Let's Dreidel Around

'Twas right around Christmas and all through the house,
The children were laughing
This is such a fun house!
It’s Chanukah time and we love it so
With dreidels and latkes
We’re ready to go!
It’s a season of celebration and a time for family and friends. Whether your Chanukah festivities last one night or eight, food, fun and dreidel games will make this a holiday to remember. Your family and friends will love your dreidel theme party!

Chanukah Invitations
Your guests will be looking forward to your party as soon as the invitation arrives! Choose a wonderful personalized dreidel Chanukah invitation.  Get your guests in the mood for “dreideling around” by attaching one to the invitation. Be sure to check the postage before you mail, it may need a little extra.

Design your own invitation – it’s economical and fun! Cut a dreidel out of colored construction paper and decorate it with the Hebrew letters Nun, Gimel, Hay and Shin. Write the party invitation on the flip side. For a more festive touch, include Chanukah confetti in the envelope.  This is a great project for the kids!

Remember, it’s the holiday season and people are busy. Try and get your invitations out early – 3 to 4 weeks is best.

Chanukah Decorations and Party Supplies
If you are looking for an exceptional way to greet everyone, hang up a personalized Chanukah banner. Have them enter through an arch of blue and white balloons if you have the room. If not, bouquets of white and blue balloons will look great around the party.  Here are some great Chanukah balloons:
Once inside, wow them by decking the halls Chanukah style—and walls and ceiling— with hanging dreidel decorations.

If you have assigned seating for large parties, why not use candy-filled dreidels for seating cards? Attach the name and table number to the dreidel with colorful ribbon. It’s a different and delicious way to tell your guests where they’re sitting. Use a menorah centerpiece to complete the look on your seating card table.

Scatter plenty of dreidels on your seating card table, buffet tables and even your dinner tables. Having lots of people will inspire everyone to play the dreidel game. Be sure to have bowls around the room filled with yummy chocolate gelt (coins) for people to bet with while playing. (We explain how to play the Dreidel game below.)

Chanukah Table Decorations and Party Menu

No Chanukah dinner is complete without potato latkes! Grate the potatoes yourself, buy a mix at the grocery store or purchase the batter at a deli. Wherever you get them, be sure to have lots of applesauce and sour cream to top them off. Keep tradition going with the rest of the meal. Serve matzo ball soup (perfect for lunch or dinner) brisket, a crisp green salad, fruit, challah and Chanukah sugar cookies for dessert. If you’re having a lunch party, substitute egg salad and tuna salad for brisket and keep the rest of the meal the same. Simple and delicious – what could be better?!

As your guests sit down to eat, they’ll be delighted with their beautifully decorated tables, covered in white linens and scattered with foil covered chocolate gelt (always a tasty treat) and Chanukah confetti. Keep the dishes to a minimum by using festive Chanukah paper tableware. It will make clean up a snap! Roll matching napkins and tie them off with gold, silver or another coordinating color ribbon.

Dreidels make a great centerpiece for your party. Fill a large vase or a few vases with an assortment of different size and color dreidels (or stick with one or two colors). You can add flowers to the top of simply leave the vases full of dreidels. It's simple, fun and elegant.

Chanukah Activities
Music always makes a party so be sure to have some Chanukah music playing in the background. Whether it’s Adam Sandler’s classic Chanukah tune or a Chanukah party music CD, everyone will be singing along.

Chanukah's not Chanukah without a game of dreidel - it’s the perfect activity for young and old. Retell the story of Chanukah and the miracle of the oil which should have only lasted for one day, but lasted for eight. Each side of the dreidel, or top, has a Hebrew letter which stands for one of the words "Nes-Gadol-Haya-Shom" which means "A Great Miracle Happened There." Before you start, evenly divide up a stash of pennies, raisins, chocolate coins, whatever you like, for betting. Dreidel is played by each person taking a turn spinning the dreidel. The letter on the side that lands facing up indicates what you should do: Nun - take nothing, Gimmel - take the whole pot, Hay - take half the pot, Shin - add half your stash to the pot. Win or lose, everyone will have a great time playing this game.

A gift exchange is a natural activity for a Chanukah party. Ask each guest to bring a wrapped present (set a price limit if you think it’s appropriate) suitable for male or female, adult or child - whatever works best for your crowd. Or, have everyone bring a white elephant gift. This is a great “regifting” opportunity and a chance to get rid of something that you just can’t stand! Each guest goes around the room choosing a new gift or taking one from someone else. This game can get pretty competitive, in a friendly way of course, but will leave your guests rolling on the floor with laughter.

You can play dreidel, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually be a dreidel? A life-sized dreidel cutout makes a wonderful photo op for your guests. Take pictures of your guests with a digital camera and then put them online. It’s a wonderful way for guests to enjoy your party even after it’s over and they can download their favorite photos too.

Chanukah Party Favors
Memories make wonderful souvenirs but it’s always fun to have party favors. A beautiful dreidel is always a fun favor for a dreidel theme party. Look at local Judaica stores or online for a huge selection.

For a truly special favor, send your guests home with a delicious milk or dark chocolate candy bar wrapped in a personalized candy bar wrapper. A special message from you will leave a sweet taste in your guests’ mouth long after the candy bar is gone. A beer bottle with a fun Chanukah wrapper is also a fun favor!
 
For the kids, a dreidle paddle ball game or dreidle stickers can't be beat!

Getting together for holidays is a treat for everyone. Party411 will help you create a party that your guests will want to attend every year!