It’s time to get ready for Hanukkah — the eight-day “festival of lights” that begins on Dec. 22 and commemorates Jews reclaiming their temple from the Greek-Syrians and the oil the rebels burned that “miraculously” lasted for eight nights instead of just one. The holiday’s celebrations include lively gatherings, parties, community spirit and fun — and we have a sampling of some of the best finds to make any event shine, from the latest in decorations, table settings and hostess gifts to engaging children’s books and fresh spins on dreidels and menorahs.
“Historically, Hanukkah is about a military victory but the rabbis of old turned it into a story of light over darkness, so the story of Hanukkah today is of bringing light and warmth into the world,” says Michael Freiser, owner of Yussel’s Place Judaica Gifts & Art in Merrick. “It’s celebrated with fun, a lot of colors, and there are a lot of designers working in Judaica today. You can get all sorts of things for Hanukkah.”
Gloria Yellin, owner of Zion Lion in Roslyn Heights, says Hanukkah can be the perfect time to really light up a celebration with style.
“We believe in tradition like lighting the candles for Hanukkah, but whatever you do, make it beautiful,” Yellin says.
Drink in the fun
"Hanukkah Elf” book