Celebrate the holidays of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah with these great gift ideas.
Learning about Kwanzaa
This holiday is celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Each day is dedicated to one of seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. In the evening, family members gather to light one of the candles in the kinara, a seven-branched candelabra; often gifts are exchanged. On Dec. 31, community members gather for a feast, the karamu.
For a gift item, the official Kwanzaa website suggests “A Kwanzaa Celebration” pop-up book by Nancy Williams (author) and Robert Sabuda (illustrator) to celebrate the holiday. This colorful book explains the many traditions of the holiday.
Also, here’s a local upcoming event to celebrate the holiday.
December 26 through January 1 — 36th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration, 7-8 p.m. It is a tradition of the nonprofit organization FCII of Ohio to invite people to learn and to celebrate Kwanzaa. A major element of the ceremonies includes upholding the seven principles, or Nguzo Saba, of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Kanisa House, 142 Cleveland St., Elyria, 440-366-3244, fciiohio.org
The holiday celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The lighting of the menorah recalls the story that a one-day supply of oil burned miraculously in the Temple for eight days until new oil could be obtained. Sometimes called the Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights, it’s celebrated for eight days in December, during which the ceremonial candles are lit and children play games and receive gifts. The eight days of Hanukkah begin on Dec. 16.
Gift ideas from the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood include a Customizable Children’s Menorah ($60). Made in the U.S., this colorful piece from Naturally Wood Creations is customizable with your child’s name. Each menorah is hand-signed by the artist and includes the Jewish year. Or spruce up the kids’ table with 12 Chanukah Coloring Placemats ($8.95). These kid-safe, fun-to-color designs come complete with fun holiday facts and a “make-your-own” dreidel. (30-Minute Seder LLC).
Visit maltzmuseum.org for more ideas.