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Old 11-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
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Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

Can you share any decorating tips or traditions that you love? Do to a change in our religious beliefs we gave up Christmas a few years ago and now celebrate Chanukah. However I do miss all the beautiful decorations and atmosphere. I've found some nice Chanukah music but all the decorations seem to be very chitzy. Is there any way to decorate a bit and have it be more sophisticated? I'm thinking maybe we could still do a winter village, or maybe a temple and Jerusalem scene. We put up blue lights outside. I know I'm kinda replacing Christmas and the Chanukah festival but I don't want my children to feel left. Any other ideas?

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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I had a Jewish stepfather. Growing up on Long Island, we had the standard window menorah but we also had a beautiful one that took candles for inside.

This is a bit ornate for my taste, ours was a little more simple:

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

On the shallow end: icy blues, (rather than the ordinary bright blue), frosty silver and white look stunningly wintery: http://blowoutparty.com/blog/2010/11...-and-desserts/

Think silver/frost/cream/wintry blues and blue-greens instead of gold/red/green (which I never find a particularly attractive combination anyway).

It's a festival of lights, so blue and white fairy lights are beautiful. Stars and candles - you can riff off a snowflake scheme, because they are also 6-pointed.

I've got no traditions because I didn't grow up Jewish, but that's how we'll be decorating our house this year.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

We do, just because DH's family is Jewish. It's more of a tradition, we don't practice Judaism in our nuclear family. FIL comes over and does it with the kids mostly. He leads the prayers, etc. He plays dreidel with the boys and they have fun with pennies and chocolate gelt. He tells them stories about the history of Hanukkah and DH makes latkes with applesauce. We don't really decorate. But if we did, it would probably be with blue and white lights.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

Well, this is probably not that helpful to you, because we also did Christmas in a secular way as a family holiday simply because we always did extended family visits and for convenience's sake it's easier to travel over Christmas every year than Hannukah.

For Hannukah, we did candle lighting, did the prayers, and did 8 days of presents. One was always a calendar for the next year to put up in our rooms, one was always a new pair of jammies, and one was something we collect. For me this was a charm for my charm bracelet and for my brother it was obviously something to his interests. The rest of the days was always books. We did a large dinner on the first night with family around us, and then the rest of the time we were by ourselves. We did songs, dreidel, stories (when we were little there were kids' picture books with the stories of Hannukah).

For Christmas, my parents referred to it as a family holiday, and there was Santa Claus (which my aunt actually referred to as Chana Claus to have some generality among the holiday when we were really little) but he basically represented generosity and a giving spirit. Nothing religious at all about the day. We did a tree, loved decorating the tree, had lights up, etc. I love the baking and the music and all, and will probably continue the traditions with my DS. We baked Hannukah and Christmas cookies.

We have a lovely menorah that was passed down to us. I also use Christmas tree ornaments passed down to me, and I like the ritualistic part of taking everything out every year and setting it all up, largely at the same time.

ETA food! Latkes and applesauce was a tradition, as was blintzes but I think that may be just traditional to my dad's family. And we played Scrabble for some reason the first night, not sure why, lol
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

ooh! another decorating idea! we can't do this one because I've already committed time and money to a wintry Chanukah theme, but you could run with the Middle Eastern vibe - peacock blues, turquoise, navy, with accents of gold, ochre, burnt reds, pink and orange. It'll be warmer and more cheery, for sure.

I just saw this felt bunting: http://www.creativejewishmom.com/200...-chanukah.html - and felt inspired.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?

We celebrate but don't really decorate. I have quite a few menorahs that have been given to me over the years. What about decorating with more of a winter feel? snowmen, etc.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chandni3
Can you share any decorating tips or traditions that you love? Do to a change in our religious beliefs we gave up Christmas a few years ago and now celebrate Chanukah. However I do miss all the beautiful decorations and atmosphere. I've found some nice Chanukah music but all the decorations seem to be very chitzy. Is there any way to decorate a bit and have it be more sophisticated? I'm thinking maybe we could still do a winter village, or maybe a temple and Jerusalem scene. We put up blue lights outside. I know I'm kinda replacing Christmas and the Chanukah festival but I don't want my children to feel left. Any other ideas?
Like you, we also gave up Christmas. Now that I'm married with kids, I too am struggling with what to do to make it special for them. If you celebrate the other feasts, Sukkot, Passover, etc., you can really play them up as well. I love the blog that a pp shared a link to, she has so many great ideas for all the feasts! My mom does a winter theme, with lots of blue and white, snowmen and what not.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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We celebrate Hanukkah. I took Hanukkah fabric and made dreidel stuffers instead of stockings. So cute and fun! We made a huge wire star of David and wrapped it with blue tinsel. I'll post pics once we decorate.

When does it fall this year?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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We celebrate Hanukkah. I took Hanukkah fabric and made dreidel stuffers instead of stockings. So cute and fun! We made a huge wire star of David and wrapped it with blue tinsel. I'll post pics once we decorate.

When does it fall this year?
I believe it starts on the 8th.
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