Hanukkah has officially begun at our house--and somehow, this year, it feels more festive than ever. Perhaps its having two children bursting at the seams to celebrate: spinning the dreidels, downing latkes, cheering as I placed the last-minute pennant banner on the mantel, it's definitely the festival of lights around here.
So, though it may sound cliche, I have to say that the world looks totally fresh and new through the eyes of my children. And, though I never really thought Hanukkah was that a big deal (perhaps its because it is just weeks after the mega-birthday bashes we throw around here), I am learning that holidays can be as festive as you make them. No matter how small they may be, I learned yet again that the littlest touches make the biggest smiles. What a gift.
Here are some of the sweet treats and crafts, plus some gorgeous inspiration, I've found along the way!
CHOZEN ICE CREAM
Who says it's too cold for ice cream? The jewish-inspired flavors of Chozen's all-natural ice cream--Chocolate Gelt, Babka, Matzoh Crunch, Coconut Macaroon, Apples & Honey and Ronnie's Rugelach-- give me the warm and fuzzies! A favorite of celebs like Gwyneth Paltow, Jon Stewart, and Andy Samberg, pints of these delicious confections are sold in New York City and--direct to your door, anywhere via online purchase for $25 for a 5-pint pack. I'd say this doubles as the perfect gift for your mishpucka (that's yiddush for "family") or the mensch in your life!
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE COVERED MATZOH CRUNCH
I'm totally recycling this recipe from my Passover post as it is a huge hit around here. Attending a dessert swap? I'd say this totally qualifies as a knock-out entry!
HANUKKAH TABLE DECOR
Setting your table for a Hanukkah dinner party is as simple as adding some gorgeous blues, silver, and crackled clear glass through a charger, candles and stemware. It's not too late to hit Homegoods and Pier One, who has these gorgeous glasses for $7 a piece and I happen to *love* the idea of floating candles in (or serving teensy-eensy latkes) on this sea urchin platter ($44.95, Pier One).
DRINK IT UP!
So Christmas has spiked egg nog and mulled cider, but certainly Hanukkah should share the season of creative libations--shouldn't it? I'm obsessed with the idea of serving up cocktails like this one, appropriately named "The Dreidel" (made up of Slivovitz plum brandy, cherry liqueur, Angostura bitters and egg whites). This is just one of "Eight Cocktails of Hanukkah" recently published on the Smithsonian blog. From Manschiwetz Sangria to the Hanukkah Gelt Martini! Add a little more sass with these vintage paper straws ($4 for a pack of 25 on Etsy).
HAVE FUN WITH PAPER!
Last night, I realized that something was missing around here. The menorah felt a little lonely, so I created a pennant banner for our mantel--and voila! The kids started to jump for joy that their house was "decorated" for the holiday. I can get into this! So, needless to say, I love a free printable when we see one. These cutie pies are yours to download courtesy of The Party Dress blog. Use them as placecards at your table or send guests home with wishes inside for a fabulous 2012!
Wishing you all eight wonderful nights, and a fabulous Christmas weekend! In the words of my cousin's facebook status, "May your lives shine as brightly as our menorah".