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All I Want For Chanukah

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-12-03

Chanukah candles

Chanukah candles

It’s Chanukah time again and that means doughnuts, latkes and presents. With the first night of Chanukah on December 8 (25 Kislev), Something Jewish offers a guide to the coolest presents for all ages this year.

1. Music. Our pick of the best in Jewish music this year includes:
Celebrate Hip-Hop – a compilation of Jewish rappers from around the world, including American rapper Remedy, Israeli performer Mook E and British group Emunah.

Milken Archive – the first ten albums from this US label, which releases rare and re-interpreted Jewish classical music, have just been released in the UK.

Oy To The World – American klezmer band The Klezmonauts re-interpret Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, but give them a distinctive East European flavour.

2. DVD.  The best Jewish-themed DVDs of the year include:

Curb Your Enthusiasm Series 2 – Larry David, creator of Seinfeld, stars as himself in this quirky comedy series.

Seinfeld Series 1, 2 and 3 – the first three series of this classic sitcom are now out to buy.

Wondrous Oblivion – British comedy/drama about a young Jewish boy in 1960s London, who has a fondness for cricket.

3. MP3 player. If you don’t fancy splashing out on an iPod, Creative Labs offers some very neat MP3 players. One of the best is the Zen Touch, which  comes in an iPod-ish white colour, and offers a massive 20GB hard drive (which means you can store thousands of songs).

Another cool MP3 player is the Zen Micro, which offers 5GB of space, plus built-in radio. It can also be used for recording hours of voice.

4. Gift vouchers. Now is a good time to buy gift vouchers because come the January there’ll be bargains galore in the shops (as they’ll have their sales and clearance offers). Why not choose some John Lewis vouchers, or go online and buy some from Amazon?

5. Broadband. Upgrade someone from an ultra-slow dial-up to a super-fast Broadband, for around £20 a month. There are plenty of providers out there, including AOL, Tiscali and Demon.

6. A new car. If you’re feeling ultra-generous, then Citroen’s C4 is one of the best new cars around. It looks good, performs well and is comfortable – plus it has such unique features as an in-built air freshener.

7. Books. Treat yourself to some reading matter, such as:

Hitchhiking To Heaven – the autobiography of Rabbi Lionel Blue.

The Secret Purposes – comedian David Baddiel gets serious with this World War II drama, loosely based on some family experiences.

Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer’s ultra-quirky tale of Jewish author in search of his roots. It’s been out a while, but if you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance.

The Grim Grotto – the latest book in the best-selling Lemony Snicket series is an underwater adventure.

8. Give some money to charity. Chanukah isn’t all about receiving, it’s about giving too, and now is a good time to help others, either by giving money or your time.