Hanukkah Crafts and Goodies

December 1, 2020

This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Thursday, December 10 and ends Friday evening, December 18, giving us have plenty of time to assemble crafts, DIY gifts and concoct goodies to celebrate the winter holiday! Here are just a few ideas for creating unique menorahs, playing the game of dreidel, and frying up potato latkes accompanied by both traditional and yummy, unexpected toppings!

Make Your Own Menorah

After the Maccabee tribe recaptured ancient Jerusalem, the lamp in the temple appeared to hold only enough oil for one night yet continued to burn for eight days –  which is why the menorah is used to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Some families, says Martha Stewart, use menorahs with small pots for oil instead of candles in a more symbolic re-creation of the original Hanukkah miracle.

As the candles are lit, the family recites a special prayer like one of these published in Newsweek to commemorate the ancient miracle. Rita Milos Brownstein, author of Jewish Holiday Style (Simon & Schuster, 1999), created a DIY menorah project out of glass bottles and votives with olive oil representing what the menorah symbolizes.

Photo: Kirsten Francis

Here’s a how-to for a menorah made with gilded wooden blocks which also makes a perfect holiday centerpiece. Or, you can try this menorah craft from Jennifer Maker –made of paper and illumined with LED tea lights and filled with chocolate candies. 

Playing Dreidel

Another tradition is the game of dreidel, a spinning top printed with a Hebrew letter on each of its four sides. The current version of the traditional Hanukkah game has the Hebrew letters “nun”, “gimmel”, “hey”, and “shin” representing the first letters in the phrase “nes gadol haya sham,” meaning “A Great Miracle Happened There,” in reference to the first Hanukkah.

Family Education has a printable to cut and glue with paper and a pencil with instructions on how to play. They also have a menorah to cut and color a Hanukkah coloring book and more entertainment activities for kids and families.

Everything Mom assembled 50 different craft activities for this festive holiday from a marshmallow menorah and homemade Hanukkah cards, to a Star of David mobile and Hanukkah gelt goodie bags.

Hanukkah Tradition: Potato Pancakes 

An important part of the Hanukkah tradition is to serve foods fried in oil, which symbolizes the ancient biblical miracle. Potato latkes are a traditional treat for Hanukkah recipes for these yummy potato pancakes at Williams Sonoma, along with some creative fried alternatives, such as potato-waffle latkes drizzled with Concord grape wine syrup. Some recipes are Italian in origin, including tender fried zucchini and butterfly-shaped cookies known as farfallettes.

This Rachel Ray video will walk you through the traditional recipe process, then offers three different toppings, from caramelized onions and sour cream, to applesauce, to crème fraiche and caviar!

Celebrating Holidays at Southshore

The holidays are magical in the master-planned community of Southshore, five minutes from Southlands and the Aurora Reservoir. Some of the most beautiful homes in Aurora are here, built by top Colorado home builders: Taylor Morrison, Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. If you don’t live here yet, isn’t it time to discover the brand new homes and Life at the Lake? Move into one of a dozen or more stunning ranch and two-story designs – priced between the $400s and the $700s.