foodie and host/hostess gifts that even your Bubbe would approve of.
1. Sukkah Hill Etrog Liqueur
What started out as a delicious drink for friends—made by taking a handful of holiday etrogim and turning it into a liqueur for fun—developed into a full-fledged business for the founders of Sukkah Hill. The result was fantastic. This tasty liqueur is lightly sweet, fruity, floral and aromatic. Bottled at 76 proof, Etrog is excellent chilled, over ice or as a base for bright strong cocktails. All Sukkah Hill spirits are made from natural, premium ingredients. Their liqueurs are kosher and gluten free with no preservatives, additives, stabilizers, artificial colors or artificial flavors.
2. Oy Vey Flask
Eight days of merriment can sometimes be too much—even for people with “normal” families. For those less equipped to tackle holiday cheer, this etched Oy Vey pewter flask the Jewish Museum of NYC is the perfect gift solution.
3. Mouth.com’s Eight Nights of Hanukkah
When in doubt, it’s always a safe bet to gift something traditional. Shed some syrupy light on your foodie pals with this tasty collection of sweet treats for noshing—including chocolate gelt, dipped macaroons, milk chocolate menorah pops, and more.
4. Challah Menorah
To celebrate Chanukah, Eli Zabar has twisted together this festive menorah-shaped challah. Shipped within hours of baking and made fresh to order, this bread keeps well in the fridge and freezes beautifully. It’s a showstopper—even making the cut on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2015 list.
5. Linda’s Gourmet Latkes
With flavors ranging from traditional to curry, artichoke or zucchini, there’s a latke for everyone to love at Linda’s. They come out of the oven tasting tender and crispy, and, dare we say, maybe even better than homemade. But Linda’s doesn’t stop there. They also offer up gourmet accompaniments such as applesauce, caviar and smoked salmon. Whether you send them to relatives or heat and serve them at your own Chanukah celebration, these latkes will help take the fuss out of the holiday.
6. (Better than) Bubbe’s Baked Goods Gift Box
There’s no longer a need to kvetch about the lack of tasty delicacies to send and receive. Stuffed with hamentaschen, olive oil cake, rugelach and a dozen homemade macaroons, this Jewish bakery in a box is equipped with enough offerings from the revered Michigan specialty foods shop Zingerman’s to serve ten hungry souls for breakfast, lunch or midnight snacks.
7. Sprinkles Festival of Lights Cupcake Assortment
If you’re skipping the gelt this year, then why not splurge and send a Sprinkles Chanukah cupcake box instead? They’ll be too full to dance the hora as they nosh away on this mix of red velvet, dark chocolate and vanilla cupcakes adorned with blue Star of David sugar decorations. Each box comes presentation ready for gifting, sealed with a Star of David sticker.
8. Handmade Goods from Etsy.com
Let’s face it, Etsy features some bizarre Chanukah gifts—but you can find some jewels, like these adorable latke stud earrings from Neat Eats. These miniature potato pancake earrings feature tiny helpings of sour cream and herbs and applesauce. Donning this pair will make it easy to schmooze at holiday functions this season.
Delightfully sarcastic, personalized kitchen towels from Psychobaby are the perfect hostess gift for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. Printed with your family name, Hanukkah and the tagline “bringing out the best in family dysfunction,” this gift is sure to put a smile on the faces of everyone—even those in your tribe with the most serious of dispositions.
9. Bathing Essentials from Lush
Lush has wrapped up three fantastic treats in gorgeous blue and white wrap to celebrate the miracle of oil this holiday season. The gift box olive branch shower gel (made with fair trade olive oil and fresh mandarin juice), celebrate body lotion (fueled with almond oil and cocoa butter to keep dry winter skin at bay) and a gift of gold—a sweetly scented bar of fun that is both soap-able and shampoo-able.
10. Ceramic Dachshund Menorah
Does anyone really need a ceramic dachshund menorah Well, no. But this is the perfect gift for the observant pet lover, or those who wish to spend a little more. Unexpected and original, it makes for a fantastic gift with tail wagging bravado.
Emily Davidson Nemoy is a freelance writer based in Nashville, TN. When she’s not at her computer or on her yoga mat, she can be found at live music venues happily spending her excess cash on concert tickets.