Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hanukkah Tablescapes

So if you follow me on Facebook you would have noticed that I went on a bit of a Hanukkah rant this morning. It went something like this......

When did blue and silver become the Hanukkah colors??? I'm kind of a little upset about it. It never used to bother me, but seriously. WHY? I'm doing research for my next blog post and all that comes up are blue and silver. Not sure why it bothers me, but I'm very much annoyed. Anyone else bothered by this??? Perhaps it's just me and my "out of the box" - "non conforming" self.

After a very interesting discussion, it was established that the colors stem from the Israeli flag of blue and white. So I guess it was decided, by the powers that be, that in order to combat the holiday season of green and red the "Jewish" colors of blue, white, and silver had to be the Hanukkah ones. Hmmm.... I guess you could say that it's a color war of sorts, right?? LOL.

When I was a teacher, just starting out, I taught middle school girls at a modern orthodox school in Beverly Hills. We used to get into some very interesting conversations and one time it happened to be about Christmas. One of my students mentioned that Christmas was very similar to Hanukkah and she wanted to know how that came to be. If you're a history buff like me you will find this fascinating, but I won't bore you "others" with the details. I just want to point out a couple ideas that can be "food for thought."

- Ever wonder why Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights? Seems similar to Christmas.... look at all the lighted houses!

- Did it ever occur to you that Chrismas and Hanukkah are on the same "days?" Hanukkah = 25th of Kislev and Christmas = 25th of December.

- Besides the fact that Santa Clause was a made up character by Coca Cola why do both holidays have a gift giving element???

As I said before I won't bore you with the details, but if you want to know the answers to some of these questions you can read about it here, here, and here.

SO, let's now get back onto topic of what I really wanted to show you guys........ HANUKKAH TABLESCAPES!! I had so much fun looking for some this morning and I was surprisingly able to find some colorful ones as well.

The first one I want to show you comes from Breezy's. They were lucky enough to be asked to do a Chanukah buffet table for Elegant Impressions Magazine! You can read all about this super fun and oh so yummy tablescape on their blog. I love the color combo of turquoise and purple!!! BTW - Recipes are included and as always I love Breezy's tricks and tips!

    Milk and Cookies anyone?
The next one I found was at Houzz.com - If you have never been on that website, you can thank me after you go to check it out. Now that I am redoing my entire house due to my house debacle, I need a lot of inspiration  Houzz helps - a lot!

#1-  I L.O.V.E. this vase!!!

#2 - This is soooooooo crafty it's genius. 
#3 - The coins garland on the fireplace is so so so unbelievable!!!!!
Kind of loving the yellow polka dots of this theme......

mmmmmmmm......


This next one comes from the most recent issue of Joy of Kosher. Loving the HUGE dreidels!!

dreidel center piece


And if you need an invitation for your next Hanukkah shindig check out this adorable invite from SweetLEX on Etsy.com
Quirky & Fun HANUKKAH PARTY Invitation: Digital printable file

Quirky & Fun HANUKKAH PARTY Invitation: Digital printable file


Hope these ideas inspire you this Hanukkah Season!!

Abbey

7 comments:

  1. thanks for the inspiration! i've never been to your blog before but it is very cute!

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  2. These are great! Never made a big deal about Chanukah decor but now I want to :)

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  3. Gift giving is actually NOT an authentic element of Chanukah, but is actually an (unfortunate) assimilated influence of the Christmas custom, "assered" (prohibited) by many contemporary Rabbeim as "chukas ha'goyim" (imitating gentile practices). The true authentic minhag is Channukah gelt, the giving of money. The decorating ideas here are amazing, and I enjoy "making a big deal" about our festivals and customs, but at the same time I work at inculcating the idea in my (b"H many) children that it is not necessary to "compete" with the "other" holiday that occurs at the same time of year.

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  4. Lisa, I agree with you. In fact, I would go further and say that the main reason why so many Jews celebrate Chanukah is to have a Jewish equivalent to Christmas. For many Jews, the only "holidays" they celebrate are Passover, the high holidays, and Chanukah -- which really isn't religiously significant -- and isn't really even a holiday, but merely a festival, like Purim. How else can it be explained that while many Jews celebrate Chanukah, they do not celebrate holidays such as Shavu'ot, Sukkah, Simchat Torah, etc.

    I can understand why this happens. Unless you are Orthodox and your kids attend religious schools apart from goyim, it is only natural that young kids are going to see other kids enjoying all the fun (secular and commercialized) aspects of Christmas, such as getting presents, decorating their houses with Christmas trees, lights, inflatable Santa Clauses, reindeer, etc. When your kids grow up next door to kids who are experiencing this, how do you tell them that your religion does not have something like this? Its hard!

    I must admit, I am guilty of being one of those "many Jews" -- to whom I referred above -- who celebrate Chanukah as sort-of a Jewish answer to Christmas. I don't have a Chanukah Bush -- but when my kids asked why we don't have any lights or decorations on our lawn like our neighbors do, I went out and bought some outdoor Chanukah decorations and blue and white lights to make a Star of David design between two trees. And my kids will be getting presents.

    Lisa, I know that you said you try to inculcate the idea in your children that it is not necessary to compete with Christmas. Have you been successful in doing that?

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  5. I am proud to say that I thank G-d have great kids. We play up all the Jewish holidays AND festivals, and delve into the history and the culture, so that my kids are very proud , happy and indeed feel lucky an blessed to be Jewish. They have immense religious and national pride. Also, unlike my holocaust survivor mother, and meaning her no disrespect, I allow my children license to admire the decorations and mood of the season. The music is great mostly written by Jews!) and I find that by not making it "the forbidden fruit" it doesn't become an object of desire. We can live and let live. I also teach my kids that as much as liberal Jews want to believe that this is an ecumenical country, the reality is that this is a Christian country so it is natural for their to be a disproportionate Christian "feel" around the winter season. If my kids want to have a disproportionate "Jewish feel" then there is only one place that they can legitimately expect that.

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  6. I am proud to say that I thank G-d have great kids. We play up all the Jewish holidays AND festivals, and delve into the history and the culture, so that my kids are very proud , happy and indeed feel lucky an blessed to be Jewish. They have immense religious and national pride. Also, unlike my holocaust survivor mother, and meaning her no disrespect, I allow my children license to admire the decorations and mood of the season. The music is great mostly written by Jews!)

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  7. Um, it is actually super "Jewish" of you to be putting the lights out on your lawn... There is a mitzvah of " peersoom hanais" , essentially meaning advertising the miracle of Chanukah! We try to put our chanukiot lit up in our windows for this very reason, to show the world " hey there was a miracle and look what happened." Did you ever notice how the Lubavitch Jews put up those huge chanukiot in public? It's for the same reason as your lights, so good for you, proud Jew!!

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