Decorating the House for Chanukah or Christmas

Written by catherine hiles
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Decorating the House for Chanukah or Christmas
The menorah is a typical Hanukkah decoration. (isolated menorah image by David Levinson from

The month of December is the heart of holiday season. Hanukkah, or Hanukkah, is the Jewish festival of light that begins in late November or early December and lasts eight days. Christmas is the Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While most Jews do not celebrate Christmas, and most Christians do not celebrate Hanukkah, a mixture of decorations are seen around December reflecting both religious holidays.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Candles
  • Menorah
  • Wine glasses
  • White tablecloth
  • Blue table runners
  • Blue-and-white flowers
  • Dreidels
  • Christmas tree
  • Fairy lights
  • Tree ornaments
  • Angel
  • Star
  • Christmas wreath
  • Christmas-themed figures

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  1. 1

    Place some long, thin candles in a menorah, a candle holder with space for eight lit candles plus one for the shamash, the candle used to light the others. Place the menorah in the centre of your table for Hanukkah meals.

    Alternatively, purchase an electric menorah that uses light bulbs rather than candles. Set the electric menorah in your window for you and your neighbours to enjoy.

  2. 2

    Decorate your table with traditional Hanukkah colours, blue and white. Choose wineglasses with blue stems and plates with blue and white patterns. Place a white tablecloth over your dining table and add blue table runners. Use a menorah as the centrepiece, or create a white-and-blue flower arrangement.

  3. 3

    Make or purchase a dreidel, a four-sided top. Dreidels have a letter on each side, the first letters of the Yiddish words meaning "nothing," "good," "half" and "bad." Dreidels are typically used as children's toys during Hanukkah, but they also make great themed decorations. Decorate for Hanukkah by hanging dreidels on the walls or placing them on end tables.

  1. 1

    Buy a real or synthetic Christmas tree. Place it in the most-used room in the house, such as the living room. String lights around the tree and hang brightly coloured ornaments on the branches. Place an angel or star on top of the tree and your holiday gifts underneath the tree.

  2. 2

    Decorate the inside and outside of your house with strings of fairy lights. Place them around windows and doorways in the house, or along banisters. String the lights through the branches of your trees on the outside of the house to bring holiday cheer to the street.

  3. 3

    Hang a Christmas wreath on your front door. Choose a real one made from Christmas tree remnants, or a synthetic one. Consider a wreath made of tinsel as a more contemporary Christmas decoration.

  4. 4

    Place Christmas-themed figures in your front yard. Choose between an inflatable Santa, a life-size nativity scene, or a plastic sleigh and reindeer. Place as few or as many figures in your front yard as you want to get your neighbours in the holiday spirit.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not leave burning candles unattended. If you have children or pets, consider safer alternatives.

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