Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Hanukkah Present

This is my niece's first Hanukkah, which, while probably not that exciting for her (she's pretty psyched with a bottle and a tummy tickle), was super exciting for her aunt and uncle.

For weeks I've been thinking of all the adorable, over-the-top Hanukkah presents I could get her.  Perhaps she needs a pair of baby Manolos?  Or a chic Dior onesie?  And I know they make "denim" diapers, but do they make Citizens for Humanities baby jeggings?

Then I thought to myself, "Self, perhaps it would be better not to pass on your shallow, label-loving ways to your niece?  Perhaps, just perhaps, it would be preferable to transmit to her more positive, transcendent values?"

But what presents actually communicate such values?  After much thought, we decided that rather than just giving her material presents, we'd correlate them to the less tangible gifts with which we hope she'd be blessed for a lifetime.  We wished her:
  • for the first day of Hanukkah, the gift of tradition (correlated with a personalized menorah)
  • for the second day of Hanukkah, the gifts of inspiration and creativity (correlated with a box of Hanukkah candles)
  • for the third day of Hanukkah, the gift of love (correlated with a picture frame with a photo of her whole family)
  • for the fourth day of Hanukkah, the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and curiosity (correlated with the most adorable pop-up book, Chanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration)
  • for the fifth day of Hanukkah, the gifts of fun and a sense of adventure (correlated with darling little sneaker socks)
  • for the sixth day of Hanukkah, the gifts of comfort and happiness (correlated with a Wubbanub, on the recommendation of blog friend Sara)
  • for the seventh day of Hanukkah, the gifts of charity, empathy, and tikkun olam (the Jewish concept of "healing the world") (correlated with a donation in her name to Mazon, a hunger-relief organization)
  • for the eighth day of Hanukkah, the gift of remembrance, of all the relatives and loved ones who physically or metaphysically couldn't be with her on this special holiday (correlated with a package of post-its . . . because it wouldn't be Hanukkah without at least one stinker of a gift!)
None of these gifts are particularly expensive, but we hope that they -- especially the intangible ones -- will have a more lasting impact on her.  Also, I was thinking that perhaps we could create a tradition by giving her presents that correlate with those particular values each year.

If you celebrate Hanukkah, what meaningful gifts have you given or received this year?


Anonymous,  December 6, 2010 at 7:08 AM  

I love everything about this idea, so clever!!

Coasting Anon December 6, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

You realize that in five years the gift of post-its will be the most amazing gift she has ever received!

--Coasting anon...who's 5 year old cousin got a trip to Disney and a box of office supplies last year for Christmas and could have cared less about the former and is STILL obsessed with the latter.

LatteLove December 6, 2010 at 1:09 PM  

she is totally enchanting. Her sweet mouth!
I die.

(ps cute gift ideas!)

Mrs. Hot Cocoa December 6, 2010 at 1:18 PM  

@ Coasting Anon: LOL. Your cousin sounds like me. I hoarded pens and stickers as a kid.

Sugar December 6, 2010 at 2:20 PM  

So cute, love your gift ideas.

Deanna December 7, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

The gifts are adorable, but the thought behind them is so touching - seriously makes me wish I was Jewish or had Jewish family!! She is lucky to have you guys as family <3

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