There are more important Jewish holidays than Hanukkah, of course, and displays of the same scale as those for Christmas may not feel right – although that’s not to say you can’t find Hanukkah LED exterior lights and inflatables for the yard if that’s your preference.  And for inside your home, there are great decorative options, similar to Thanksgiving decor ideas, that will allow you to dress up the house for the eight nights in a way and to a level that feels appropriate to you for the holiday. Here, we’ve put together some ideas on how to decorate a house for Hanukkah.

How do you decorate a house for Hanukkah?

In-store, the season means a plethora of red and green decorations and, often, fewer Hanukkah choices. Look to specialist suppliers, though, and you can find plenty to decorate a house for Hanukkah. ‘Think, too, about the ways in which you can easily decorate with blue and white of the holiday to your home and make your decor individual,’ says Lucy Searle, global editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens. ‘You may want to put together blue and white glass ornaments, for example, to display in a glass bowl.’ Think natural, too. ‘When decorating, remember to use elements that are from your local farmers’ market or grocery store,’ says Layne Povey, principal designer at The Lynden Lane Co (opens in new tab). ‘Fruits, pine cone decorations, branches, and items that add natural elements to your story can help to create a fresh feeling.’

1. Make your own menorah

Lighting one candle of a menorah each evening marks the holiday, and while it’s always prominently on display, putting it in the front window is a tradition worth observing to mark the holiday and welcome guests to your home. If you enjoy crafts or are looking for a weekend DIY project to undertake, you might want to create your own menorah using painted mason jars (opens in new tab) for an individual look. 

2. Set out a bowl of dreidels

Playing with dreidels is part of the holiday celebrations, but these traditional tops can also make attractive decorations. Mix different designs in a bowl for a pretty display. Picking a common accent shade or material will make for an appealing feature. Use the best Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas as guidance for dressing a dining table.

3. Light up your home

Opt for lights suitable for the exterior and they can bring a holiday twinkle to the front of the house and the yard, too. 

4. Hang garlands and lanterns

5. Try a display of plates

Blue and white patterned Hanukkah plates will dress up the table and are perfect for serving up latkes, but consider using them for a display for the holiday as well. Set them out on a buffet or side table to create an appealing vignette.  

6. Put a decoration on the front door

Decorating a front porch is another way to mark Hanukkah and strike a welcoming note when the family arrives. Look for a Star of David design (but make sure it’s suitable for hanging on the exterior or a home), or a modern take on a Thanksgiving wreath in blue and white.

What decorations are used in Hanukkah?

The decorations used in Hanukkah start with the menorah, with one candle lit each evening on the nine-branch design; the ninth candle is used to light the other eight. Playing with dreidels, which are spinning tops, is part of the traditional festivities, but these are also attractive decorations.  There’s also a vast range of Hanukkah decorations available in the form of everything from ornaments to pillows to table runners and even yard signs and inflatables that can dress a home for the holiday.

Why are Hanukkah decorations blue?

Blue and white are traditionally used for Hanukkah decorations, but they aren’t just the colors of the holiday. Blue and white are important in Judaism. The tallit, or Jewish fringed prayer shawl, is traditionally made from white fabric and has a blue fringe.  However, scholars say that the association between blue and white is more to do with 20th-century American culture. Dianne Ashton, a professor of religion and American studies at Rowan University and the author of Hanukkah in America: A History, told TIME (opens in new tab) that company Hallmark had a role in making the colors popular, and now decorations in blue and white allow participation ‘in the seasonal event that the whole country is doing, but with the markers of showing that you’re doing it in a Jewish way’.