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Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

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Nature Inspired Holiday Decor

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Popular in Holidays

Craft a Hanukkah Party

Hanukkah is a special time for sharing traditions with family and friends. Try our ideas for invitations, party favors, and more.

These fabric invites are a fun way to tell friends about a party. Younger children can help weave in the yarn if you punch holes around the edges of the fabric, and tape one end of a piece of yarn.

What You Need:

These invitations hint at the fun that's to come.
  • Large plate
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Beads
  • Markers
  • Chocolate coins


1. Make base of bag. Trace around a large plate on fabric. Cut out the circle.

2. Weave in yarn. Turn under a narrow hem around the outside edge. Baste it, and thread a length of yarn through it. Tie a bead at each end of the yarn.

3. Write out invitation. Turn the hemmed side over, and write the invitation message with a marker or pen. Pull up the gathers, fill the bag with chocolate coins, and tie it shut.

A menorah and personalized place settings set a festive tone.

Noah's Ark Menorah

What You Need:

Make a menorah that features your favorite animals.
  • Colored modeling clay
  • Menorah candles
  • Nontoxic paint or markers


1. Make candle holders. Form clay into a Noah's Ark for the servant candle (the shammash) and four pairs of animals for the other candles.

2. Add candles. Push a candle into the top of each shape. Remove the candles, and let the clay dry.

3. Decorate the pieces with paint or marker.

Name "Cards" and Cups

What You Need:

Personalize every place setting.
  • Clear plastic cups
  • Dimensional paints
  • Balloons
  • Ribbon


1. Decorate cups. Paint "confetti" designs on clear plastic cups with dimensional paints.

2. Attach balloons. Tie a small balloon to each cup handle with curly ribbon. Write a name on each balloon with dimensional paints.

These simple star-shaped cones are fun to give and receive.

What You Need:

Fill a star for every guest.
  • Dinner plate
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Tiny toys, chocolate coins, other treats


1. Make shape. Trace around a dinner plate on colored paper, and cut out the circle shape. Cut the circle in half. Fold one of the half-circles in half three times, forming a fan of wedge shapes. Cut a point at the wide end through all the layers.

2. Glue wedges. Open up the shape, and cut away one of the pointed wedges. Tape or glue the fan into a cone shape, overlapping two wedges. Fold back the points to form a six-pointed star.

3. Fill the star. Use tiny toys, chocolate coins, and other treats.

Dance the Hora

Dance the hora with your friends.

If you can't find someone who knows this traditional dance, ask your school or public librarian to help you find out how to do it, or see if classes are scheduled in your area.

Play a Dreidel Game

Make or buy a dreidel, and play this traditional Hanukkah game.

Star-of-David Cake

Make the cake your party centerpiece.

Trim the tops of two frozen 8-inch round cakes so they're flat on top. Then cut each layer into 6 equal pie-shaped wedges. Make a straight cut across the rounded edge of each cake wedge, forming 12 triangular shapes. Frost 6 triangles white and six blue. Assemble them into a star shape as shown in the photo at right. Break chocolate bars into long sections, and arrange them on the cake top to outline the star shape.

Hanukkah Snack Mix

Mix 1 cup each of pretzels, potato crisps, and small cheese crackers with 1/2 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of whole natural almonds, 1/3 cup of shelled pistachios, and one 3-ounce bag of apple chips.


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