Star Light, Star Bright
Hanukkah is just about a month away. Now, let me preface this by saying the following: my family has had many Jewish friends over the years, and it’s fully understood that Hanukkah is by far the most important celebration in the Judaic calendar. It’s generally understood that it’s the commercialization of Hanukkah by marketers looking to extend their Christmas season pull that has made it into the well-known holiday that it is. That being said, it is, at the end of the day, a major gift-giving occasion. And even if you’re not shopping for Hanukkah presents, there’s also the ongoing Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts to consider! So I’m writing about it, with the most thematically appropriate gift I could possibly think of. And if you’re not Jewish? Well neither am I, but that certainly wouldn’t stop me from putting any of these beauties on my holiday wish list.
I’m talking about gems and baubles from family-owned jewellery designer Alef Bet by Paula, based in California. With over fifteen years in the game, this isn’t your standard faith-driven jewellery line. Every piece smacks of modernity, with glittering details, a variety of finishes, and general design that doesn’t scream for attention. In other words? It’s a great way to show your Jewish pride – or if you’re not Jewish, respect for some classic customs and themes – in a subtle, stylish way.
One particularly choice benefit about the brand is they offer a huge range of price points – starting as low as $28 for this simple Hamsa (a traditional sign of protection, much like the Evil Eye above) necklace, and going up to $800 for bracelets and necklaces inlaid with diamonds, sapphires, and other rare gems.
In terms of the themes of Alef Bet’s jewellery, many of the pieces focus on good luck and protection, like the dozens of varieties of the Hamsa and Evil Eye designs above. Chai, the Hebrew sign for ‘Life’, pomegranates, the tree of life, and of course, the Star of David are all major players. They’ve also got a full line of Bendel Bracelets – legend has it when the red string unravels, good luck is on the way.
As mentioned Alef Bet is based out of California, but they do offer international shipping from USPS – with no mark-ups. As someone who gets a little annoyed by online retailers that charge you a flat rate, it’s nice to see a company that doesn’t mark up their shipping. If you’re ready to shop, great news. Alef Bet is hooking up Canadian Gift Guide readers with a 10% discount on all merchandise. Follow this link – and only this link! – and enter in ‘canadiangiftguide’ as your coupon code to get 10% off your entire order.
If you’d like to take your chances and gamble to win a piece from Alef Bet beyond what you order from them, then you’re in luck: I’m giving away one of the Two Tone Jewish Star Pendants pictured above to a lucky reader. And if it looks vaguely familiar, it’s probably because its been featured on ABC’s fun comedy Suburgatory. Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment below before November 28th and tell me what your favourite good luck charm / symbol is. It can be one of the charms pictured above, or anything you consider lucky – horseshoes, pennies, rainbows, stars, clovers…name it, and maybe it’ll bring you some luck on this contest. Be sure to include your name and email address (the latter of which only I can see) so I can contact you if you win!
2) Entries are limited to one per person per email address (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 28th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry Time: Spread the good word about the Canadian Gift Guide. Share this post using anyone of the ‘Share This’ tools below, and you’ll earn a bonus entry in the draw for each method used. I can see who’s shared what, but let me know what you use in the comments below!
For full rules & regs, feel free to drop me an email at canadiangiftguide -at- gmail -dot- com. Be’hatzlacha!