8 affordable gift ideas for each day of Hanukkah

By Laura Woods/GOBankingRates

Hanukkah is just around the corner, with the Jewish holiday beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 16 and ending on Wednesday, Dec. 24.

Traditionally, gifts were not a part of Hanukkah. Instead gelt -- a small amount of money or chocolate coins -- was given to children. However, some parents now include gift giving in their Hanukkah festivities.

If you're trying to come up with fun -- yet affordable -- Hanukkah gifts for your children, there are many options to choose from. The following eight gift ideas are sure to bring a smile to your children's faces, without making a dent in your budget:

  • Day One -- Traditional Gifts: Keep Hanukkah traditions alive by giving your children a dreidel, gelt -- chocolate coins are also perfectly acceptable -- or a menorah. Create lasting family memories by teaching your children the dreidel game and playing it together.
  • Day Two -- Puzzles and Games: Take inventory of your children's puzzles and games and see what childhood classics they're missing. Purchase old favorites like Candy Land, Monopoly and Clue and give them to your kids to play together as a family. Invest in a large puzzle that everyone can work on as a group throughout the evening.
  • Day Three -- Books: Choose a few books for each child based on their reading levels and interests. Not only does reading serve as a great way to improve their vocabulary, it also provides hours of entertainment. Local libraries make a great go-to for purchasing books cheaply, as many have small book stores where donated books find new homes.
  • Day Four -- Gift for the Family: Teach your children the joy of sharing by purchasing a gift for the entire family. You can make this surprise as inexpensive or extravagant as you want, but keep the focus on spending family time together. For example, a few budget-friendly ideas include letting your kids choose a movie to see together or treating them to a pizza dinner. Check sites like Groupon and Living Social for discounts on restaurants, local activities and getaway deals.
  • Day Five -- Pajamas: Your children could probably use new pajamas, so turn this practical item into a fun gift by choosing a silly pair or one donning their favorite characters. Look for high-quality, low-priced pajamas at discount retailers.
  • Day Six -- Charitable Giving: Teach your children the joy of giving by dedicating one night to charity. Set aside as much money as you feel comfortable giving and decide as a family which charity or charities you'll donate the funds to. Alternatively, you can also purchase gifts for a children's charity.
  • Day Seven -- Favorite Items: Present each of your children with a gift bag filled with some of their favorite things. These don't have to be expensive items. In fact, you can gather them throughout the year when you find them on sale. Ideas include candy, costume jewelry, cosmetic items, art supplies, snack food and other practical items your children enjoy.
  • Day Eight -- Handmade Gifts: Gifts don't have to be store-bought, so present your child with a lovely DIY item. If you have more than one child, this is a great opportunity to have them make gifts for one another. Need ideas? Head to Pinterest for inspiration.

Hanukkah is about spending time with your family and passing on traditions from one generation to the next. You can easily add gifts into your nightly festivities without breaking the bank by practicing a bit of savvy shopping. Search for coupon codes online, shop in bulk and look for freebies to stretch your dollars as far as possible.