Listeners call in to share their own gift-giving strategies for the eight-night celebration.
Mikhael from Brooklyn - Interesting point. As a practicing Catholic - I'm annoyed at all the gifts at Xmas. First of all - Christians should be celebrating Advent for most of December. Xmas and apparently Hanukkah, has been secularized and too focused on materialism.
The gift of the truth tops all: teach children to give up Bronze Age fairy tales that encourage intolerance and pathological narcissism.
When my 2 boys were small (say, 10 years and younger, I gave them gifts every night they were with me over Chanukah (which wasn't too often as I am divorced from their mother), but the gifts were ALWAYS very modest things, puzzles or knick-knacks.
most of us and probably most of your listeners do not need more "stuff." as an alternative to putting more "stuff" in our homes, how about donating to those less fortunate.
Doctors Without Borders, Heifer Project, etc...
I usually got socks or underwear, if I got anything!
One year I got a Star Wars action figure (R2Dt, I believe it was).
That was the most extravagant Hanukka gift I ever got, and only because I whined so much about the socks!
Brian just rhetorically asked:
"What's your gift-giving strategy for a holiday that calls for 8 nights of presents?"
Hannuka DOESN'T call for 8 nights of presents, it doesn't even call for one night of presents.
The only requirement for Hanukka is that you light the Hanukkia every night (aka the Hanukka menorah) in the proper manner with the appropriate blessings and add the requisite additional prayers to the morning, afternoon and evening prayers.
The whole gift-giving aspect is a result of an ironic and lamentable equivalency that has been made between Hanukka, a holiday celebrating Jewish resistance to assimilation, with Christmas. Hanukka is not a Jewish Christmas and responsible Jewish parents should not encourage their children to believe that it is.
Just for the record, there is no obligation to give a gift every night of the holiday. I grew up knowing I would get one thing from my parents and maybe something else from a grandparent or aunt or uncle. This year my daughter is getting one thing from me and my husband and if other relatives want to give her something that's great. This custom of giving gifts comes from non-Jews and the other holidays around this time of year.
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