Eight Gifts of Hanukkah (2021 Hallmark)

Eight Gifts of Hanukkah (2021 Hallmark)

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Cast: Jake Epstein, Inbar Lavi

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

An anonymous suitor sends optometrist Sara a gift for each night of Hanukkah. On her journey to find her secret admirer, she learns her one true love might be someone she never expected.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Optometrist, Sarah, is a dating gal in Seattle. She meets a lot of duds, including a man fully dressed as Santa. She meets a handsome celebrity chief named Nigel, who agrees to go on a second date.

Sarah recaps the date to her co-worker Keisha and handyman Daniel. Daniel and his crew Jimmy are renovating the office before Hanukkah. A customer, Adam, brazenly asks her out and claims he lost his glasses to have the opportunity to take them to her.  

Daniel makes fun of Sarah for booking so many dates, but she is still struggling from a breakup. He gives her his Bubbe Rose’s Dreidel to cheer her up. All Sarah wants is to find love and start a family. She also shares a strong bond with her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. 

Sarah is on a committee at her local synagogue to plan a big Hanukkah event. Her ex-boyfriend, Paul, is there, and Sarah feels awkward. Daniel reminds her that Paul didn’t deserve her. 

Daniel is like family. He grew up living next door to Sarah’s family and is best friends with her brother, Jacob. Sarah’s family hosts the first night of Hanukkah, where they light the menorah and play dreidel. They find a bouquet of white roses and a mysterious letter; Sarah has a secret admirer. 

Keisha does some research on Andy, the inappropriate customer, and he is a big-time tech guy who just sold his start-up and has a lot of $$$. 

Andy tries to impress Sarah, but I’m more impressed with Daniel’s beautiful customized house. Sarah goes after that her date to brainstorm who could be her secret lover while they play chess by the fireplace.

The next surprise gift comes on the second night of Hanukkah. (A basket full of chocolate with a card that says she is sweeter than chocolate.) When Daniel hears about the gift, he makes a TERRIBLE Forest Gump impression. (It is Sarah’s favorite movie.) 

Nigel takes Sarah on an office picnic. Daniel asks Sarah how the date went, and she just says, “swell.” The caterer falls through for the Mazel Ball, and Sarah offers Nigel as a replacement. Then Paul comes out of nowhere and tells Sarah that he misses her. Everyone is trying to date this woman! 

Daniel hosts Hanukkah dinner, and Sarah comes to his home to help make him make Lakas. Daniel doesn’t have the best relationship with his family and views Sarah’s parents more like his chosen family. 

Daniel admits that he is the 8 gifts of Hanukkah guy. He tells Jimmy that it is an attempt to show Sarah how he feels about her. He might be too late because Nigel is invited to a dinner at Sarah’s parent’s house. They all light the menorah together. Sarah tells Nigel that she loved Hanukkah because a little more light comes into their life each night. The night four gift is a watch because Sarah makes time standstill. 

Daniel gets an offer to move to develop houses in Aspen and might have to move from Seattle. He only has a week to decide. When he tells Sarah and her family. She tells him she will miss him. Daniel tries to tell Sarah about the gifts, but he chickens out and apologizes for not telling her about his potential move. Sarah forgives him and asks him to practice dancing for the Mazel Ball. They slow dance to Howie Day’s “Collide.” (Very random.)

Back at the office, Sarah gives Daniel an eye exam. (A situation I’ve never found to be particularly romantic.) Daniel talks in heavily coded speeches; he just needs to tell her how he feels.

Night five. Sarah gets a new tree menorah. Adam shows up the next day with a car full of stuffed animals, not to be outdone. THEN Paul shows up to try and win Sarah back. Daniel is apprehensive that he doesn’t measure up.

Daniel host the annual Haunnukah Hunt at his house, where the children search for the gelt and open presents. 

Night six. Sarah opens up her gift, and it is a music box that plays “Ma’oz Tzur.” It reminds her of Bubbe Rose, and she is touched deeply. 

Night seven. The card reads, I see your face, and I need nothing more. It is a pair of glasses that are similar to her Bubbe Rose. Sarah says it is the best Hanukkah ever.

Sarah tells Paul that he didn’t put her first, which is why they broke up. He wants to win her back, but then he answers a work call and proves he hasn’t really changed. 

Daniel gets mad that Sarah thinks it is Paul and he kind of freaks out on her. Sarah tells him she thought they were friends, and she didn’t know he felt that way about her. Daniel runs off before they can talk further.

On the last night of Hanukkah, Sarah dresses up for the Mazel ball and storms over to his house to confront him. He tells her that he has had the best moments of his life with her. Sarah tells him that she loves him too and he is her best friend. She doesn’t want to lose him. He is shocked and just lets her WALK OUT!??!?!

At the Mazel ball, everything seems to be going great. Sarah thanks Nigel for cooking and helping last min. She breaks up with him to be with Daniel. She tells Paul the same thing. Basically, she tells everyone she is in love with Daniel around the party. 

Daniel shows up and requests Howie Day’s “Collide.” so they can slow dance. He tells her that is it the last night of Hanukkah and the first night of the rest of their lives. He proposes with her grandmother’s ring, she gave it to him because she knew they would be together eventuallys. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Jimmy, Keisha, 

This felt like to most authentic Hanukkah movie yet. Nothing felt heavy-handed or too expository. Just a Jewish woman experiencing love during the holiday season. This is what Hallmark movies are all about! 


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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is my overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Hanukkah Feels

🕎 🕎 🕎 🕎 🕎 (5 Menorahs)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine.)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Hallmark Crown Media

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #EightGiftsofHanukkah

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