Rav Miller: Chanukah is Not Gift Season

9

Q:
Should someone buy gifts for his children on Chanukah? 

Rav Avigdor Miller:
There’s no harm, but you have to be careful that it shouldn’t enter into the realm of the season’s holidays spirit. It shouldn’t be done because of the general atmosphere of the street, because they’re doing something like that. You have to beware of that attitude.

So, to give cash is a much better idea. Chanukah gelt is a well-known minhag, so give cash if you can. I don’t say it’s wrong to give gifts; nothing wrong with giving gifts. But make sure, in your own mind at least, that you’re divorced from any thoughts of the season.

Chanukah is not the season to give gifts, no, no. It’s not the gift season. You can give gifts anytime. You can give gifts on Shavuos too, and Purim and Pesach. And if you want to give gifts on Chanukah as well, I’m not going to tell you no. But if you’re going to make a big fuss about it, and make it into an ideal, that Chanukah is the time to give gifts, then you might as well sing carols and put up a Chanukah tree, because that’s what it really is.
TAPE # E-170 (December 1998) 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. and what will children do with the Chsnukah Gelt? If they are older save it for a particular present or gift item that they desire.
    If they are younger & receive Chanukah gelt then parents will need to take them shopping so easier to get them the toy/gift that they desire.

  2. So why do so many frum schools ask that parents either give gifts to the rabbeim and moros or chip in for a group gift on chanukah? I never liked the idea of doing this on chanukah. I understand its to show hakaras hatov but we can do that at a different time. By doing it on chanukah, its eerily similar to the gift giving rituals occurring in the secular schools this time of year. But no one wants their child to be the only one in the class who’s name is not on the list of kids who contributed so everyone feels like they have to go along with it.

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