Did you know that Hanukkah, according to some research, has now jumped ahead of Passover as the most celebrated Jewish holiday in North America?
And this year, with Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coming at the same time, we have an extra opportunity to jazz up our homes with the colors and flavors of the season. I’m planning a joyous mix of oranges and reds and golden yellows to honor both the harvest and the colors of Hanukkah flames.
This year’s double-holiday raises some issues, especially for experienced decorators. Here’s one Mom’s brilliant solution:
“I love the decorating part of both holidays and the schemes conflict. I am planning a ‘Thanksgiving themed dinner table and my Hanukkah decor round about the house.”
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My vision of Thanksgivvukah
Here’s my vision:
1. Decorating our Happy Hanukkah Banner with crayons, markers and glitter glue. (I just discovered a toddler-friendly way to avoid glitter glue clumps. Using Q-tips, we “painted” the glue into sparkling swirls enhancing its impact dramatically.) To add the Thanksgiving touch, we will add pictures of turkeys, corn, maple leaves and other symbols of the season cut from magazines. [Happy Hanukkah Banner is in the Happy Hanukkah Art & Activity Pak and Hanukkah Games Box.]
2. Coloring the candles and flames from our menorah cut-and-color activity. This is the perfect year for our younger grandson to “light” this paper menorah, while his brother lights the real one. [Menorah Cut-and-Color Activity is in the Hanukkah Art & Activity Pak, Hanukkah Games Box, and Hanukkah in a Box Family Fun Kit.]
3. Parading around the house – all kids and adults invited — playing musical instruments (maracas, tambourines, little drums) to the sound of one of our favorite Maccabeats’ song, Candlelight, cranked up really loud. The leader of the parade will carry a football.
4. Snacking on the orange/red/yellow foods, like crackers, cheese, carrot sticks, and red grapes.
5. Setting the dining room table with an orange tablecloth, napkins of orange/red/yellow (we happen to have these already!), mini-pumpkins, and golden gourds. Down the center of the table, we’ll use eight shorter yellow and orange candles with 1 taller red one in the middle as the shamash (helper candle).
6. Creating a Thanksgivvukah centerpiece – with the kids, of course – mixing symbols of both holidays (e.g., Indian maize, dried fall leaves, dreidels, gelt, candles).
7. Recreating this menorah challah made from pizza dough, but adding a turkey body made of construction paper.
Without spending a lot of money, I believe that we can weave together the traditions of both holidays into a fun, new festival, without losing what we love about each.
What’s your vision?
Please share your plans for celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime festival.