Yikes. Selecting a perfect present for one special night is difficult, but compound that with another week’s worth of gift giving, and that’s a daunting task capable of turning even the most happy Hanukkah hostess into a real – err — Grinch.
That’s the upcoming dilemma facing the nation’s Jewish population with Hanukkah in late November. This year’s Festival of Lights — eight family-, fun-and-gift-filled nights commemorating the rededication of rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians – takes place far earlier than usual, November 27 – December 5, so there is no time to procrastinate. To ease the burden (or the tryptophan-induced exhaustion many people will be experiencing due to the once in a lifetime phenomenon of Thanksgivukkah), take a peek at some amusing gifts Hanukkah Harry many be giving this year:
1. Menorah Blahnik Hanukkah cards ($16) — Wish the fashion maven a happy Hanukkah – and save her from the agony of actually wearing these heels — with this illustrated pack of six Menorah Blahnik cards.
2 Heroes of the Torah glassware set ($26) – Celebrate life while you drink your favorite drink in these Heroes of the Torah glasses. Each set contains a four glass cups decorated with the punims of four famous rabbis. Perfect for juice, soda, water, and maybe something a little bit stronger to make those holiday gatherings go down a little easier.
3. Sammy Davis Jr. Mensch T-shirt ($24.95) — Plain White T’s are soooo 2006. This super-soft khaki tee pays tribute to the most famous Rat Pack member of the tribe: Sammy Davis Jr. This shirt will make anyone feel as hip and snazzy as Mr. Bojangles himself.
4. Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah by Jeremy Cowan ($25) — Don’t be mislead by the becoming-a-man title. This book’s subtitle is “How It Took 13 Years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to Make Shmaltz Brewing Company an International Success.” Your favorite beer drinker will race through this humorous memoir by Jeremy Cowan, founder of the company behind He’Brew craft beer and creator of the infamous DIY beer menorah kit!
4. Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival All-Access Film Pass ($100) – Is somebody your “Best Boy” or perhaps your “Key Grip”? Maybe there’s even an “Executive Producer” in your life? Reward that special someone with an all-access festival pass to the upcoming Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, celebrating its 18th year from Feb 9-23, 2014.
5. Nice Jewish Guys 2014 Calendar ($15) — Hotter than a challah straight outta the oven, this calendar features 12 months of delectable guys in photos tame enough to show your bubbe. Who cares about iCalendar when you can have a super sweet Jewish guy posing with puppies staring at you for 30 days straight?
6. Geltfiend Hanukkah Sweaters & Cardigans ($30 – $68) – Many a Jew knows not what to do if invited to an “ugly sweater” party? The simple solution is to don one of these hand-crafted sweaters or cardies bearing images of Hasidic snowmen, menorahs, dreidels, and even kosher kitty cats. With cheekily named styles like the Catskills, Borough Park and Geltdigger, trying to look bad has never ended up looking so good. Now available in kid sizes and bowties!
7. The Matzah Baller (7.20) – Everyone needs a gift closet or drawer filled with inexpensive pre-wrapped tchotchkes ready to give in case someone swings by mid-candle lighting? This steel utensil will produce perfect matzah balls every time and with none of the sticky hands kitchen cooks have experienced in the past. Who’s up for some matzah ball soup?
8. Yamaclaus ($12.95) – Got an interfaith family member with a serious sense of humor? Get him a yamaclaus, a fun, tongue-in-cheek, one-size-fits-all holiday fashion accessory designed to blend the Santa hat and traditional yarmulke headcap into.