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The ultimate Chanukah gift guide: Best ideas for him or her

E

ight whole nights of doughnuts, latkes, wine, merriment and presents. That’s right, Chanukah time has finally rolled around, falling this year between December 18 – 26.

You might be one of those Jewish mother of-the-year types – you know, the ones who had nailed down this year’s presents before the last Chanukah had even finished. If so, feel free to click away. This one is for the last-minute dot com gang.

Eight nights of festive celebrations is both a blessing and a curse. Having to think of eight separate, just as good as one another presents that don’t hark disappointment or confusion can frankly feel impossible. Especially if your family, like many, use the first seven presents as stocking-filler type reserves to progressively build up to that big, extra-coveted final gift.

As a child, it’s utter magic. What feels like an endless stream of presents exchanged under gorgeous candlelight, passed around in between the throwing away of ripped foil chocolate coin wrappers, the wiping of jammy, sugary hands, and the counting of gelt winnings from competitive dreidel matches.

Fear not, for it’s still possible in adulthood to create a beautiful, illuminating festive atmosphere for family and friends alike – despite having all the responsibility of present-buying. It need not be a stress or a strain on the pocket if it’s done right.

We’ve rounded up a vast selection of his and her presents at a number of price points for you to choose from. Keep scrolling for some real Chanukah goodness. Chag Sameach.

Sylvanian Families Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon

Sylvanian Families

Small-world play is still a key part of development at this age, and the beauty of Sylvanian Families sets is that they never go out of fashion. This Pony’s Stylish Hair Salon playset caught our tester’s attention because the little figure – Sally the Pony – has an impressive mane of long, silky hair. There are various hairdressing accessories to play with in the two-storey salon, plus lots more hirsute little characters to collect.

While these sets are never cheap, they do last from one generation to the next – which renders the price a lot more palatable. Plus, you can build up a collection over time, which makes for easy birthday and Christmas presents.

Micro Scooter Eco Mini Mint

Micro Scooter

While a scooter will always make a great gift for a little one, this cruiser takes it to the next level. No, we aren’t just referring to the light-up wheels (!), but this eco three wheeler from the experts at Micro is made from discarded fishing nets so will encourage sustainable thinking during the Christmas season and as they travel from A to B.

Shop the best Christmas toy gifts for kids here

PAW Patrol Total Team Rescues: Chase’s Team Police Cruiser Vehicle with 6 Pup Figures

PAW Patrol

Ages: 3+

In a (playtime-based) crisis, this is the only squad you need to call. Perfect for PAW Patrol fans, Chase’s Team Police Cruiser comes with six pups ready for action on the blue vehicle. The features bring it to life: little ones can raise the driver’s compartment; extend barriers; lift the back door; and pull out the working winch to move objects and rescue other helpless toys in their room.

Slime Cra-Z-Slimy Creations Slimy Fun Kit

Suitable for: 6+ years

The slime craze shows no signs of subsiding and we have to admit that even we find the stuff rather appealing. Your little one can create their very own glittery and neon slime with this set, which includes white glue, clear glue, neon colourant, glitter, a measuring cup, slime sticks and the slime activator.

Little Live Pets Mama Surprise

Little Live Pets

If you’re being hounded to get a pet but can’t quite bear to take the plunge, the Little Live Pets Mama Surprise might just be the answer to your prayers. The interactive guinea pig Mama arrives with a hutch and some straw, and with enough love and attention – that’s plenty of stroking, brushing her hair, and feeding her with the little mini celery stick – her heart starts to glow. Pop her back in her hutch, close the door and wait, and a baby guinea pig will eventually appear complete with a little care package.

Our tester was no less in love with this toy even after she realised the babies appear from a little compartment at the top of the hutch, which means you can re-load them and re-birth them as many times as you like. Stock up on AAA batteries and thank your lucky stars you won’t need to clean out the hutch.

NEHOPE Walkie Talkies

NEHOPE

– Range: 4 miles

– Battery type: 3 x AAA batteries

– Channels: 22

– Number in pack: Two

For extra flexibility on when and how your kids use their walkie talkies, the NEHOPE Walkie Talkies offer a choice of 22 channels and offer either ‘one to one’ or ‘one to more’ communication, meaning children can easily team up with friends for wider group communication.

With a robust and ergonomically shaped design, these walkie talkies are lightweight and easy to carry, with the option of even attaching to clothing using the integrated belt clip.

They work via a simple push to talk operation, whilst providing the reassurance of VOX for younger users, and the sound quality is clear and crisp with high anti-interference to avoid static or background noise distorting clarity.

With a built-in flashlight and a bright backlit LCD screen to keep children safe during nighttime missions, they also clearly display the channel, volume and battery status.

Aqua Gelz Colossal Activity Set

Aquagelz

This weird and wonderful craft set was a huge hit with our testers, who hadn’t seen anything like it before. You essentially create a flat design in a little mould using paint-like liquids, then place the mould into a special solution. The liquid design plumps up and pops out of the mould to create a squishy 3D creature, which sets completely within five minutes.

They’ll harden up if you take them out, so we left our submerged and now have a whole faux fish tank filled with cute underwater creatures. There are smaller starter sets available too, but we chose this one for the 14 colours and 20 different character moulds.

Chocolate Dinosaur Excavation Kit

Choc on Choc

It doesn’t matter if they’re a fan of dinosaurs or not – this Chocolate Dinosaur Excavation Kit is great fun. The little tin is full of crumbly soil – AKA biscuit crumbs – with chocolate dino fossils hidden inside. Dig around and use the little brush to reveal your chocolate treats, then tuck into your ancient finds.

There’s a more ghoulish graveyard version available, plus lots more chocolate activity kits where you melt chocolate to create all sorts of edible treats. We like that the excavation kit doesn’t require any parental help though – and any mess is edible.

Bakugan Evolutions, Bakugan Genesis Collection Pack

Bakugan

We were alarmed when our testers started throwing these palm-sized Bakugan Evolutions toys on the floor, until we realised that’s all part of the fun. Designed to be rolled, these colourful little balls pop open to reveal a Bakugan figure inside – and the idea is to battle against your friends.

The toys are a spin-off from the anime series, and the Bakugan Genesis Collection set includes everything you need to start playing, including four exclusive Bakugan, game cards, and a rule book. It was the two light-up Bakugan that drew adoring gasps from our testers though, and the little display stands are a handy way for them to show them off to their friends.

Little Brian Scribble Paint Sticks

Scribble

We really like these Little Brian Scribble paint sticks – they look like pens, twist up and down like glue sticks, and paint neatly without the need for brushes or water. That means they pack away into a pencil case nice and easily too, and the easy application and 60-second drying time means there’s no messy spills and minimal clearing up.

Our testers liked the six metallic paints in particular, but there are also six classic colours and six day-glow brights. We tested ours on wood as well as paper and they worked brilliantly – just make sure the lids click back on so they don’t dry out.

Recyclings Collectibles 4 pack

Recyclings

As the name suggests, these cute Recyclings collectibles are made from 70 per cent recycled plastics. In fact, each of the colourful little figures saves five bottle tops from going into landfill, and even the packaging is 100 per cent recycled. There are more than 90 of the cute little characters to collect and swap, and each one doubles up as a pencil topper.

You can buy them as part of a larger playset or as individual Recyclings, but this 4-pack was our testers’ favourite. At a neat £10, it makes a budget-friendly birthday party gift or a great stocking filler, and it’s refreshing to see a more sustainable toy option that isn’t simply made from paper.

Pokémon Sobble Plush

Pokemon

Looking for a gift that comes in at under a tenner? This cute Pokémon Sobble plush went down a treat with our Pokémon obsessed tester. From the world of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Sobble is – apparently – a water-type character who cries when he’s scared, hence the name.

The 20cm plush version is super soft and just the right size to cuddle, which our tester duly did. Plus, there are a whole range of characters to collect including Squirtle and Pikachu, so you can build up a decent collection without breaking the bank.

Melissa & Doug Animal Stamp Set

Melissa & Doug

Suitable for: 3+ years

A wonderful set for animal lovers. From wild, safari creatures to farm cattle and domestic pets, kids can mix and match a selection of stamps to create colourful scenes of land and sea. Let their storytelling play out onto paper, cards and notebooks using a mix of washable inks. All packs away into a sturdy wooden box for ideal storage.

Clementoni Harry Potter Wizarding World Hagrid’s Hut Terrarium

Wizarding World

This Hagrid’s Hut Terrarium set is really hands-on. First, kids will need to build Hagrid’s magical hut – and the little pumpkins that sit outside it – from plaster of Paris using the moulds included. Then they’ll need to use the paints to decorate it, and only then are they ready to start planting.

Using the peat, soil, sand, and rocks included, they can create a gorgeous little garden inside the plastic terrarium using clover and pine seeds. Much to our testers’ delight, ours sprouted after just a couple of days – and they had lots of fun tending to their tiny garden.

When The Sky Glows

When The Sky Glows

This beautifully illustrated book is proof that non-fiction needn’t be boring. Written by Nell Cross Beckerman, it uncovers the science behind natural wonders like volcanoes, meteors, rainbows and auroras – and anything else that makes the sky glow.

The writing hits the perfect balance between factual and poetic and is ideally pitched to this age group. But it’s David Litchfield’s otherworldly illustrations – from dazzling lightning storms to moonlit cityscapes – that will make them want to linger on every spread. This is a picture book they’ll go back to again and again, and one that you won’t mind reading with them.

FunLockets Secret Journal Glitter Edition

FunLockets

While this looks like a fairly standard journal from the outside, it’s a lot more fun once you open it up. There are loads of little compartments to store the various bits and bobs inside – from stickers and charms to secret notes scribbled on the notepad.

Our tester loved the fact it’s lockable, so the contents are safe from the prying eyes of older siblings. It’s a cute twist on a classic journal that encourages mindfulness, while adding an element of play – and the price-point makes it a nice birthday party present.

Treasure X Mega Treasure Bot

Treasure

This fierce looking bot ticks a whole lot of boxes – from sound effects and slime, to kinetic sand and even real gold-dipped treasure. He arrives in need of repair, which is all part of the fun and involves smashing through his chest-plate, refuelling him with robo ooze, and breaking into a treasure box using various tools. It’s all very hands-on and there’s lots of sensory fun involved.

Once you’ve located the treasure – the bot’s power core – he really comes to life, and our tester still enjoyed playing with this once the initial set-up was over and done with. Finding and de-rusting the gold was a particular highlight.

Camomile London Lucia Floral Pyjama set

Camomile

If you’re looking for the perfect kids’ PJs, we love the Lucia floral pyjama set from London-based brand, Camomile. Crafted from a light, soft cotton, they’re designed in a classic floral print that’s feminine but not overly girly – something that our allergic-to-pink tester loved.

With a comfy elasticated waist, pretty piped edges, and patch pockets, they have a quality look and feel that make them perfect for gifting. They come in a pretty cotton bag, too, so there’s no need for wrapping – and there are lots more designs including an adults’ version of the Lucia Floral set, so you can match with your mini-me at bedtime.

Boux Avenue Maisie satin revere and pant set – Midnight Blue

Boux Avenue

Satin pyjamas make a fantastic present for those of us who heat up to the temperature of the Earth’s core the minute we fall asleep, but can’t stand getting under the covers with bare skin. Pick up a pair of these great value midnight blue PJs from Boux Avenue and instantly improve yours or a loved one’s night’s sleep by a mile.

Pangaia Re-Color Hoodie Sky Blue

Pangaia

This absolutely stunning, pastel blue genderless hoodie from Pangaia is an extremely solid choice for a Chanukah gift. It’s made from 100 per cent organic cotton and is dyed using an innovative technology which pulverizes textile leftover pigments. That’s right, this hoodie is made form 98 per cent textile waste from Pangaia’s own production leftovers. Give the gift of unadulterated comfort and circular fashion and wrap it up in a singular, pretty bow.

Carhartt WIP Old Tunes T-Shirt

Carhartt

There’s nothing better than a plain white tee. Actually, scrap that – there’s nothing better than a Carhart WIP tee. This one’s a timeless pick with simple branding at the chest and titular text below, plus there’s just something about that perfectly boxy look and thick neckline that no other brand can replicate.

Axel Arigato A-Dice Lo Sneaker

Axel Arigato

Founded in 2014, Axel Arigato has become a cult favourite for sneakerheads globally in as little as eight years – so it’s time to get your favourite man on trend. One of the brand’s more recent additions, the A-Dice Lo sneaker, has a vintage appeal with suede, leather panelling and a bold contrast logo and gives them a modern update with the use of recycled fabrics and a colourful sole. His favourite kicks, but better.

Alina Liu Says Gah! Camilla Skirt

Lisa Says Gah!

Inspired by the perfect soirée, LA-based brand Lisa Says Gah! has designed a print filled with their favourite cocktails. A simple, single tiered silhouette makes this funky wonder perfect for dressing-up or dressing-down, and is certainly a fantastic garment for holiday functions, events and dinners. Pair it with a plain black t-shirt and your favourite trainers for a brunch look, or pair it with the puffy-shouldered matching top.

thisisneverthat Arch Logo Hoodie Heather Grey

Garbstore

South Korea’s answer to Supreme, Korean streetwear label Thisisneverthat is loved by K-pop stars and street-stylers alike. Luckily, Notting Hill boutique Couverture & The Garbstore stock a range of the brand’s skate-inspired designs.

The perfect gift for any stylish chap that will see them through the chilly season in style, comfort, and warmth.

Grey Oodie

The Oodie

The Oodie is crafted from super warm sherpa fleece on the inside and soft flannel fleece on the outside. It’s based on 6XL hoodie sizing, so suits heights from 5ft to 6ft for that perfectly snuggly, oversized hoodie/blanket/slanket/ feel. Whatever you want to call it, The Oodie is a sure-fire gift for any sofa-loving movie fan no matter the season.

Tekla Hooded Bathrobe

Tekla

Tekla’s thick and cosy unisex bathrobes come in a vast range of colours, but we particularly love this red and dusty pink striped combo. Inspired by classic beach huts and chairs, wear this robe indoors or bring it to your favourite beach for some post cold-water swimming warmth.

Giles & Posner EK2641GSBL Pastel Candyfloss Maker

Giles & Posner

What do you buy for the kid who has everything? Their very own candyfloss maker, of course. Our testers loved impressing their mates by recreating this sugary favourite at home, and we were surprised at just how authentic our creations tasted once we’d got the hang of using it – which does take a bit of perseverance and quite a bit of burnt sugar.

Speaking of which, the sugar itself isn’t provided and you’ll either need to buy coloured sugar or add a smidgen of food colouring to standard granulated sugar. Each batch takes one scoop – which is measured with the spoon included – and the set comes with 50 wooden sticks. We love the retro look and pastel colours, and it makes a great party centrepiece.

Giles & Posner Pastel 3 in 1 Compact Mini Treat Maker

Giles & Posner

Make sure you’re Chanukah supply of doughnuts is infinite with this compact treat maker from Giles & Posner. Featured in a very attractive lilac colour, it’ll look lovely on your countertop while providing the doughy goods.

It comes with three removable non-stick cooking plates so that you can make waffles, cake pops and doughnuts all year round. A treat maker is not just for Chanukah, it’s for life. This is definitely one of the first or second night of celebrations so you can put it to work right away.

Le Creuset Stoneware Honey Pot with Dipper

Le Creuset

Start your Rosh Hashanah prep early with this beautifully bright and joyous stoneware honey pot and silicone dipper from Le Creuset. Scratch-resistant and easy to clean, you’ll be grateful you spent a little extra bob on a honey vessel in the new-year when the sticky substance inevitably misses the apple slice and lands on the kitchen counter. You can also use it hot or cold, as Le Creuset stoneware is thermoresistant from -23°C to +260°C.

Diptyque Baies Noir scented candle

dipytique

We don’t think there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t want to receive a candle from pioneering parfumerie maison, Diptyque. The Baeis Noir scent carries notes of rose and blackcurrent leaf which somehow works during any season. With a burn time of approximately 90 hours, rest assured you won’t be buying a candle just for it to burn-out after one use.

Rough Trade Arctic Monkeys The Car LP

Arctic Monkeys

Good music = good times. It’s a simple formula, but it’s one to live by. Give your loved one the gift of sumptuous sounds with the Arctic Monkeys’ seventh studio album, The Car. Produced by James Ford with ten new songs written by frontman Alex Turner, start off your vinyl collection with an instant classic, or add to an already bustling collection.

Smoko Souffle Pancake Mochi Plush

Urban Outfitters

Super soft and extra scrumptious, this Souffle Pancake plush from Smoko is as much for a grown adult as it may be for kids. We, for one, are simply dying for it. This measures at a hefty 40.6cm x 30.5cm x 45.7cm, so you can use it as an ultra-plush pillow on which to lay your weary head, or simply as a stand-out feature piece on your bed. Go on, you know you want to.

The Conran Shop Kimbie Throw

The Conran Shop

Drape it over your sofa, the foot of your bed, or hang it up like a tapestry, one thing’s for sure – you’ll want this cosy piece of practical art by The Conran Shop on display. Designed by Maite García for Slowdown Studio an expertly knitted in the USA, this blanket has been crafted using 100 per cent home grown North Carolinian cotton.

Oliver Bonas 500 Hidden Secrets of London Book

Oliver Bonas

Whether you’ve lived in London your whole life but have barely crossed the river, or are a newcomer to the city, this little book of wonders by Tom Greig will ensure you never feel like you’re missing out. In a city with so much on offer, it’s frankly overwhelming, leaf through 264 pages of goodness and never spend another moment fretting about what to do on the weekend.

Barwell diamond-cut crystal tumblers set of four

Soho Home

Whiskey drinker or not, cut crystal tumblers are a wonderfully timeless addition to any bar cart, for any kind of cocktail or mocktail you’re into. With a diamond cut pattern and a mouth-blown, polished finish, you can’t go wrong with these Soho House-approved gems.

Nokia C21 Plus

Nokia

If you’re taking the plunge with a smartphone for your pre-teen, or just need a spare handset for them to use at home to video-call their mates, the Nokia C21 Plus ticks a lot of boxes at a very competitive price.

The handset has a 6.5” HD+ display that works well for video calls, with Fingerprint and AI Face Unlock to stop prying siblings in their tracks. The camera is more than sufficient for your average 10 year old, while handy features like the two-day battery life and two years of security updates were a hit with grown-ups. The clincher, though, is the phone’s sleek and stylish design, which passed our 10 year old’s cool-test with flying colours – not bad for less than £100.

APPLE MacBook Air 13.6″ (2022) – M2, 256 GB SSD, Midnight

Apple

The 2022 edition of Apple’s iconic MacBook Air is worth investing in for the Midnight colourway alone. However, from a technical perspective, the software is built around the 2022 M2 chip. With redesigned and improved CPU and GPU, the M2 chip is 1.4x faster than the M1 despite using less power.

You’ll be running around on up to 18 hours of battery life, watching and creating with the liquid retina display and jamming to tunes with the spatial audio four-speaker sound system all at once. It doesn’t get better.

Panasonic Audio Technica AT-LP120XBT Black Bluetooth Turntable

Panasonic

Sick of rusty sounds on a cheap vinyl player, but feel there’s nothing better than spinning and flipping your favourite record? Invest in a brand-new turntable this Chanukah season.

The fully manual turntable plays 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records, and also has Bluetooth, as well as a USB port so you can connect to your computer. With a balanced S-shaped tonearm that has hydraulically damped lift control and a lockable rest, you’ll never have to worry about scratching your favourite vinyl ever again.

Kodak M35 Green 35mm Reusable Camera

Urban Outfitters

Is your other half constantly running out of phone storage, but prefers the look of film anyway? Pick up this starter Kodak reusable 35mm camera and they’ll stop complaining about that pesky storage alert once and for all. As we move out of the festive season and nearer to the summer, your partner will be ever-grateful for this photographic companion on all your future adventures.

Burberry The Classic Check Cashmere Scarf

Burberry

If you think the price of this absolutely classic Burberry scarf is a little steep, let us tell you a little bit more about the production process, so you can attempt to justify the luxury purchase.

Manufactured at a 200-year-old Scottish mill, the process of completing a singular scarf involves 30 different steps. It’s woven on traditional looms, the fabric subsequently washed in local spring water and brushed by hand with teasles for a soft finish. Now that’s justified luxury. Embroidery is also included within the price if you so wish to make this scarf an extra personal and thoughtful gift.

Aspinal of London Golf Tee Holder

Aspinal of London

Whether they’re a pro golfer or a fairweather player, if one thing’s for sure, every sportsman needs to keep track of the score – and what better way to take note than using Aspinal’s leather scorecard holder? With the option for luxury gift wrap and personalisation, this 100 per cent leather design with silk lining is a toughtful gift for any lover of the sport.

Urban Outfitters Orange Heart Bead AirPods Pro Case

Urban Outfitters

Never let your other half lose their AirPods again with this charmed and bejewelled AirPods case. Boasting an ultra protective silicone design and looped strap, you’ll be remiss not to include this in your one-to-seven night gift round-up.

Selfridges The Smooth Operator hair care gift set

Selfridges

Worth £179, this gift bundle comes with an array of fantastic hair products of a silky smooth finish. Though the set is suitable for all hair types, us curly-haired Jewish girlies and guys know or thing or two about frizz. As such, the Living Proof no frizz shampoo and conditioner set, Moroccanoil and Ouai leave-in conditioner are particular highlights for us.

Mini U Cloud Bath Bombs

Mini U

This boxed set of three bath bombs makes a lovely gift, and as each bath bomb is individually wrapped you can also split them out to pad out larger gifts or use as stocking fillers. Each little cloud fizzes away in the bath to leave a rainbow trail as it glides across the surface of the water, and ours drew a lot of adoring gasps at it did so.

There’s no overpowering scent or greasy film in the bath water, and we particularly like the fact that Mini U’s products are vegan, cruelty-free and free from gluten, soy, dairy, and artificial ingredients. Perfect for delicate eight year old skin.

Anita Berisha Femme mismatched pearl & 12kt gold-plated earrings

Anita Berisha

Made from freshwater pearl and 12kt gold-plating, these stunning earrings from Anita Berisha are feminine without being garish. They’re only just about oversized and hang from hinged fastenings for extra security on that added weight.

Spells of Love Verano Hoops Silver

Spells of Love

We think you can never go wrong with another pair of hoops to add to the earring collection.

Spells of Love’s sterling silver jewellery is also plated in rhodium, which guarantees a perfectly bright and shiny finish and protects the silver from tarnishing over time. Eco-friendly, responsibly manufactured and made from recycled materials – jewellery shopping has never been so guilt-free.


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