Eight ways to Save on Hanukkah Gifts

Most of us are so wrapped up in Christmas we forget that the celebration of Hanukkah occurs this time of year too. This religious holiday celebrates the miracle of eight days of light from one-day worth of pure oil.

Lighting a candle on each night of Hanukkah honors this miracle. Traditionally children received money for learning well and sharing their knowledge of the story of Hanukkah. This tradition evolved over the years into gift giving.

Now, children receive a gift on each night of the celebration. And, if you think giving gifts on just one day of the year is expensive, you should try giving eight days of gifts. Here are eight tips to help cut the costs.

1. Make each child a pillow using one of their favorite t-shirts. Simply take the t-shirt and close the neck and sleeves by either sewing or using iron on fuse tape. Then stuff the pillow from the bottom with fiberfill until the pillow is well stuffed.

Make sure you get the fiberfill pushed down into the sleeves. Then either sew or fuse the bottom shut. If you want, you can decorate with beads or ribbons. This is a perfect use for favorite old t-shits that no longer fit.

2. Personalized stationary makes a great gift. Every child likes to see their own name on things. It makes them feel important. Buy a couple of reams of different colored paper. Then use your computer to add funky pictures and things your children like. Put their name some where on it and tie with a ribbon. Present the stationary with a nice pen.

3. Purchase a small photo album. Fill it with as many goofy pictures as you can find of each child from birth ‘til now. Leave some room for them to add pictures as well. Include a note with it to let your child know how much you love them and what they mean to you.

4. Use foam core to create a poster-sized memory collage of their favorite things. Use pictures of their favorite stars, sports teams, what ever they’re into. Include copies of their report cards, notes from friends, tickets to events, sleeves from their favorite cd, and copies of awards. Hang it with ribbon or cord.

5. Purchase a date book or calendar for each child at your local dollar store. Then personalize it with dates that are important to them. Like school functions, family and friends birthdays, sporting events, and vacation plans. This will give each child something to look forward to all year long.

6. Borrow a traditional recipe from an older family member. Use it to make each child a treat like cookies or candy. Put the treat in an inexpensive tin or basket along with the recipe. This is a great way to pass down family traditions with out forcing them on your kids.

7. Make a “treasure box” for your child. Then decorate it with stickers and paint.  Gather up all the little things that your child loves. If they like the beach add a few shells or some sand, if they like the mountains, add some rocks or fake snow.

Put in one or two of their favorite childhood toys and books. Add a few news clippings that are relevant, and a few pictures. Be creative. This is a great way to show your child that you really do know them and that you share their passions.

8. Get the oldest grandparent (or person) in your family to let you make a video of them. Have them tell what they know about the family history, the “olden days,” spill the beans on secret family recipes or share traditions that may not be practiced any longer. Also, ask them to give some advice to the children. Present this to your child. The video makes a wonderful keepsake especially long after the relative is gone.

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