Hooray! Hanukkah season is upon us. As you begin preparing for your eight days of celebration, consider incorporating a new tradition — or two — into your festivities this year. From elevated gift exchanges to a table dedicated to all sorts of on-theme goodies, we’ve rounded up some solutions that are guaranteed to shine some new light on your occasion.
Keep scrolling to preview all 3 fun ideas to try at your Hanukkah party. Happy celebrating!
- Perform a game-based gift exchange. Per tradition, gifts are given on all 8 nights of Hanukkah. While a white elephant exchange is always a crowd-pleaser, consider going with a new approach that incorporates more meaning into the season. We love the idea of turning the present exchange into a trivia activity. Use spirited notecards to write down questions about the holiday (i.e, “What is the meaning behind Hanukkah?”) To keep things fair in a crowd of different ages and skillsets, include a number on the back of each one in random order. After answering a question, each person can have a card, flip it over to discover their number, and begin picking gifts in ascending numerical order. You can include the white elephant rules about stealing gifts to make the process fun. If you’re looking for ideas on the presents themselves, take a look at these thoughtful DIY Hanukkah gifts.
- Set up a spirited photo booth. A festive photo booth is a great way to add some cheer to your event, while ensuring memories from the night are captured. To create one in your own home, place chairs in front of a plain wall or closed drapes to set the scene. Feel free to add in string lights or garlands to jazz up the backdrop. Then, include a basket full of props for attendees to incorporate in the photos. You can buy these or use your own crafting paper and skewer sticks to fashion menorahs, dreidels and other appropriate photo opp items. Party-goers can then take turns snapping photos on their iPhones. Just don’t forget to create a shared iCloud folder to swap the images with everyone before the night ends!
- Make a themed dessert bar. We’d be hard-pressed to turn down a chance to indulge in sweets, especially when they are decked out for the season! Rather than going with a seated dessert and coffee hour, consider setting up a Hanukkah-themed dessert bar. Station traditional items like cookies or gelts alongside fan favorites like French macarons and chocolate eclairs. Use food dye and colored frosting or icing wherever possible to keep a consistent color scheme. Or, elect to use cupcake wrappers or cake toppers in-tune with the season. Make the entire arrangement more appealing by using cake stands, candles, dreidels and props to create a snap-worthy display.
For more tips on setting up a dessert bar, see our Be Thankful Dessert Bar party plan.
To finish off with an extra meaningful touch, add paper and markers by the desserts. Encourage others to jot down things that are making them “feel the light” during the 8-day celebration. Display all of these responses on the wall behind the table for everyone to see. The answers promise to be just as “sweet” as the desserts themselves!
’Tis the season for good tidings and joy! If you’re looking for more ways to elevate your seasonal celebration, check out our Stores & Tips. Or, for a more guided approach to your next gathering, preview our Party Plans for all sorts of step-by-step inspiration.