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If you understand the pun in the title of this post, you've probably been to a Hanukkah party or two. But if you're new to the idea of a Hanukkah party, or are just looking for some ideas to spice up your annual festival of lights, we've got tips.
Entertainment Anyone who has ever been in a school choir this time of year knows there aren't a lot of Hanukkah songs. But, in addition to a rousing game of Dreidel consider hiring a String quartet, Klezmer band, or solo Violinist or Accordion player to put you in the Old World mood. If you're having a DJ, ask him or her to find copies of Rock of Ages, I Had a Little Dreidel and of course Adam Sandler's Chanuka Song.
Food The main dish at any Hanukkah party is latkes, or potato pancakes. For a more elegant feel, instead of just offering the traditional sour cream and applesauce toppings try some chutneys, gourmet jams or even caviar (as seen below). You can also try sweet potato latkes or mixing carrots into your latkes. For a healthier approach that won't set off the smoke alarm and leave your house smelling like oil for eight days, try baked latkes. Don't forget that in Israel, sufganiyot, or jelly donuts are also a traditional treat. A donut tower can make a great dessert, and if your party is ecumenical, you can decorate it to resemble a Christmas tree.
Decorations Blue and white have become the unofficial colors of Hanukkah, but to make things feel less like a Hebrew School party and more like an elegant affair, skip the plastic dreidels and obvious Jewish stars and mix in silver and different shades of blue. These centerpieces work for any holiday party decorating.
Are you hosting a Hanukkah party or other non-Christmas holiday party this year? Tell us about it in the comments below.