The most common misconception about Hanukkah is that people think it’s “Jewish Christmas.” In fact, it’s not even the most important Holiday in the Jewish calendar (that would be Yom Kipper and Rosh Hashana). Still, The Chosen People want stylish décor to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Why not?
The challenge is that Hanukkah options are very limited compared to the wall-to-wall Christmas bling out there. And stylish Hanukkah decorations are even harder to find. Google “Hanukkah Decorations,” and you’ll be confronted with screen after screen of solid blue and white (and a little silver). It’s almost as boring as red-and-green everything.
The blue and white theme is of course a nod to the Israeli flag, but like Christmas, this palette has more to do with 20th Century American marketing executives than any profound religious significance, so don’t feel bound by it.
There are plenty of more seasonally appropriate colours that work with the traditional Hanukkah blue. Plain blue and white looks fresh and perfect in Australia (where Hannukah hits mid-summer) but in the northern hemisphere, it looks weirdly out-of-season to me. But even Down Under, I like to look beyond the prescribed "official colours" of any given holiday. It's time to create your own palette!
To help things along, we’ve created 8 Modern Hanukkah Palettes to inspire you. They are free to download. Keep them on your phone, while you’re shopping or surfing on your laptop. Once you move beyond simple blue and white, you’ll be surprised how much there is out there to play with (even in the Christmas aisle).
We've also scoured the Web for tasteful, modern decorations you might not have seen before, starting with the chicest Menorahs:
WREATHS AND GARLAND
Stick to the silvery-blue of eucalyptus wreaths and garlands to avoid tipping over into Santa Land. I love smaller wreaths in multiples around candles, or as a table centrepiece.
NAPKINS AND TABLETOP
This is where Hanukkah happens. Make your table the star with a sophisticated mix of blue-and-white china and printed and solid napery. Mix it up! It’s a totally justifiable investment because you can use them all year long!
CANDLES AND VOTIVES
Nothing says “Festival of Lights” like real candles. Don’t be tempted by the flameless kind for this holiday. And don’t feel like you have to stick to one colour. Mix it up! There are multi-packs of modern colours and muted tapers available now, which is a great way to experiment with colour. Scatter a few unscented votives of different heights and sizes on the table to add extra sparkle and atmosphere.
Why should the kids have all the fun? I love this oversized statement one or handfuls in a decorative vase or tray.
Don’t forget the coins (chocolate, of course)! I like a mixed metal situation with both gold and silver versions (and some dark chocolate for the grownups).