By the CNN Belief Blog staff
(CNN) - Americans love kitsch, and the holidays bring out the best in our love/hate relationship with products that are so bad they just might be great. Each December you can find some terror-stricken parents ambling through toy stores like zombies in search of the perfect gift for their children.
But if no perfect gift can be found, you can always turn to kitsch. That awful holiday faithy kind. It's so bad it just might work.
Hanukkah is no exception.
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins on Saturday. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt and the menorah (candelabrum) that stayed aglow for eight days, despite a lack of oil.
The holiday gift giving burden can be doubly worse for Jewish parents who have to scramble to find gifts for their children for each of the eight nights. But does your kid really need another dreidel, another bag of chocolate coins?
The clock is ticking, but there's still time for the perfect faithy kitsch gift for children and the young at heart. With that in mind we humbly present the Belief Blog 2012 Guide to Hanukkah Kitsch.
Hanukkah menorah rubber ducky
Now your children can really test the miracle of the menorah by bringing this rubber ducky into the tub. Nothing says candles like a bath.
Ketzel the Cat menorah
Cats played no central role in the Maccabean Revolt story, but why should cat lovers suffer for that?
Geltdigger Hanukkah sweater
This horrible holiday sweater comes complete with Stars of David and the menorah in golden chocolate coin motif. It's the article of clothing that makes your kids want to stay in the car because they refuse to be seen with you wearing it.
Nice Jewish guys calendar
From the product description, "Firemen and Chippendales have had their spotlight long enough! The 2013 Nice Jewish Guys Calendar turns the spotlight on the underrated characteristic that pecs and tight buns can't deliver...niceness."
Star of David toaster
In a move of interfaith outreach, the folks who brought us Jesus toasters have created this Star of David toaster, just in time for the holiday.
The Count's Hanukkah Countdown (Shalom Sesame)
The Count counts down the eight nights. Get it?
‘Twas the night before Hanukkah – 2 disk set
While all the other kids on the block are reading that other version of this story, now you and your family can finally enjoy the Hanukkah version.
No limit Texas dreidel game
Spinning the dreidel is a classic Hanukkah game where children bet for chocolate coins. Finally a version adults can enjoy by taking the gambling to the next logical step.
Mama Doni – Chanukah Fever Press
We've long documented the plight of Hanukkah music on the Belief Blog (see also the Maccabeats). Here's yet another entry into the holiday song canon.
Chanukah House decorating kit – vanilla cookie
It's like a ginger bread house but Hanukkah. Comes complete with blue and white frosting.
And don't forget to tune in next week for a very kitschy Belief Blog Christmas gift guide.
Religion is a cancer
That toaster is boss.
This is anti-semitic.
Chanukkah is not supposed to be commercial like christmas. It is more serious.
(Sorry for the repost)
Christmas is not supposed to be commercialized either, you sound anti-christian.
There we go with that word "anti-semetic". Be aware when you hear that word quiet. All rationality has left the place. Then they begin giving you lectures of the holocaust, pulling at your heart strings, next thing you know they are going to bring Anne Frank. For the record, there has been genocides many places beyond the most famous one that happened in Europe. Yes, it was appalling but you cannot hide behind that event for issues that are taking place in the 21st century.
You are all not oppressed anymore. You now are in that position... Funny how history plays out.
Any moron who thinks it's "anti-Semetic" is incapable of rendering a valid opinion.
The rest of your post is unworthy of an 8th grader.
This @Johnny2525 is all over this topic like a rash spouting incomprensible paranoia
What is rash young grasshopper? My questions are deemed to provocative? I do the same I find a similar page with Islam on it. Guaranteed. Here to help remind citizens the values that made this country great.
How is this anti-semitic? While most of the items are just lame, the "geltdiggers" sweater does reinforce ancient stereotypes, and the toaster OVEN, which brands a Jewish star on to the bread, well let's just say that might be seen as a wee bit insensitive to some. As for you who don't see any issues here, at least learn to spell "anti-semitic."
Gift card for Honeybaked Ham. :-)
Glad I've never gotten any of these gifts for Hanukkah. I remember once getting the singing Latke Larry, and how hilarious it was! Not sure what the worst gift I've ever gotten for Hanukkah is though.
Kids-try this on your parents (let me know how it goes). Ask for one present on the first night, two presents on the second night, three presents on the third night, and so on. Each gift on successive nights gets more and more elaborate (and expensive). For children over 21, the goal is to get a brand new car (for guys), or the nice big rock (aka diamond) for the gals. Good luck!
That made me chuckle. And I AM in need of a new toaster.......
Great gift ideas! Ahhh, but they probably all cost too much.
I should not be surprised as a non Jew that even in a light hearted article
such as this someone will be blaming Jews for being selfish and superior to non Jews or some other
The Jewish people have done more in Medical science,the arts and education to benefit non-Jews then
any other culture ever has contributed to them as a people.
So keep your pig comments only for yourself. I know that is not likely to happen as you feel mentally rejected ,but try.
If you watch the old movies, there are a lot of Jews. Most comedians of the old school were Jewish...even today many are Jewish. What IS it with their humor?
Are you being intentionally provocative? Comments like these bring no peace ...
And yet so many people take the works of creative ancient Hebrew storytellers, playwrights, poets, novelists, songwriters and perhaps even comedy writers, as being *real*?!
1000 years from now will people speak in reverent tones about the miraculous victory of the tiny country of Freedonia from the Marx Bros. "Duck Soup"?... or rhapsodize to the stirring, "Holly Holy" by Neil Diamond?
Wait...wait a moment there sir. So all I have to do is give a great big ol' donation to the sciences and then I hang whatever symbol I should choose since I paid the fee right? Not a good argument to resort to maybe a minority within the Jewish population that contributed to that large donation. Good gosh with your kind of thinking I can just give a big donation for anything that might be deemed culturally offensive and have all criticism squashed. Thank god there are enough patriots out there to stop your kind.
Oh and now that I was thinking about it. John D. Rockefeller did more than them for the sciences and medicine. He even established the University of Chicago. Although great charitable moves by him does that absolve of some of his ruthless business tactics in order to acquire that money? I have nothing against the man. Actually admire him for his discipline, but doesn't mean I don't acknowledge his faults.
I don't think we'll see the Gospels according to Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo any time soon.
Don't ask about Gummo. He's non-canonical.
thank you for your comment, and you are so right. The contribution to all levels of society by Jews is never an advertisement of the ethnicity but the professional level/dedication/creativity. Even in antisemitic Soviet Russia, music/arts were always lead by Jews. There is no way around it, guys, talent and perseverance in spite all odds wins it.
Folks, THIS is the greatest Hannukah game/gift of ALL TIME:
hey, I'll get you a nice Buick Straight-Eight manifold out of the shop,for you all...just gotta shove candles in it.
Most families don't do a gi t eacn ni ht for 8 nghts, th osed wh d o usuly do smal lgifts,for example 1st night, a ball, 2nd night pair of gloves. 3rd night, 3 walinuts and so on.
Note that these are parent to child gifts,gifts to friends and neighbors come on Purim, another minor Jewish holiday. Hanukah has been inflated because it is close th Christmas, most non-Jews haven't heard of Purim, no commercial pressure.
See comment above to see how you can increase the amount of gifts you can try to snifer out of your parents (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8=do the math).
Iroy, we get it. The joke's just not funny.
They just don't like them as they are cheap gifts. They often re-gift these.
So what you are saying is that cheap gag gifts get a laugh and then saves the receiver some cash in the future when they re-gift it? Sounds like a bargain!
Let's see...for Yom Kippur CNN gave us a Twitter feed on atonement, and now for Chanukah they give us a list of bad presents with vapid advertising photos. C'mon CNN how about talking to someone, maybe a rabbi, and give us some of the meaning or deeper interpretations of the holiday customs?
Hey Vlad, from your hateful comments, you could certainly use an education about Jews from actual experts instead of resorting to misinformation from your klan buddies.
Wolf Blitzer is Jewish so Wolfie...please put your two cents worth in. I'm not Jewish but I'll celebrate Hanukkah with you anyway.
As a purveyor of kitschy novelty toasters for all faiths I would have to humbly hope CNN keeps it up. Going to a major media outlet for deeper interpretations seems like trying to experience a majestic landscape by looking at one on a postcard.
Rabbi consultants: check
Muslim fundamentalists: check
I can see someone buying these as cutesy, gag gifts. My question is how do you keep from laughing when you try to be polite and thank someone that gives you something like this that does not see the joke?
Do Jews do Yankee Swap? The ultimate gift or a child of any age for any holiday..a BIG (preferably life size) stuffed animal. If you got the room that is.
The guy on the Nice Jewish Guys calendar looks like a boyfriend I had way back when. He was a sweetie.
If he was such a Sweetie, you should've gotten married and have oodles of babies.
Pray for the Peace fo Jerusalem!
Nothing wrong with religion.. beliefs... faith... everyone always deserves a 2nd chance. No matter what.. If your best... all your dreams can come true... your nightmares.. will disappear..
The Star of David toasters may be kitschy gornisht helfn made by a goy in Vermont but any baleboste will tell you a bissel of chutzpah goes a long way when selling gag Chanukah gift toasters!
What no pictures?
A gut yontef Reb Galen.
A toaster made in Vermont? In this day and age? Figure the odds.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.