Bar/Bat Mitzvah is the coming of age ceremony for Jewish children, and occurs at age 13 for boys(Bar) and age 12 for girls(Bat). If you have been asked to share in the child’s special day you will most likely want to give them a gift. But what can you give when you don’t want to just hand them money in a card? Here are 18 Alternative Bar Mitzvah Gift Ideas That Aren’t Money, with something to suit every budget.
#1. Traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts
If you would like to keep with tradition, buy the child a Judaica gift, which will be cherished for years to come.
- Hanukkah menorah – 9 stick candelabrum to celebrate Hanukkah
- Sabbath candlesticks
- Tzedakah box – traditionally used to collect money for charity, but can also be displayed as a piece of art.
- Shofar – a ram’s horn, which is blown during some Jewish services
- Mezuzah – scroll inscribed with biblical text
Probably best to consult with parents first if buying a traditional gift, so as not to double up.
#2. Room Accessories
Children of this age love getting their room looking good. Room accessory gifts could include; cushions, wall art, a desk and chair, new bedding and string lights.
Consult with the child before you buy, though, for colour schemes, preferences etc.
#3. Donate to Charity
One of the core tenets of Judaism is charity, so a donation to charity on the child’s behalf would make a lovely alternative bar/bat mitzvah gift idea. You could choose a Jewish charity, or ask the celebrant which charity they would like to support.
A book reader, such as a Kindle, makes a great gift for children who love to read. Or for those who already have one, credit towards new books.
A Boxed Set of Books is a great gift that children of any age will enjoy for a long time. Check out our 25 Teen Book Recommendations & 10 of The Coolest Classic Books for Teens to Enjoy for inspiration.
Or if you would like to keep with the Jewish theme, perhaps buy the celebrant an autobiography book on a Jewish person.
#5. Savings Bond
Ok so we know it’s money, but it is in a different format and they do last a lifetime. And buying prize bonds / savings bonds means that they can’t get at the money for a few years.
Traditionally Jewish money gifts are in multiples of 18, as this is the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew letters in the word “chai” (life), but you gift whatever value of bonds you like.
A watch, charm bracelet, chain or earrings will always be popular with children of this age and make good alternative bar/bat mitzvah gift.
It is always best to consult with other relatives and Mum and Dad, before making a purchase of this kind.
#7. Movie Fun
Give them a voucher for their local cinema or a DVD or iTunes rental voucher. Or ask Mum/Dad for some recommendations for their favourite movies, and you could pick up a box set as a gift.
#8. Canvas Print or Painting
If you have a beautiful picture from the special day of the child, you could consider getting a canvas print made from it. Or Mum/Dad may have a nice photo of the child with their friends that you could use.
For something a bit different, check out Art Nouv who produce beautiful and unique paintings from photographs.
#9. Adventure Day Out
If you are the adventurous type, an adventure day out together would make a great gift, creating special memories that will last a lifetime. And if you don’t want to partake you could organise a day for them and their friends.
#10. Headphones or Speakers
From listening to music, to watching videos online, and talking to their friends while they get on with life, good headphones are a must these days for kids of this age. Prices vary wildly so take advice from experts on what might be the best product depending on your budget.
If the child already has good headphones, a bluetooth speaker would be a good alternative.
Music gifts will always be well received by children of this age. Concert tickets, CD’s, a subscription to a music streaming service, iTunes credit, an iPod or good stereo system would all make good alternative gifts.
#12. Foodie Voucher
A voucher for their favourite restaurant or ice-cream parlour makes a great gift. They could ask their friends to join them for a special treat and pay the bill for everyone.
Or book them into a cookery course and you will also be giving them a life skill at the same time.
#13. Fun Outing Together
The promise of a future fun day out with you to the cinema, for a special lunch, or to visit their favourite attraction or park will appeal to most children.
The build up to their special day can be hectic and sometimes there is an anticlimax in the aftermath. So having something special to look forward to will be a bonus.
#14. Personalised Gifts
A personalised gift gives the child a special memory of their day.
Bumblebee Creations have some lovely gift ideas. For sports fans, we love the personalised football from the teen gifts range from Not On The High Street. Or you could order a personalised print to remember their special day.
#15. Photo Shoot
A Photo Session Voucher could be given on the day and the child could visit the studio with family or friends at a later date. This will give them a memento to keep forever.
As an alternative, creating a photo book for them, perhaps even from pictures you take on the day, is always a thoughtful gift.
From hair accessories to hair cuts, every young teen likes to look their best and have good hair days.
Hair gift ideas could include:
- Gift set of hair care products
- Treatment at their favourite hair salon or barbers on the morning of their special day
- Hair straighteners, curlers and driers
- Hair accessories
- Style consultant session for new hair style ideas
#17. Sports Gifts
Sports gifts will go down well with the young teenagers, particularly if they are sports fans. You could give tickets to an upcoming football, basketball or baseball match which you know they would enjoy. Or Sports equipment like a baskeball hoop, tennis racket, riding gear or baseball mitt make nice gifts.
If you are unsure what to buy, a voucher for a nearby sports shop will be well appreciated.
#18. Summer Camp Place
With summer just around the corner, the child may wish to attend a summer camp with friends. You could offer to book a place in their chosen summer camp as a gift.
Over to you! Have you any further recommendations for alternative bar/bat mitzvah gifts? Let us know in the comments below.