A lot of people do not realize that Hanukkah is not actually all that important of a holiday in Jewish tradition. Unlike Christmas, which traditionally celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, Hanukkah celebrates what was thought to be a pretty minor military victory in Jewish tradition. It was usually celebrated with the giving of pocket money or chocolates called Hanukkah gelt, lighting of candles, and eating certain foods. Nonetheless, under the influence of the American Christmas holiday tradition, Hanukkah has become a big holiday. Hanukkah decorations, Hanukkah presents, and a festive holiday spirit have now become a part of the year for many Jewish families. In many ways, Hanukkah decoration is a lot like Christmas decoration.
For example, lights play a role in each of them. Also, Hanukkah decoration often involves hanging banners and designs of brightly colored paper. On the whole, however, decorations for Hanukkah are a lot simpler. Outdoor Christmas lights, animated Christmas displays, and the like have no equivalent in Jewish holiday season celebrations. When it comes down to it, the only Hanukkah decoration that really counts is the Hanukkah menorah.
Growing up in a Jewish family, I always felt a little bit left out when all of my friends got to trim their Christmas trees, but at least I got to play with fire! Hanukkah menorahs have nine candles – one for each of the eight days of the holiday, and an extra one which you use to light the others. Of course, there are other Hanukkah decoration ideas that can really help to set the right atmosphere. Putting up a Happy Hanukkah banner is a no-brainer, but you can go a lot farther in creating the right setting for a good holiday. Putting up fold-out dreidels that you can hang from the ceiling is a neat way to celebrate the holiday. You can also use little goodies, such as dreidels and bags of chocolate money to help kids to get into the spirit of things. Children love unwrapping and eating those tasty little chocolates, and they can also use them to gamble over games of dreidel. Having an extra Hanukkah menorah or two can also help to brighten the holiday by letting you put up more candles around the table. The important thing is to have fun with your decorations. The point of it all, after all, is to really celebrate and enjoy the holiday.
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