Creative Bar Mitzvah gifts

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Bar Mitzvah gifts they'll love

It’s not easy to find the perfect gift to celebrate this momentous time in a Jewish teen’s life. Whether you’re looking for Bar Mitzvah gifts for a boy or Bat Mitvah gifts for a girl, a bit of creative thinking will help you pick out something special.

The reason so many non-Jewish people have trouble choosing a present is they’re unfamiliar with the custom and not sure of what's appropriate. If you’re invited to a party and you’re not Jewish, shop as you would for a special celebration that has serious religious overtones. The occasion marks a meaningful moment in the guest of honor’s spiritual path, but the event itself is a party, as well.

Money, religious mementos and entertainment items are always welcome by young boys and girls celebrating their Bar / Bat Mitvah. Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm:

Money, money, money

If you decide to go the money route, you can still pull off a fun surprise. Instead of a check, give the amount in bills, preferably in a multiple of 18 for luck. Roll up each bill individually and stuff it into an over-sized balloon. Fill the balloon with confetti and glitter, and warn your recipient to open it outdoors.

Photograph presents

Find a photo starring the recipient and put it on a keepsake. A baby picture and current one printed on a mug or flip sides of a decorative pillow will give them something to smile at when they’re older. If the two of you are close, choose an picture featuring both of you in a special place. 

For animal lovers, use a picture of the person’s pet on a tote bag or simple coin purse. You can create custom photo goods on wesites like Zazzle.com, or make them yourself. To go DIY, print an image on transfer paper and iron it on to fabric. Then use a basic sewing pattern to stitch a tote yourself.


With so many guests gifting money, the recipient will need a place to keep it all. Make them a wallet. DarnKat offers a full tutorial to make a basic wallet out of fabric, but you can also use a map or other meaningful material. If you can’t afford to give money, this is a thoughtful alternative.

Fun clock

Bar Mitzvah gifts for this Jewish celebration mark a particular time and welcome the next stage. A fun clock will always remind him of this moment, while keeping him on track in the coming years. These days you can buy the clock mechanism from a craft store and make your own clock on a painting or other piece of art. Or buy him a design featuring a theme that will speak to his interests.


At the age of 13, the world is filled with curiosities. Stir those interests with a beautiful book, like Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities. This book features a collection of 1,500 engravings used to illustrate some of the dictionaries oddest entries from the 19th century. In order to make wise choices in life, it’s important to know as much as possible about this world.
Mind body and soul

Not all Bar Mitzvah gifts take work to be creative. Gift cards are appropriate to give a 13 year old, especially if you don’t know him as well as you know the parents. One way to make this route more personable and acknowledge the spiritual nature of the occasion is to theme you choice of gift card vendors around the mind, body and soul:

  • Mind: Possible retailers include a local book, game or puzzle store.
  • Body: Get him a gift subscription to a fitness magazine, or a card to a sporting goods store.
  • Soul: If music, movies and food feed his soul, you can’t go wrong at iTunes, Netflix or a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant.

Any gift from the heart will be received with much gratitude so try not to overthink it.

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