The Cost of Hanukkah: Almost Nothing

The cheapest, easiest holiday of the year is now officially over. Here’s what it cost me.


+ Socks and a cosmetics traveling case for my mother-in-law: ~$30. Yes, socks are an acceptable Hanukkah gift. They are even encouraged. When was the last time you got a warm, durable pair of socks? Don’t you secretly wish you’d wake up Christmas morning to a stocking full of SmartWool? Your feet do.

MIL got us gift cards.

+ A stuffed pony from Kate Beaton’s The Princess and the Pony for Babygirl: $20 plus shipping. Yes, Babygirl loves it. Yes, it now lives in her bed with her. Yes, its eyes do kind of look in different directions.

+ Something for my mother: ?? She’s coming to visit in ten days so we’ll give her something then, although we haven’t settled on what yet. She got us a challah cover because my sister-in-law asked for one and my mother strives for fairness. Although it’s perfectly nice, next year I guess I have to remember to put in a request first or God knows what I’ll end up with.

Maybe I’ll get her socks too! Only fair, right?


+ $5 for a box of candles from my local pharmacy. No other lights required.


+ Zero. Don’t be ridiculous, there are no fir trees in the Middle East. There are hardly trees at all. In fact, come to think of it, how does it make sense to decorate an evergreen in honor of a baby born to a couple in the desert? You should be eating dates to celebrate baby Jesus and probably getting in a fight with someone.


+ Zero. We got one for our wedding. It’s pretty! Increasingly I do worry that it’s impractical, since candle flames leave scorch marks on its side, and maybe a candelabra should be, you know, fire-proof?

Whatevs, it was free.


+ Zero. We didn’t throw any parties or fry up any latkes. Even if we had, it wouldn’t have cost much. You know what the most affordable food on the planet is? Potatoes.


+ Zero. Nothing is merrier than staying in, lighting candles, and listening to your awestruck toddler mutter, “Fire! Fire!” like Beavis and Butthead.

How much was your holiday?

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