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Tis the season...

Worrying about Chanukah giving is not a new theme here: I've worried about sustainable gift giving, on how we make our oil last longer (can you live on one days energy for 8 days?) and on ethical gifting.
After several conversations this week, it seems friends are increasingly wondering how to allow their kids some of the joy and excitement of Chanukah gifts, without drowning in stuff that is quickly forgotten and losing the meaning of the festival in a pile of plastic and batteries.
There are options out there for add ons; readings and themes that can add learning and deepen our spiritual encounter with the festival, walk us through the 8 nights, and make the ancient meanings of the festival newly relevant for us. But the real challenge for many of us with kids is finding ways to get around the modern minhag of showering each other in 8 nights of gifts.
Gifts and giving are wonderful, but it's so easy for children to miss the part about giving, and become crazy with the recei…

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