Across the country, Jewish families will be eating turkey with a side of latkes this year, as Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both fall on November 28th. This holiday mashup — cleverly nicknamed “Thanksgivukkah” — is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. It hasn’t happened since 1888, and it won’t occur again for 70,000-80,000 years.
Although JB and I have always celebrated Thanksgiving with family, I don’t think we’ve ever had the chance to light the menorah with them. It’s always been impractical to buy plane tickets and take time off from work for holidays typically two or three weeks apart.
This year, however, we’ll be giving thanks and playing dreidel with my side of the family. I’m imagining a menu loaded with dishes combining the best of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. How delicious do Pecan-Cranberry Noodle Kugel, Pumpkin Challah, and Pumpkin Rugelach sound?
But how does one decorate for Thanksgivukkah? Combining Hanukkah’s cool shades of blue and silver with Thanksgiving’s rustic red, green, orange, and yellow could potentially be an eyesore. Plus, loading the table with menorahs and dreidels and Stars of David and pumpkins and leaves and turkeys and feathers and acorns would definitely be overkill.
It turns out that blue and orange are complementary colors, meaning they look great together. So I decided to stick to a mostly blue, orange, and metallic silver color palette accented with a dash of gold. And since Hanukkah actually begins at sundown the night before Thanksgiving and lasts for eight days, I put the emphasis on Hanukkah decorations.
I started by creating a backdrop with the Happy Hanukkah garland we bought last year and two new metallic garlands for an added dose of glamour.
By happy coincidence, Levi’s plush toy menorah (a gift from his grandfather) also happens to be blue!
Adorned with blue ombre candles, I placed our silver menorah on a teal ceramic platter to catch any wax drippings. The colors mimic the various shades of blue in the Happy Hanukkah banner. I sprinkled gold foil-wrapped gelt and yellow and orange plastic leaves around the base of the menorah. (The packet of decorative Thanksgiving leaves also included red, green, and brown leaves, but I chose not to use them.) Instead of the leaves, you could easily swap acorns.
To bring Thanksgiving into the mix, I arranged pumpkins and pinecones atop a silver cake stand. Yes, the pinecones are brown, but I thought they grounded the look and paired nicely with the gold in the star garland and the tablecloth. If you don’t have pumpkins leftover from Halloween, you could also use craft pumpkins, faux pumpkins, paper pumpkins — you get the idea. Instead of pinecones (from your yard or the store), you could try a handful of leaves or, again, acorns.
So what do you think? Festive but totally doable, right (even for us non-DIY types)? Here’s how to get the look in your home:
Happy Hanukkah banner (similar) from Land of Nod // Starry garland and Embroidered Silver Metallic garland c/o Land of Nod // Kids First Menorah Soft Toy from One Step Ahead // Molten menorah (similar) from Nordstrom // Hand Dipped candles (similar) from Fab // Decorative Plastic Leaves from Michaels // Hanukkah gelt (similar) from Cost Plus World Market // Threshold Oval Textured platter and Threshold Beaded Aluminum cake stand from Target // Armor tablecloth (similar) from John Robshaw
Post by PJ Feinstein: Bunny and Dolly
Originally from the East coast, PJ lives in Omaha with her military officer-husband, toddler son, and lazy white dog. She's expecting baby #2 in February.