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An Illuminating Chanukah Party

illuminate party

Your children came into Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified Your Mikdash, lit candles in Your holy courtyards, and instituted these eight days of Chanukah to give thanks and praise to Your great name.” – Al HaNissim prayer

When the Jews returned to the Beis Hamikdash after defeating the Greeks—they found it defiled, with idols and graven images. And so, when that tiny vile of oil was discovered, the Menorah couldn’t be lit indoors where the atmosphere was impure. It was carried into the courtyard, where the miracle of lights became a public phenomenon in the streets of Jerusalem. This is why we place our own menorahs by the window—lighting up the streets and not merely our own homes. This Chanukah, Shavy Weiss remembers the miracle of the burning lights by bringing the outdoors inside and lighting up the night.

fish bowl

You never know what special items you’ll find in the dollar store. These glass bowls make a great souvenir, filled with gelt and dreidels.  Fill them with a single flower when using throughout the year. Use picture frames that match your theme to hold place cards.  These wood finish frames complement the outdoorsy look of the table.

Dress a table with layers. Use a patterned fabric runner on top of a solid tablecloth, or vice versa. The table runner used here is actually a throw, imparting a warm, cozy feeling.

The foods you serve are part of the decor.  On this table, caramel apples, chocolate covered pretzels, donuts, biscotti, and
almonds add to the ambiance.

illuminate collage 1

Favor boxes are inexpensive and look adorable when tied in grosgrain ribbon. Insert candy or after-dinner mints for a treat guests can take home.

illuminate collage2

Match a fun drink to your theme.  Paper straws, available in stripes and polka dots, and in a variety of colors, also add a
festive flair.

Lights! Lots of them! This table is set for an adult party, with lots and lots of candles. When children are around, keep the candles in lanterns or hurricane lamps.

Wood logs and pine cones have a starring role in this outdoorsy winter party.  Glass reflects light. Use your glass dishes and
canisters on Chanukah to reflect the glow, especially for an evening party.

floral menorah

Create a floral menorah by lining up eight vases of equal heights, and one taller vase in the center. Fill with flowers or rocks and top with a floating candle. The water works to magnify whatever you put inside—so you don’t need an abundance of
flowers to achieve this special affect.


The napkins on the chairs were created by printing the design on iron-on transfer paper. Simply print, and iron the paper onto the fabric of your choice for a personalized affair For extra illumination, put candles behind the glass to reflect and
enhance the effect.

Party by Shavy Weiss | Photos by Esti Photography