Growing up, Chanukah held a special place in my heart. For eight winter nights, my father, and later my brother too, would light the olive oil menorah as we stood around them, and we all sang songs. My mother and us girls would fry up latkas, a simple but delicious crispy fried potato pancake, and spend the nights laughing and playing dreidel.
Years have passed, and while I’m not religious, there is something warm and cozy about lighting the menorah and decorating it as you please. Everyone does Chanukah (or Hanukkah) differently, and mine doesn’t look like what it used to, but as my father used to tell me, it’s all about lighting up the darkness.
So while you might not be headed over to see your parents or your favorite annual party, Chanukah is all about persevering through the turmoil. No matter how you choose to celebrate, these items will warm your soul and ignite your internal flame. And this year, we can all use a little warmth and nostalgia.
Soapstone White Menorah | $110 | Ocelot Market
A Menorah is the center of any Chanukah celebration, lit at nightfall at a window or doorway to bring a bit of light into the world. Every night, one more candle is added until the Menorah shines bright and your heart is warm. This soapstone Menorah is a showstopper you’ll enjoy lighting year after year. It’s hand-carved, which adds a nice touch of character to an already beautiful design.
Chanukah Candles | $10 | Bed Bath and Beyond
That gorgeous soapstone menorah is just begging for these colorful premium-grade candles. Fun fact: a pack of Chanukah candles has just enough candles to be lit every single night of the eight-day holiday. Rite Lite’s Chanukah candles are hand dipped and decorated and burn over over an hour each.
Eight Days of Chocolate Gift Set | $50 | Sugar Plum
This festive chocolate set makes a lovely gift to yourself, it’s handmade by a mother and son team in Kingston, PA, and taste delicious too! A review from last Chanukah on Suger Plum’s website is nearly as excited as I was when I broke open my gift box. “The eight-day basket was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t believe how much you are able to put in the little box,” writes T LaCombe-Stevens.
Blue Hanukkah Jumpsuit | $60 | Tipsy Elves
This is the year for all things cozy, so why should Chanukah be any different? This unisex jumpsuit would make the perfect festive clothing for your Instagram photos of the holiday. I know that my wife and I will be suiting up at least one night. And this cozy fit will be useful all winter long, so don’t relegate it to the holiday decor bin in your basement.
Shamash Hit Nail Polish | $10 | Amazon
On a lighter note, why not wear the most sparkly of nail polishes to celebrate? The makers of this nail polish designed it to remind you of the Shamash, the eternal light that always stayed lit in the ancient temple. It’s a bit of a stretch, but who can turn down a sparkly fabulousness? It brings a smile just looking for it.
Hanukkah Chag Sameach Apron | $12 | Bed Bath and Beyond
This is the perfect gift for the latkah maker in your household. Decorated with the best of the holiday, you’ll find menorahs, olive oil jugs, jolly donuts, and of course, gelt, the chocolate coins that you win while playing dreidel. It will get any home cook into the holiday spirit.
Whatever gifts you choose to grace your loved ones with, I hope your Chanukah is festive and warm, joyous, and exactly what you need to brighten your soul.