The Atlanta Jewish Academy is glowing and ready for Chanukah, the holiday made of miracles and Jewish pride. Our children cannot wait for the flickering of the candles as we light chanukiot, spinning dreidels, and delicious Channukah treats. And of course, there are the Chanukah presents wrapped in shiny blue and silver paper.
In a fast-paced world like ours, with plenty of pressure to "keep up with the Goldsteins," how about considering some exciting and creative non-toy gifts for our children?
The message here is that not all gifts need to be toys. Giving should be something thoughtful; a gift, after all, comes from the heart.
Here are some ideas:
Coupons. An envelope of coupons that kids can "spend" at any time, like:
- I'll do one chore -- no questions asked;
- movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie;
- 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child's interested in);
- sit and read a book with me;
- stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime.
Create your own space. Set up a tent or a corner with pillows for reading, alone time or parent-child alone time. Designing and decorating together makes the space even more special.
Photo Albums. Photobooks are simple to make. Together, tell the story of last year’s summer vacation, a family tree story book, or All About Me. You can find templates for photobooks online at Snapfish or Shutterfly, to name a few.
Parent/Grandparent dates. With our busy schedules, children value any one on one time with a parent or grandparent. Present your child with a “teaser”--maybe a bottle of nail polish, with an attached note that reads, "You've got a mani-pedi with Dad”; or a toy car, with a note that says, “Drive to the mountains with Nana…”
A new skill or hobby. Has your child asked for guitar lessons or shown a new interest in karate? This a perfect time to sign her up and help her soar into a new world of friends and experiences.
Doing a mitzvah together. There are many organizations that help children understand the importance of giving. Having your child/ren clean out their toys and give some that they no longer play with to other children is an easy way to model giving.
Here are some other ideas:
WeGiveBooks.org donates books to a participating organization of your choice every time you read online with your kids.
LocksofLove.org allows kids to donate hair 10 inches or longer to create hairpieces for children suffering from hair loss due to various medical conditions.
Chag Chanukah Sameach!
Ms. Sylvia Miller, School Counselor EC-8
Atlanta Jewish Academy