Saturday 6th June 2020
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Hanukkah is nigh


It starts Sunday. So I emailed to ask my friend Marjorie, author, journalist, and far more observant Jew than I why it is that cute, un-tacky Hanukkah paraphernalia is so tough to find—because I knew she’d have greater insight into the matter than me.  “It is a SHONDEH* that it is so hard! she replied. “There seems to be a current design gap between the Old-School-Star-Of-David-Menorah-Dreidelfest and new school, sardonic hyuk-hyuk self-aware, self-mocking deliberately ugly kitsch and nothing between the two. Perhaps this is a statement about where we are as an American Jewish community: caught between the sweetly sincere tackiness of our immigrant progenitors and and tiresome millennial EDGE.” Thanks, Marjorie, and well-stated. The following items, I’m hoping you’ll agree, hit that middle ground. First up: this chocolate Gelt—which replicates actual Judean coins from the most ancient of times.

more menorah

On the topic of menorahs, my philosophy is that wacky is bad (unless it’s for the kids) and less is more. Also, choose one that looks like it is in a groove with the design of your home. I actually found a number of good ones, but liked this  best.

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Mouth makes themed gift baskets that are so much cooler than your typical themed gift basket, and I find this one to be completely is adorable

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The cutest driedels ever, made of Legos.

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Finding acceptable Hannukah cards is especially tough sledding, but this amused (even as it stands guilty of Marjorie’s pre-stated millennial edge).

latke paper

Finding acceptable Hannukah wrapping paper is tougher sledding still. But this sheet—which details, with illustrations, the instructions for making latkes—is not without its charms.

dreidel dreidel

Perfectly cute gift tags.


*For the uninitiated: A shondeh is Yiddish for shame or scandal. 

Posted on December 2nd, 2015 8 Comments

8 Responses

  1. Judi says:

    Best holiday PSA ever…thanks, Kim. And…candles! Why is it so hard to find pretty, natural colored beeswax candles (dipped, not rolled) that are long enough to burn for more than 30 minutes? This year I’m trying something new. I found some that are almost 8″ long from BCandle, made in an Orthodox monastery (Amazon, of course). Sure, they’re not kosher, but they’re the right diameter. And they’re pretty. (And they cost a fortune if you get 45, but we don’t light the menorah every night and I bet a lot of other people don’t, either.)

  2. Shara says:

    Thank you! So hard to find nice stuff. Crate and Barrel has carried a few more modern looking items the last few years – menorahs, platters, etc. See’s candy makes good gelt (though only milk chocolate).

  3. Caroline says:

    This post warms my (not particularly religious)
    nonetheless Jewish heart.🕎

  4. As always, a timely, considered and helpful post. Thank you!

  5. marjorie says:

    So delighted to be quoted! Thank you! You found good stuff. I LOVE the wrapping paper and dreidel tags.

  6. Viajera says:

    Wow, that ribbon candy is so pretty!!! And the Lego dreidels!!!! I’m not even Jewish and I want them. And the gelt, of course. But especially latkes, though I don’t really home-fry so I’d have to go out.

    Happy Hanukkah, everyone!!!!

    • Viajera says:

      Okay I squinted and read the wrapping paper. It’s not deep frying so maybe I could do it. I had a friend make some once, they were killer.

  7. Raina says:

    That gelt is AMAZING.

    Ceramicist Paula Greif made menorahs for the Jewish Museum that will knock your knickers off:

    Sadly, not in my budget this year.