52 week Challenge week 48: Hanuka (Hanukkah / Chanukkah) preparation

Hanuka is just a week away (it starts December 8, Saturday night – right after Shabbat!) So it’s time to start thinking about and making your plans. Here are some of the categories to consider:

English: Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanuk...


Menorah: Do you have enough? Some families, like ours, light one. Some have each member own, prepare, and light their own. However it works in your family, are you ready? (Remember, it doesn’t have to be purchased to be a kosher menorah. It’s not hard to get a homemade one to meet the guidelines for a kosher menorah.) If you need to acquire one or more, be sure to put it on your list.

Candles or oil: The next requirement for Hanuka is to have candles or oil to light your menorah. That means 36 lights (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8) plus 8 shamash / helper candles per menorah. You can do this with prefilled oil cups, do it yourself with different sizes of glass cups, wicks, and oil, or with a variety of colored candles. All links are to Eichler’s to give you ideas, but you can pick them up at a local Jewish store easily, too. 


Hanukkah (Photo credit: Cayusa)

Place to light: I realize this isn’t something to buy, usually, but it is something to consider before the big moment arrives. If you need to brush up on where to light (and when!), check out the links.

We use a window ledge in the front window of our house, but I prepare it with tin foil first (or suffer the colored wax consequences!) Does your place need covering or other preparation?

Hanukkah is coming...

Hanukkah is coming… (Photo credit: msabcmom)

Gelt / Gifts: For the gelt givers, be sure you have whatever denominations you need on hand. If you give gifts, check out your stash and/or order confirmations. You probably have more than you think! I always find something I forgot about tucked away in my closet (and thanks, Facebook OJH fans, for letting me know I’m not alone in having a stash in my closet!) And Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a great time to order things, but there are still deals to be had if you’re looking for gifts. My favorite deal sites: Kosher on a Budget, Money Saving Mom, and Slickdeals (you can set an alert on slick deals to find a deal on whatever it is you’re looking for, too!)

Other supplies: Kind of a generic category, I know. But I have a bin with “stuff” that we use on Hanuka. It contains a hanging like the photo above (personalized with our family name!), some decorations we put up, leftover stickers or crafts (speaking of crafts, check out my Hanuka Pinterest board for some awesome ideas!), cookie cutters, and a treasured table runner quilted by one of my grandmas. We also have a toy menora that I am sure to introduce to the younger kids for their playing (it’s normally up higher in the playroom and brought down at request) and some puzzles they love to do. Check out your “stuff” and see if you want anything else.

English: Latkes with smetana. Українська: Кате...

Food: Yep, I put this last. Of course, it is a big priority! But you have eight days to plan for, and so it can take a while. Now that you have the rest of your Hanuka prep considered, hopefully you have the mental space for this. Menu-planning is my personal mission for Sunday this year.

Traditional foods are latkes (potato pancakes) and donuts / sufganiot (because they are fried in OIL, which is the miracle of Hanuka) and dairy (here’s why). A simple google search – or even better, a swagbucks search – will lead to the gazillions of latke recipes out there. The basics are potatoes, onions, eggs, salt, maybe some kind of binder like breadcrumbs or flour, and oil for frying. But you can find a recipe for just about any kind of latke!

Some links for you to explore:

Last year’s party menu, complete with a cookie bar (and the related grocery list)

Traditional Sephardic levivot with sweet syrup (dessert)

Traditional (and not!) menus

Many more recipes and Hanukkah cooking tips

Hanuka resource superpage

What are you up to this Hanuka?

About Amital

A die-hard listmaker and observant Jewish mommy of 5, managing the challenges of life bit by bit with the help of a Shalom Bayit book and lists. And chocolate, of course. Lots of chocolate.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge