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JLeslie's avatar

Jewish People: did you get a gift every day during Chanukah?

Asked by JLeslie (54591points) November 21st, 2011

When you were younger did you actually get 8 days of gifts? I think I did when I was 7 or 8 and was more aware of what my friends were getting for Christmas. Some of the days were really small inexpensive things. But, pretty much Chanukah was not full of bunches of gifts, we mostly got chocolate gelt and real gelt. I ask because I always hear how lucky the Jewish kids are because they get 8 gifts, and I keep thinking, who and where are these Jewish kids?

As an adult we frequently don’t trade gifts at all. Although, my parents still send me some gelt.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

We three got gifts every day but only a few big and important one. There was the gelt, the mittens, the socks and a few other boring items. But it was fun to open something each night.

For a while, until our Rabbi stopped it, we also celebrated Christmas with the huge tree and several traditions. It was secular, of course, and also fun.

My younger (by ten years) sister is still resentful of having Christmas taken away from her when she was still very young.

janbb's avatar

We got a gift every night but as @gailcalled, many of them were very small or from aunts and uncles. My biggest gilt was sometimes a combined with my brithday gift which was in January. With my kids, I think we gave them something every night when they were young (often a small thing) and then when they were a bit older, we made it every other night so they knew what to expect. They weren’t as interested in candle lighting when it was a no-gift night!

janbb's avatar

@zensky Are there different Chanukah customs in Israel?

zensky's avatar

Well, the dreidel doesn’t have a shin on it.

JLeslie's avatar

@zensky I heard that there isn’t any gift giving on Chanukah in some countries. I have always understood the gift giving to have started to compete with Christmas, especially 8 days of gifts. What is usually done in Israel? And, does it differ between the Sephardic and the Ashkenazi?

gasman's avatar

No. I’m not sure gifts are traditionally given every night. That Chanukah is even a gift-giving holiday for children is, I believe, an American adaptation to the traditions of Christmas.

YARNLADY's avatar

It might depend on the family finances. My husband and his sister used to get a gift every night, but it was just an orange or package of candy.

My best friend and her brother used to get 1 the first night, 2 the second and so forth to 8 the last night. Just to put it in perspective, her birthday present one March was a helicopter tour of the city for herself and her best friend, me.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is kind of funny that when I talk to Christians they have this idea in their heads that on Chanukah Jewish kids receive so many fabulous gifts LOL.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I did not get gifts each day as a child, but I made sure my children did when they were young.

It is important for everyone to understand that Chanukah, while a lovely holiday is not a major one in the Jewish experience. Passover and Rosh Hashanna / Yom Kippur are far more significant in Jewish life.

I wish all of you the best of the holiday season, whatever you believe and however you celebrate it.

zensky's avatar

Who you gonna call? Mythbusters.

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