Look outside… What do you see?
Christmas trees, shiny lights, reindeers flying over your head…
Say what you will about Santa – he sure knows how to throw a party.
Let’s be honest: as pretty as a Menorah may be (and there are quite a few gorgeous Menorahs out there), it doesn’t stand a chance against Santa and his army of elves.
It’s no wonder Jewish kids (heck, even adults) feel like “second best” on Hanukkah. Can you blame them? While everyone is out there celebrating Christmas under the Christmas Tree, opening presents, having a jolly good time – Jewish kids have to settle for the “crumbles”.
Question is: what can we Jews do to make Hanukkah at least as appealing (or dare I say, even more appealing)?
I’ve got two words for you: Hanukkah decorations.
Not just any decorations… I’m talking unique Hanukkah supplies and centerpieces; the kind that make kids (and adults) jump out of bed in the morning!
That’s why for this year’s festival of lights (”2019”), I decided to create a MONSTER guide (it took me almost a week to create it, btw) to help Jewish families decorate their home for Hanukkah and turn their house into one gigantic Hanukkah treat!
Mark my word – by the end of this guide, you’ll have enough Hanukkah decoration ideas to last you for a lifetime.
OK, enough babbling, let’s get this party rolling!
Table of Contents
Traditional Hanukkah Decorations & Supplies
Before we swing for the fences with all sorts of fancy party supplies, let’s start with the traditional Hanukkah decorations every Jewish home needs to celebrate Hanukkah in the first place…
If you’re getting a Menorah anyway, you might as well get one that is already beautifully decorated (with pomegranates and cute birdies!) BY DESIGN.
Not just any design – a design made by the legendary Yair Emanuel – arguably the top Judaica artist in the world.
You could have the most beautifully decorated home… but if your Menorah isn’t exciting to look at during the 8 days of Hanukkah, what’s the point?
No point in having a Menorah if you don’t have Hanukkah candles, now is it? The box arrives with 44 candles – enough for all 8 nights of Hanukkah.
DREIDELS. DREIDELS EVERYWHERE.
Don’t worry, that’s what a Jewish home is supposed to look like during Hanukkah.
- If your table doesn’t have a whole bunch of dreidels distributed across your Hanukkah table – you’re doing something wrong.
- If kids (and adults) aren’t obsessively spinning a dreidel when they first sit down at the table – you’re doing something wrong
- If your guests aren’t making weird bets (I bet you $5 I land on a Gimmel!) throughout the evening – you’re doing something wrong (or you’re inviting the wrong guests)
Bottom line? Get wooden dreidels in bulk, and spread them across the table. Do it right!
I have an admission to make: I didn’t like chocolate gelt when I was a kid.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to get so excited when I received Chocolate gelt! But that excitement didn’t last more than a few minutes. That is – until I tasted the darn thing… It was awful!
I remember spitting out the chocolate gelt on more than one occasion. Could you imagine – a child spitting out chocolate? That’s how bad it was…
I don’t know if I just had bad luck, or if my parents purposely bought yucky chocolate gelt so I don’t get addicted to them (if so, props to them because it worked).
Fast forward 20 years… I LOVE chocolate gelt, it’s almost embarrassing. It took me a long time to realize: some chocolate gelt is delicious (especially when it’s premium Belgian chocolate), while others are just condensed sugary gold coins that taste like ****. Turns out quality varies, even in something as inconsequential as chocolate gelt.
Hanukkah Party Supplies & Accessories
Now that we’ve got the traditional decorations taken care of, it’s time to stock up on a few Hanukkah party supplies.
Note: Notice how I said few? Don’t go berzerk on me and start spending money like it’s Christmas (pun intended). Think quality, not quantity.
Before you think about decorating your table, yard or adding any other fancy gizmos like inflatable decorations – first make sure you’ve got these basic Hanukkah items and accessories covered…
You’d be surprised how much these Happy Hanukkah banners liven up the atmosphere. You can hang them anywhere you like: your living room, office, classroom… if there are any Jews present – add a couple of banners and wish them a Happy Hanukkah!
The banners aren’t enough? Then crank it up a notch with Hanukkah ball lanterns to illuminate the place. The kids will get a kick out of it, that’s for sure!
If you really want to take it to the highest level – cover your entire ceiling with Hanukkah swirl decorations!
Make it rain!
It’s not enough that we have to stare at emojis all day long on our phone, now they’re part of our dreidel-themed Hanukkah dinnerware?!
Just kidding! Emojis are sweet 😀… Especially when they’re trapped inside tiny dreidels.
Or, if you want to take the whole Dreidel Hanukkah décor seriously – say Sayonara to the emojis and use these dreidel shaped paper plates instead (or get both – mix and match!)
Just do me a favor, make sure nobody spins these dreidels… otherwise, you’ll be spinning your wheels all night cleaning up the mess.
Since we went deep into the dreidel world, we might as well top it off with little dreidel straws!
How cute are these?! If there are kids involved, get some dreidel straws involved as well. They’ll LOVE it!
Tip: If you find the dreidel decorations overwhelming, skip the dreidel plates and just get the dreidel straws.
Most of the Hanukkah confetti you’ll find online comes with standard Star of David confetti flakes. While there’s nothing wrong with Stars of David, I do prefer something a little more Hanukkah-y.
This cool Hanukkah-themed confetti is the only one I found that includes all of our favorite Hanukkah symbols: Menorahs, dreidels, and of course – Stars of David.
Generally speaking – a party without balloons = a lame party. The same is true for a Hanukkah party.
Don’t be lame. Get some Happy Hanukkah balloons.
This is taking the whole “Festival of lights” literally… but hey, lighting up your home with fairy string lights sets the mood and gives the place a nice, warm atmosphere.
Not such a terrible thing to have during the cold holiday season, huh?
Tip: Make sure you get the blue lights. That’ll make it more Hanukkah-y.
One great way to get their kids involved in Hanukkah is to have them cut out Hanukkah icons and spread them across the table.
But if you don’t have the time, the patience or a printer – then just get these already-cut Hanukkah cutouts and distribute them all across your home: the walls, tables, doors, windows, anywhere really…
Imagine your friends and neighbors walking across the hallway, and seeing this huge Hanukkah banner around your front door…
You’re essentially giving them a teaser: “Want to find out what’s inside? Knock on the door!”
And if you’ve done a good job, they will! (and hopefully, bring a cool Hanukkah present with them)!
We’ve decorated our ceiling, wall, door… did we forget anything?
Ah yes, the windows!
Display these fun Hanukkah gel clings on your windows. It’s a quick and effortless way to add a touch of Hanukkah to your home, office or classroom.
Now, even random bypassers will know that they’re missing out on the best Hanukkah party in town!
Hanukkah Table Decorations, Centerpieces & Table Settings
Now that we’ve got our basic Hanukkah “stuff” covered, it’s time to start planning our Hanukkah tablescape!
The good thing about setting the Hanukkah table is that you’re not starting from scratch. If you’re hosting a Hanukkah dinner, your table is likely to be full of yummy Hanukkah food: Sufganiyot, chocolate gelt, latkes…so you’re off to a good start.
That being said, we still need to add the finishing touches to upgrade the Hanukkah table from ‘good’ to ‘Exceptional’…
Let me show you how…
If you’re going to dress up your table for Hanukkah, you might as well do it with the “official” Hanukkah table runner.
By official, I don’t mean that it was used by the Maccabees at the Jewish temple or anything like that. But it most definitely is one of the most popular table runners among Jewish families, and it has been for years.
Did You Know?
This table runner has won Amen V’Amen’s Top Hanukkah Tablecloth award for three consecutive years now!
It’s beautiful, affordable, easy to clean, AND it’s blue & white (the traditional Hanukkah colors). Not much more you can ask from a Hanukkah table runner…
That’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see these gorgeous Star of David votive candle holders light up.
Together with the Menorah, these elegant candle holders give “The Festival of Lights” a whole new dimension.
Either distribute them across the table or cluster them together… It doesn’t matter how you display them, as long as they’re part of your Hanukkah table setting.
Without a doubt, one of the classiest Hanukkah decorations on the list.
Tip: Needless to say, it’s also a brilliant Hanukkah gift.
Sufganiyot, Latkes, Kugel…
It’s one thing to make delicious Hanukkah food with all your heart… It’s a whole other story to also serve it with all your heart… even better, with MANY hearts!
Designed by Yair Emanuel (remember him?), the talented contemporary Jewish artist – who’s famous for vibrant pieces of Jewish artwork just like this one.
And make no mistake – that’s exactly what this colorful bowl is – art.
You know what that means… When Hanukkah is over – don’t you dare stash this artistic bowl in the kitchen cabinet to collect dust. Instead, use it as a decorative piece… because it’s just so darn beautiful!
- First – it’s blue & white…
- Second – the unique combination of flowers makes you want to stare at it for hours.
It captures your focus, lights a spark in your eyes (no Hanukkah candles needed)… and if you continue to gaze into the mesmerizing colors for a little while – you’ll start to feel that inner sense of bliss…you know, that feeling you get when you stare at the clear blue sky (the name is appropriate, don’t you think?)
Speaking of clear – it’s pretty clear why this is the perfect bouquet for Hanukkah (or any Jewish holiday for that matter)…
Whether you already have cups or not doesn’t matter. These Hanukkah tumblers can be both useful and decorative. You can either use them as actual drinking cups or fill them with snacks and pass them around (or both).
One thing is for sure – they give your table a warm Hanukkah “feel”.
If you prefer adding a little variety to your Hanukkah table – such as tiny Stars of David in gold and blue – this cute placemat is perfect for the job.
It’s one of those tear-away pads you can easily tear out – perfect for a “messy” holiday like Hanukkah. (Jelly donuts, anyone?)
Planning a Hanukkah dinner? You might want to put those plain white napkins back where you found them. For Hanukkah – you can do better than that.
If you’re inviting guests over, use these charming Happy Hanukkah napkins as part of your table setting. It’s a thoughtful little gesture your guests will appreciate… plus, you’ll instantly fancy up your holiday table without even breaking a sweat (or the bank).
Note: One pack contains 20 of these stylish napkins.
To make your napkins extra charming, wrap them with a nice blue Star of David ring around them!
Hanukkah Ornaments & Chrismukkah Decorations“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” — Pablo PicassoClick To Tweet
(I guess Picasso wasn’t there when the Jews were given the Torah at Mount Sinai… oh well.)
If you’re an interfaith family, why decide between Hanukkah Christmas decorations, when you can combine both at the same time?
You know what they say – if you can’t beat em’, join em’. Don’t worry, we’re not baptizing anyone just yet, we’re just “borrowing” a few decorations from our fellow Christian friends.
Introducing: Chrismukkah decorations!
Gingerbread houses are prevalent during Christmas. But what about us Jews?
Thankfully, Kurt Adler didn’t forget Jewish and interfaith families! Adler designed a gingerbread house with traditional Hanukkah themes: Menorah, dreidel, Star of David… and of course, blue & white colors!
Wait till you see it light up, it’s really something!
Sure, you could technically make a gingerbread house yourself, that is if you’ve got a few hours (or days?) to spare. But if you’re stressed on time like I am – you want something you can set up quickly, with minimum time investment (and by minimum, I mean zero).
A wonderful Chrismukkah decoration for interfaith families!
Why hide your Hanukkah ornaments behind closed doors, if you can bring the Chrismukkah spirit to the door itself?
This Hanukkah wreath is absolutely stunning. It’s 100x better than every other Hanukkah wreath I’ve seen online (no wonder, it’s HANDMADE!)…and believe me, I went into a wreath rabbit hole.
It’s filled with frosted and glittered silk pine sprays, blue and white hydrangeas, and sprinkled with a light touch of glitter. The blue, white and silver ornaments (did you notice the sparkling Menorah?) are shatterproof – so don’t worry if your hands are oily from the Latkes, the wreath will survive even if it slips from your hand.
A gorgeous Hanukkah ornament that puts you in the holiday spirit the moment you step through the door.
Note: As you might expect, it’s not exactly the cheapest Hanukkah wreath out there. If you prefer a cheaper (and simpler) alternative, check out this one.
- Instead of Santa, we’ve got a Menorah
- Instead of reindeers, we’ve got dreidels and Stars of David
- Instead of red, we’ve got blue & white
Now that’s how you convert Christmas stockings into Jewish Hanukkah stockings!
And the cherry on top? You get to personalize it for your kids and family!
Note: If you want more personalized Hanukkah decoration ideas – sit tight, there’s an entire section coming up!
So far, all of the Chrismukkah decorations in this section were inspired by our Christian friends. Let’s return to our Jewish origins for the final Hanukkah tree ornament…
Linda, the talented designer behind these lovely mosaic dreidels, hand-makes them of metallic glass, glitter tiles (and glitter they certainly do!).
The hangers you see in the picture make it easy to hang them anywhere: the Christmas tree/bush, your living room wall, the window… you name it.
You can either switch the dreidels around for each night of Hanukkah, or you can hang them all at once. Your choice!
A unique Hanukkah decoration for Jewish and interfaith homes!
Outdoor & Lights Hanukkah Decorations
Important: This section is mostly for folks who have a yard or lawn. It’s less helpful for poor shmoes like us with apartments 😕
Living in a big house is great and all, but unless you want your house to be the only “soulless” thing in your entire neighborhood, you probably want to invest in a few outdoor Hanukkah decorations.
“But everyone else has Christmas lights! What am I supposed to do, get Hanukkah lights?!”
Hey! Great idea!
What, just because we’re Jewish, we can’t join the party? Think again, sunshine! Prepare to light up your house like a Menorah!
Now that looks impressive…
Why stick to one Menorah, when you can project tons of laser Menorahs and Dreidels on your home?
That’ll surely make your home stand out from the Christmas-focused decorations.
The projector is easy to set up, and it offers the following functions:
- Strobe: To make the image flash at different speeds
- Speed control: To adjust the laser motion’s speed
- Timer: You can set a timer to turn it on/off after a few hours
The laser covers a 25’ x 25’ range – the size of an average two-story home.
The only unfortunate part is that it’s only available in green. But if that’s not a big deal, then go ahead and start projecting!
Tip: Try to position the projector as close as you can to your home for the best display.
Pop quiz: how do you wish the neighbors, the mailman, and the birds a personal “Happy Hanukkah” at the same time?
Easy – hang a personalized yard sign!
Now there’s a sweet gesture from a warm neighbor on a cold winter!
There’s a famous saying (I think it comes from a song): “Go big or go home”
I say, why choose one when you can “Go BIG AND Go Home”?
Calling this dazzling Hanukkah dreidel mural an “outdoor Hanukkah decoration” would be the understatement of the century (and quite insulting, to be honest).
It’s not just any Hanukkah decoration, it’s a Hanukkah masterpiece. It’s Instagram-featured-page type stuff (don’t forget to #Hanukkah); the kind that attracts people from all around the neighborhood to find out what it’s all about.
Inflatable Hanukkah Decorations
Technically, inflatable Hanukkah decorations are also belong to outdoor Hanukkah decorations. But these inflatable bad boys are so popular that they deserve a separate section.
If you have your own yard or you’re looking for unique decorations for your lawn – these Hanukkah blow-up decorations might turn into the main attraction of your Hanukkah party!
I have to admit – I knew very little about inflatable Hanukkah decorations before creating this guide.
So I had to do quite a bit of research to find out what I’m dealing with. To my surprise, everywhere I went, I kept stumbling into the same inflatable decoration over and over again.
It turns out this inflatable Hanukkah bear is like the Elvis of blow-up decorations (minus the conspiracy theories). He’s everywhere, and everyone seems to LOVE him!
The bear self-inflates, thanks to a built-in fan installed inside the bear, so you don’t have to do anything except plug him in and watch the magic happen.
Admittedly, I never got a chance to see him in “real life”, so if you’re getting one – can you PLEASE tell me what the fuss is all about?
Now we’re back to familiar territory: dreidels! With the numerous dreidel decorations out there, it’s no surprise that dreidel inflatables also became a hit on Hanukkah.
Sure, you might not be able to spin it as easily… but one thing is for sure – watching this cool Hanukkah yard decoration blow up into a gigantic inflatable dreidel is a miracle in of itself!
This inflatable section wouldn’t be complete without an inflatable Menorah, now would it?
This giant Menorah is just as large as the inflatable dreidel. Don’t be intimidated by its size though, it deflates into a handy size that you can easily store inside the house until next year.
It’s an instant attention grabber – whether it’s in yards, synagogues or even at your workplace (if you do that – don’t come crying to me if you get fired over it).
Cool & Funny Hanukkah Decorations
Hanukkah is also known as the festival of lights. The “lights” part is pretty obvious: everywhere we go, we see a beautiful Menorah shining in all its glory.
But what about the “festival” part? The whole point of a festival to have fun.
And how do you have fun? Easy: be funny.
Don’t worry, I’m not saying you should start telling knock-knock jokes or dress up as a clown.
Just get a couple of cool and funny Hanukkah decorations…
I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Then, dreidel I shall play.
Come on, you know the song!
This creative Out of Clay Hanukkah pillow is a fresh spin (get it, spin?) on the famous song.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard the song a million times… It’ll instantly put a smile on your face!
After all, it’s not every day that you see one of the Hanukkah classics come to life…let alone on a pillow!
A delightful decoration that’ll liven up your sofa on Hanukkah!
Note for the Jokers: For the witty folks in the crowd – no, this pillow is not actually made out of clay…
Jews don’t an excuse to drink wine. We do it at least once a week on Shabbat, on Jewish holidays, and any other occasion you could think of. (I’ll let your mind run wild how much wine is consumed when it’s a friggin’ festival!)
But we do need an excuse to dress up our wine bottles with funny Hanukkah label stickers and make em’ look cool! And what better excuse than Hanukkah?
Let’s get lit!
PG 13 ALERT: Vulgar Hanukkah decoration ahead!
“Oy vey, that’s not very nice!”, said grandma.
If you’re planning a nice, hospitable, child-friendly Hanukkah party – don’t you be using foul language, Sherlock!
On the other hand, if you’re inviting people with a healthy sense of humor, and you’d like to spice up the place – this lighthearted banner will do the trick.
This banner is the total opposite of the in-your-face banner I mentioned previously. This Hanukkah banner one is nice, sweet and friendly!
But the cool part is that comes with velcro-backed candles you can strap into the banner on each night of Hanukkah.
It’s just like lighting Hanukkah candles (except without the blessing)!
Sorry boys, this one is for ladies only…
When people decorate for Hanukkah, they tend to forget one important thing: themselves.
What’s the matter, you think you’re “too fancy” to wear something this silly for Hanukkah?
Well, pretend you’re a Menorah and lighten up!
And if it makes you feel any better – this hilarious ugly sweater is incredibly comfy!
A cute ugly Hanukkah sweater you can wear at a Hanukkah or Christmas party!
Personalized Hanukkah Decorations
We spend the holiday season with our families and loved ones. And if we’re going to decorate our home for Hanukkah, we might as well go the extra mile and give our Hanukkah decorations a nice personal touch…
Latkes should be served in style, or they shouldn’t be served at all!
The best part? It’s fully customizable with your own photos, texts & designs – making it an excellent personalized Hanukkah gift as well.
I almost included these neat personalized Hanukkah coasters in the Table Decorations section. But I figured I’d keep the best for last 🙂
Besides, these coasters are completely customizable – add your favorite photo, choose your colors. In other words, you can design your dream coaster!
And when Hanukkah finally arrives, be a good host – serve wine on top of these spectacular coasters, and dazzle everyone with this one of a kind Hanukkah decoration!
Tip: Alternatively, dazzle someone you’d like to surprise on Hanukkah with an unexpected Hanukkah gift.
C’mon, if you think that a pillow will stay “seated” on the couch during Hanukkah, you’re kidding yourself (I’m guessing you’ve never seen a “Sufganiyot-high” before)
Look at the bright side – at least your kids will be representing the family during the pillow fight!
All jokes aside, this pillowcase is a lovely personalized Hanukkah decoration (or gift) you can add to your living room pillows. And it’s not a permanent thing – once Hanukkah is over, you can just strip the pillow again and store the pillowcase till next year.
Keep in Mind: This is a personalized pillowcase. The pillow itself is not included.
Hanukkah Party Favors
Mazel Tov! You’re the secret Santa! (Now where’s my present?!)
Except, you’re not a secret, and you’re certainly not Santa (hello, you’re Jewish!)… Nevertheless, you’d be one cool host if you give your guests a bunch of nifty Hanukkah party favors!
“Show me pictures or it didn’t happen!”
I’ll show you pictures alright…
The next day, when everyone asks your guests: “So, what did you do for Hanukkah yesterday?” Instead of describing how awesome your party was, they can instead whip out their phones and show reveal all the cool (and ridiculous) photos they took with your photo booth props.
That’s when people will finally realize: “Damn, Hanukkah looks like fun”.
And you’ll become the unofficial Hanukkah ambassador in your social media feed!
Even though Hershey’s isn’t a traditional Hanukkah treat, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Hanukkah party without them. The question is, how do we transform Hershey’s into a Hanukkah treat?
Simple: wrap them in Jewish clothing.
No, I don’t mean with a Kippah and Tzitzit (although I’m sure it’s not impossible). These Hanukkah stickers will do.
Hanukkah party favors don’t have to be fancy or expensive. Simple gifts like these cool Jewish/Hanukkah themed wristbands are more than enough to make the kids (and adults) happy!
Plus, you can use it to spot naughty guests who are trying to break into your awesome party without an invite!
These cool Hanukkah gift magnets are a unique, and slightly more expensive party favor compared to the wristbands.
Plus, they’re more likely to survive in the long run. With wristbands, chances are your guests will lose it the day after the Hanukkah party. On the other hand, gift magnets tend to “stick around” for longer (assuming they make it to the fridge in the first place).
Even though Hanukkah is known as the “Festival of Lights”, it’s often left in the dark by Christmas.
But don’t worry – you don’t need a miracle to make your home shine on Hanukkah. All you need is a bit of willpower, a spark of creativity, and a handful of unique Hanukkah decoration ideas to light the place up like a Menorah!
Do that, and you’ll be giving Santa and his legion of elves a serious run for their money.
(Besides – most of you have your own little “elves” that can give you a hand!)
Chag Sameach! 🙂