Like most Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is about family and food! Beginning with food….
I love Hanukkah, usually squeezed in between Thanksgiving and Santa Claus, followed by New Year’s whoop-dee-doo, the promise of lots of rain and a few extra pounds to work off at the JCC. Think sufganiyot, latkes, kugel, cake, chocolate. I’ve pulled together a few ideas to make your culinary holiday special….beginning with this video that turns sufganiyot into mere child’s play. Before you begin, visit The Gift Shop for your star shaped cake pans, dreidel shaped ice cube molds, and of course lots of fair trade gelt to get this holiday rolling! Now go get your kids, or your grand-kids, and get cooking!
One of my family’s favorite Hanukkah traditions is to attend the lighting of the Mama Menorah in San Francisco’s Union Square. Watch here for a schedule of this year’s candle lightings as well as when SF Chabad will plan their yearly party with music, dancing and crafts for the children. For your celebrations at home, The Gift Shop will carry over 70 different styles of menorahs as well as beautiful candles direct from Safed, Israel.
This Hanukkah, we’ve brought you Jewish gifts not found anywhere else in Marin County…I’ve checked and no, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, even Macy’s don’t carry most of the selection that The Gift Shop offers! Tops on my list is a series of Jewish adult, meditative coloring books and I admit when first introduced to this item, I reverted back to my childhood and know you will, too. Imagine: stormy day, hot cup of coffee, sharpened colored pencils, soft music and your coloring book. We’re also carrying the most fun your feet have had since you were a kid: adult women’s Hanukkah socks. Cute, no?
The shop will be ready on Sunday, November 8th. We’re clearing the shelves and stuffing everything you need for Hanukkah into our little shop: wrapping paper, ribbons, gift tags, menorahs, candles, gelt, dreidels, plushy Hanukkah bear, miniature snow globes and more. Hanukkah’s only five weeks away and The Gift Shop will sell out. I’m happy to reorder but, well honestly, you will have to wait and pray there’s no behemoth snow storm between here and wherever the goodies are shipped from.
One last thought to share with you – we will not be carrying Hanukkah tree toppers nor Hanukkah fire place stockings. And this is based on the wisdom gleaned from one very wise rabbi.
A menorah should be honored for what it is and a Christmas tree likewise. If you’re celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas in your home, let each symbol be itself – just like each of us. ~Rabbi Stacy
The Gift Shop manager