Gift Guide 2021: Prepare for early Chanukah
ChanukahLast minute shopping

Gift Guide 2021: Prepare for early Chanukah

Gift ideas for kids, adults and even pets

Chanukah Penguin Party Crackers (Courtesy of Paper Source)
Chanukah Penguin Party Crackers (Courtesy of Paper Source)

With Chanukah sneaking up on us early this year, starting Nov. 28, we’re just lucky the holiday is eight days long, giving procrastinators a wide window to order their gifts in time for at least that final night.

Dillydallyers, this is your sign to put off Chanukah shopping no more. Here’s a list of last-minute gifts that are sure to please.

(Photo courtesy of Masterclass)

Masterclass annual membership
If you’re worried about what to get the person who has it all, supply chain delays or you’ve just run out of wrapping paper, go with the gift of knowledge this Chanukah. Masterclass members have access to more than 100 classes across 11 categories. Learn to act from Natalie Portman, cook from Yotam Ottolenghi or lead a business from Howard Schultz. Buy a membership starting at $15 a month at

Embark DNA test for dogs
With the growing popularity of DNA kits like 23andMe to trace Jewish ancestry, Embark wants to do the same for your furry family members. By processing a small mouth swap, Embark can identify the breed of your pooch and whether they have relatives who have also used Embark. Whether your canine is a Pekinese, German Shepherd or mutt, rest assured knowing that no matter what, your dog is 100% Jewish. You can buy it for $149 at

The Milk Bar sampler

(Photo courtesy of Milk Bar)
From two-Michelin star restaurant Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City and two-time James Beard Award winner Christina Tosi comes the Milk Bar Sampler. The sampler comes with three-packs of birthday and chocolate birthday truffles, a slice of Milk Bar pie and a six-pack of assorted cookies — a break from Chanukah’s fried-food tradition, but delicious nonetheless. The $54 box is available at

Dreidel Roulette
If the Yud-Gimmel-Hey-Shin-schtick has gotten boring after years of dreidel playing, up the ante with Dreidel Roulette. By spinning the dreidel in the center of the table, the dreidel will knock the game’s wooden balls into numbered and colored cavities. And you could make the argument that chocolate gelt looks an awful lot like chips … The game can accommodate infinite players (in theory) and is an economical $26 at

(Photo courtesy of National Bobblehead Hall of Fame)
Bobblehead dreidel and menorah
Nontraditional dreidels are coming in hot this year, and the top from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame can check boxes for bobblehead and dreidel collectors alike. To match, buy a bobblehead menorah with nine bobbing flames atop the candles. Both are limited edition, so order them now for $25 a pop at

Nidra Deep Sleep Eye Mask
I’m a poor sleeper who came from a long line of poor sleepers, but a sleep mask really changed the game for me. Now that the sun is peeking through the blinds a little earlier than it was last month, the Nidra Eye Mask could be instrumental in helping you sleep until your alarm goes off — and not a second sooner. With domed eye cups that shut out light and won’t irritate your eyelashes, this eye mask will hopefully help you catch some Zs. It’s $10.99 exclusively on

(Photo courtesy of Nestle)
Nestle Nespresso Milk Frother
To make those early mornings even easier, check out the crème de la crème for cream. The stay-at-home orders of the pandemic have meant that folks have become their own baristas, and the Nespresso Milk Frother joins the ranks of countertop espresso makers and coffee bean grinders that help turn one’s home into their favorite cafe. Practice your latte art and learn to make a heart, a swan or a portrait of your spouse. These milk frothers are $99 on

“Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes”
We all know that beans are the magical fruit, so you might as well make yourself a magician by learning to cook them. Written by “Ruffage” author Abra Berens, photographed by Ee Berger and illustrated by Lucy Engelman, “Grist” transforms these humble kitchen staples into more than 125 dishes with 300 variations, just in time for the growing interest in plant-based and sustainable cooking. Snag the hardback copy for $30.69 at

“Goodnight Bubbula: A Joyful Parody”
Written by Sheryl Haft and illustrated by Jill Weber, “Goodnight Bubbula” is perhaps a lighter read than the aforementioned cookbook. A parody of the classic “Goodnight Moon,” this children’s book sets out to teach kids a bissel Yiddish that will make all the bubbes and zeydes kvell. Plus, the book includes Ina Garten’s latke recipe, which seems like a worthy purchase all by itself. Find the book at the National Museum of American Jewish History Gift Store for $17.99 at

Chanukah Penguin Party Crackers
Vaccine and boosted, it’s finally the year to celebrate the Festival of Lights together with family and friends. Kickoff the party with these Penguin Party Crackers, each filled with a surprise toy. Get a pack of eight for $26.99 at PJC

Sasha Rogelberg writes for the Jewish Exponent, an affiliated publication.

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