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    How to Plan the Best Hanukkah Party

     How to plan the best Hanukkah party

    The countdown is ON until the Festival of Lights, which means there will be parties galore, complete with stuffing our faces with latkes, and lots of menorah lighting. Obviously you want to look stylish for the party in your best Hanukkah apparel, but how else can you throw the party of the year?

    Here are our tips on how to plan the best Hanukkah party ever. 

     

    Decor

    You want to wow your guests when they walk in! We suggest picking a color theme like blue and silver and then going to town. A chic Hanukkah Table Runner topped with a Dreidel Vase sets the stage perfectly. And serve your guests on cool Dreidel Plates. These Marzipan Pops from Marzipops double as decor and food and are perfect on any table.

    Marzipan Dreidels

    Food

    And speaking of food, like every Jewish holiday, a big part of Hanukkah the FOOD! Fried foods reign when it comes to Hanukkah recipes, like latkes and sufganiyot. But get creative with other fried treats like Deep Fried Matzo Balls. If you don't feel like making your own latkes (make them ahead of time, freeze, and and reheat in the oven right from the freezer) you can always get latkes delivered. And don't forget the gelt!

    Games + Presents

    How about an ugly Hanukkah sweater contest? Ugliest one wins? It's a classic! Maybe the winner can get something to add to their ensemble like these Menorah Sunglasses or everyone's favorite Nice Jewish Guy Calendar.

    And don't forget a rousing game of dreidel. Winner takes all the marbles! We love these Lego Dreidels because they can double as the prizes.

    Or how about Secret Hanukkah Harry- encourage your guests to bring a fun gift under $25. These Matzo Ballin' Socks will have everyone jealous.

    Menorah Time

    If your party is during the 8 days of Hanukkah, don't forget to light the menorah! We love mixing one classic one like this Building Bridges Menorah with one fun one like our Dinosaur Menorah.

    Don't forget the kiddos!

    If you're having kids are your party, make sure to have some Kids Hanukkah activities like this Dreidel Book, a Hanukkah version of Karaoke, a station to Make Your Own Hanukkah Candles or Dreidel Silly Putty to keep them occupied. All of these are pretty fun for adults too, come to think of it.

    Most of all, have fun! Your excitement and joy is contagious.

     

    Shop for Hanukkah

    How to Celebrate Chrismukkah

    Chrismukkah

    This time of year, it's nice to throw a party that includes everyone! Whether you're having a party with friends, or just celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, here's how to do Chrismukkah right. 

    Shop All Chrismukkah

    Cool Decor
    Jewdolph
    Decorate your house for a party! Try our Jewdolph Ornament, Chrismukkah Dreidel Mistletoe, or Jewish Christmas Candle (smells just like Chinese food!)

    Wearable Flair
    Yamaclaus
    Look the part! The Yamaclaus and Ugly Chrismukkah Sweater are great places to start!

    Chrismukkah Food
    Sufganiyot

    Make some combo recipes like Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Latkes or Gingerbread Eggnog Sufganiyot! Or make this fun Gingerbread Menorah.

     

    Secret Santa/Hanukkah Harry Gifts
    Jewdolph Koozie
    Besides some fun dreidel games at your party, it's fun to have everyone bring a small Secret Santa/ Hanukkah Harry gift! Kris Kringlestein or Jewdolph Koozie.

    Shop All Chrismukkah

    How to Make the Best Latkes

    What is Hanukkah without latkes? Not nearly as delicious. Here is our recipe for the best latkes.The best latkes
    The Best Latkes Recipe
    Makes 10+ Latkes
    Ingredients:
    • 2 pounds, about 5 cups when shredded) russet potatoes, washed and peeled
    • 1/4 medium white onion, minced and dried well
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup canola or other oil or more to fry
    1. Start by shredding your potatoes with a grater into a bowl of ice water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove potatoes, squeezing out the moisture into the water. Dry potatoes very well with towels. Let water sit 10 minutes for starch to accumulate on the bottom. Carefully drain water, reserving the white starch on the bottom. This part is optional but leads to crispier latkes. You can also add 1 tablespoon potato starch to the mix.
    2. Place potatoes in a large bowl, dry again very well. Then add in the onion,  garlic, eggs, flour and salt and reserved starch and combine.
    3. Meanwhile, heat up canola oil in a large saute pan. Scoop two tablespoon dollops of the potato mixture and flatten lightly and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Then flip and fry the other side. Season with salt, drain on a rack over paper towels. Eat with applesauce and sour cream!

    To make ahead, fry the latkes as normal but do not drain them and put them on a cookie sheet. Freeze the whole sheet and then to reheat just put in the oven at 375 frozen. The oil kind of refries them. Nearly as delicious as fresh. You can also keep warm in a 200-degree F oven to keep warm for a short period of time. Enjoy!

    Applesauce or Sour Cream: The Latke Debate

    It's the age-old debate. The Latke Debate
    Applesauce or sour cream? Or something crazy like ketchup? How do you top your latkes? Try our latke recipe and leave a comment below with your favorite topping and why! We'll share the poll results soon.
    Latkes: Sour Cream or Applesauce
    Sour Cream
    Applesauce
    Other
    made here

    Making Hanukkah Fun and Meaningful For Adults

    Image is from BonAppetit.com

    My husband and I invented No Limit Texas Dreidel so that adults (and older children) can enjoy dreidel too. Here are some other ideas to make your Hanukkah party fun and meaningful for your adult friends whether they are Jewish or not.

    Have guests bring a symbol of a freedom they are guarding or fighting for. Yes, there is the (silly) story about oil lasting for eight days. But, really, Hanukkah is a celebration of religious freedom. In 167 B.C.E. the Maccabees fought Antiochus who brought Greek idols into the Temple and banned the practice of Judaism. The menorah is the Jewish symbol of this fight for freedom. Ask guests, "What freedom are you guarding or fighting for?" Invite guests to bring an object that represents this freedom. Guests can choose to share the meaning with the group or simply set the item with the others.

    Upgrade your holiday menu for an adult palate. Chocolate gelt (coins) has developed a bad reputation as something you don't necessarily want to eat. Serve gourmet chocolate coins, which the most discerning chocolate lovers will appreciate, such as those (personally taste-tested and approved by me!) from Madelaine, Godiva, or See's. Serve sweet potato latkes or Zucchini Latkes with Garlic by Faye Levy, the cooking columnist for the Jerusalem Post, or try serving traditional latkes (like those from Modern Jewish Mom Meredith Jacobs) with gourmet Rosemary and Brown Butter Applesauce from Bon Appetit. The Bon Appetit website has many gourmet latke recipes.

    Tzedakah is always appropriate for any Jewish holiday. Tzedakah is translated as "charity," but its root, tzedek, means justice: We give not only to help those in need but to help set things right, as part of the process of creating a just world. Have guests bring a grocery bag of food for your local feed-the-hungry program or a toy for the Toys for Tots program. Or have each guest "buy in" to receive their chocolate gelt for the No Limit Texas Dreidel game and make a group donation to a local charity. The buy-in idea came from a ModernTribe customer, who is doing this for her own Hanukkah party this year.