Donate the 8th.
It’s a simple idea: on the 8th night of Chanukah, get together with friends and DON’T give gifts. Instead, pool the money and give it away!
We wanted to help our kids participate meaningfully in tzedakah (charity) during Chanukah. We wanted to make Chanukah more about friends and family (and gambling and fried foods!) and less about presents, presents, presents. We wanted to lessen the number of gifts while increasing amount of joy.
So we thought: what if we just gave one of the nights of Chanukah away?
To participate in Donate The 8th, skip the gifts for the 8th night of Chanukah and donate all the money you would have spent to the charity of your choice. Or (for extra fun and sweetness) do what we’re doing: get together with people you enjoy on that night, feast on latkes, set up some games and crafts, and take all the money that everyone would have spent of gifts and give it to a mutually-agreed-upon charity (or two, if you can’t all agree. Because Jews).
That’s it. Enjoy.