So the title of this post may seem a little strange, but I’m addressing two different topics so bear with me. Last night I logged onto Facebook and saw someone I knew had posted a blog that they thought was dead on. I checked the blog out and found out about these new terms that are being used to classify certain types of people ie: Jews that other Jews take issue with. The terms are “hot chani” and “slimy shmuli“. At first I thought this might be funny but the more I read of both the posts and the comments I just felt incredibly sad. I understand that bloggers feel the need to make social commentary, I do it myself, but I do not criticize people on the basis of how they dress or what community they belong to. Having straddled both the yeshivish and modern orthodox world I have gained insight into both. The “hot “hot chanis“ bloggers speak of, are mostly good people. I know many both from my parent’s shul and from the various schools I went too. I don’t think there is a sin in looking good. If they wear tight clothes that they consider tznius who are you to tell them that it’s not and judge them for it? Are you their Rabbi or their husband or their parent? I think the snarky terminology being used is just jealousy and overall Sinas Chinam and honestly I think it’s pathetic. My motto has always been live and let live. You cannot judge a person by how they look because very often you are wrong. I would say most of the people commenting on this topic have never even met a “hot chani” or “slimy shmuli” only seen them in passing and made snap judgments. Even if you have and they are bad people what’s the point of decrying it on the internet? Do you realize what others’ think when they see that we can’t even get a long with our kind? We know what it feels like to be persecuted by many different peoples so why do we insist on persecuting our brother’s and sisters. We want those outside of us to respect us but how can they when we don’t respect ourselves? I think the lesson we all need to learn without being preachy is to love each other. We are different and yet unique and special in our ways. We all pick and choose when it comes to religion. When did one person’s relationship to halacha and God become everyone’s business? I think we each need to worry about how we define the Torah for ourselves and stop worrying about how other people define halacha for themselves.
On a more fun note Chanukah is soon to be here. Latkes and Sufganiot await. Everyone is feeling the pinch this year in their pocketbook and many people may choose to skip gifts altogether. If you choose to give gifts there are many that are affordable and that the recipient will love. The most important part is to know your recipient.
Some Cheap Ideas:
Board Games: I personally find that you can have a great time getting together with friends and playing some board games. Some fun ones Scattergories, Taboo, Jenga, Settlers of Catan, and Blokus. Check out http://Target.com or http://walmart.com for these games and many more. For Settlers check out http://barnesandnoble.com
Picture frames with personalized pictures: A picture frame can be relatively inexpensive.Putting in a fun picture of you and that person, or photo’s of them that are really great is a thoughtful and cost effective gift. For really pretty picture frames check out http://zgallerie.com
Books: Books are always a great gift idea which you can tailor to every person. For cooks there’s always a new cookbook, for history buffs a biography will always suffice. There are so many book types I don’t have time to list them all. Check out http://borders.com or http://Amazon.com. Also if you really are on a tight budget you can join a sight like http://bookmooch.com which allows you to swap books for free. All you pay is the shipping for those books requested from your collection by others.
If you have a skill like sewing or knitting you can always make homemade gifts that people will love. A hat, a scarf, a personalized apron, all can be big hits. Baking is also a great gift. You can make cookies or mini cakes and most people will truly appreciate your time and effort.
The key to budget gift giving is essentially thoughtfulness. Before you go out and buy cheap garbage, think about what the person you are gifting will really want and work from there. The look on their face when they receive it will be worth the time and effort.
I would love to hear your budget gift ideas. Please comment or email BargainJewess@gmail.com.
You can also follow me on twitter, Bargainjewess, and keep up with all my latest posts.