April 16, 2024
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Party Planning Tips to Liven Your Chanukah

You’ve lit the menorah, sung Ma’os Tzur and your guests are beginning to arrive. Are you ready to host a Chanukah party that they’ll remember? Here are a few host/hostess tips that are simple, interactive and appropriate for guests of all ages to enjoy.

Chocolate-Covered Star of David Pretzels

Turn your average pretzel snack into a sweet-and-salty holiday-themed treat. Microwave a bowl of chocolate chips for one minute and dip pretzel sticks into the bowl before “gluing” the pieces together into two triangles (the shape of a Star of David). Once those pieces have hardened, dip the pretzel shape into the chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or coconut powder. You can experiment with milk, dark or white chocolate. Prepare on parchment paper and leave to set in the fridge before serving.

Vegetable Latkes With Assorted Toppings

These veggie-infused latkes taste just as savory as any classic latke, and you’ll feel less guilty enjoying a few more. After shredding your potatoes, add some shredded parsnips and carrots, and finely chopped leaks, to the mix. Fry with avocado (or canola) oil. Serve cut into bite-sized pieces and top with applesauce, sour cream or other fun toppings such as brisket, deli meat slices or smoked salmon. If you’re looking for an even healthier alternative latke recipe, substitute sweet potatoes for russet potatoes, and top with yogurt (if you’re going the dairy route) and pomegranate arils, which add some crunch to the sweetness.

DIY Sufganiyot

Baking can be a great way to get kids involved with the party preparation, or can serve as a hands-on party activity (along with adult supervision). Sites like chabad.org/kids offer great kid-friendly sufganiyot recipes that are easy to follow. If you don’t want to invest in the time it takes to make the dough from scratch, Pillsbury offers premade biscuit dough that only requires some rolling and frying, until both sides look a deep brown. The fun part is filling the jelly—use a squeeze bottle to fill from the side of the donut, sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top and then serve.

Popsicle-Stick Menorahs

This craft should keep kids entertained without too much adult intervention. Kids can color or design their popsicle sticks with magic marker before gluing them into the shape of a menorah. They can use hot glue if there is adult supervision, but regular adhesive should also do the trick. Thick and thin popsicle sticks can be used for the candles and the base. Glue brightly colored construction paper on top of each stick for the flame.

Dreidel Art

Kids will enjoy getting their hands dirty, and if you lay enough newspaper around the floor before this project starts, you won’t have to worry about too much clean-up. Let children dip their dreidels into different colors of (washable) paint before they spin them on a canvas. The result? Abstract designs of all different kinds. Adults with a soft spot for arts and crafts might catch on to the enthusiasm too.

Centerpieces

Chanukah-themed table runners and blue and white gift towers set the right festive mood. If you want to go the extra mile, make centerpieces with blue fairy lights (small electric bulbs strung together) in bottles. All you need are battery-powered LED lights, about 15 on a 30-inch wire, and wider-mouthed bottles or glass jars. Simply encase the wire and battery pack inside the bottle and let the lights work their magic.

Chanukah-Themed Nail Stickers

Tiny menorah and dreidel nail decorations are a creative yet simple way to showcase your holiday spirit. You can also find Hebrew letter-stickers that spell out nun, gimmel, hay, shin; Star of David stickers; sparkles and even potato latkes stickers.

3D Dreidel Boxes

All you need is paper and some glue to complete this fun DIY craft. You can print out dreidel templates online for free to create the perfect party favor that works for both kids and adults. Once the dreidel box is made, you can fill it up with small chocolate and candies as party favors for people to take home and enjoy. You can also tie them to some string to create a garland or hanging decorations that add to your Chanukah theme.

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