How to Decorate for Thanksgivukkah

Happy-thanksgivukkah-decorations

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? 

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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.

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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.

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By happy coincidence, Levi’s plush toy menorah (a gift from his grandfather) also happens to be blue!

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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.

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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. 

Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

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In case anyone is looking for fun details for their Thanksgiving kids' table, I wanted to share this play date that we had last November.  The table set-up and craft ideas came from Fiskars.  The afternoon included turkey sandwiches (it was Thanksgiving after all) and later, my cousin Amy made apple bites dipped in fleur de sel caramel along with Nutella and pumpkin pie pops.  It was a delicious and fun afternoon!

 

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine

You can see her work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

Painted Leaf Napkin Rings

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Last year for Thanksgiving, my daughter and I made a garland out leaves that we painted gold. Apparently this activity made quite an impression on her because she recently asked me when we were going to "paint the leaves." Apparently this is an annual event akin to carving pumpkins and decorating the Christmas tree.

Although this year, I thought we'd try something new with our painted leaves: napkin holders.

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We started by taking a walk to the park and collecting leaves along the way. Once home, we assembled some clothespins, gold paint and paint brushes.

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We painted both the leaves and the clothespins in two coats of gold paint.

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We let everything dry and then placed the leaves inside of heavy books overnight in order to flatten them.

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The next day, I used a glue gun to place glue on the clothespins and attach each to a leaf.

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Once the glue was completely dry, I tested our new napkin holders on a few different napkins arrangements. The design I liked the best was a napkin folded inward into a square, with all of the corners meeting in the center and the leaf holder securing the top two corners. The clothespin can also be used to hold a place card.

Post by Julee : Warm Hot Chocolate

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Gift

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I love to give small gifts to enhance my friends’ holidays. Last year I brought my friends orange butter on Thanksgiving morning. While flavored butter sounds so random, I think it’s a great gift for a few reasons. First, it complements the customary rolls everyone serves at their Thanksgiving feast; second, it’s small so it won’t crowd the table; and third, if they decide not to use it for their dinner, it’s great on breakfast toast. All in all, it’s a small gift to let them know I’m thankful for their friendship!

If you need a last-minute neighbor, hostess or teacher gift, deliver some homemade honey butter! To help you out, here’s your short cut: a label. Mix together some honey butter, scoop it into a small serving bowl or glass jar, label and deliver.

After you’ve downloaded the labels, print the file on sticker paper. I used a 2.5” hole punch to cut out my label, yet scissors will work just as well. Ensure your jar is clean and dry, then adhere the label. If you don’t have sticker paper, simply print on what paper you have on hand, cut out label, punch a small hole on the top and tie onto the jar. Just as cute!

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One more note, I was feeling in a rush, so rather than searching for the perfect coordinating ribbon, I used some fabric scraps I had laying out. I think I actually like it more!

Post by Aimee and Bettijo : www.supermomments.com