If you have checked your "American" calendar , you will have noticed that Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall (no pun intended) on the same day this year. According to Steven Colbert, Thanksgiving is actually under attack!! But wait Steven isn't it Hanukkah that actually must share the limelight, or wait, aren't we just killing two birds with one stone. Sorry for the last comment, maybe that wasn't appropriate….
Anyways… if you were wondering how to decorate your Thanksgivukkah table this year, I have a few easy and fun ideas I would like to share. These ideas are meant for the entire family, not just for Mom, so I hope the kids are following.
A fun menorah will light up the table. Here I have used miniature pumpkins, but anything would work from apples, to persimmon to miniature squash. Just use what you find in your local grocery store or market. Let a parent carve the holes for the tealights. Any colour tealights will do, just make sure your shamas is taller than the rest. I have added some fall leaves and twigs for interest. You can use any type of leaf. Ivy grows wild most everywhere, or even better get the kids to make their own leaves. The more everyone is involved, the more fun you will have.
The dreidels were made using these instructions and template http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel.
For the napkin we created turkeys made from pinecones and a folded napkin. Go to youtube or google "how to fold a turkey napkin", you will find a tutorial there. The older kids may enjoy folding the napkins (cloth or paper), while the younger kids are creating or painting the dreidels, pinecones or leaves. If you don't want the mess, plain pinecones are just fine; just make sure you wash and let the pinecones dry ahead of time, so you don't find any uninvited guests at your table!!
The turkey head was made from a folded piece of card stock. Simply fold a right handed triangle to form the head and then make a second fold to create the neck. The red "wattle" which is the fleshy thing that grows under a turkey's throat, was just a red painted teardrop cut out from paper.
For an added bit of fun we scattered Hanukkah gelt (parve) at each placesetting. It adds just a little bit of bling, and chocolate is always a crowd pleaser. If you look closely, a special pilgrim kippa (paper buckle glued to the kippa) can be found on our table . We always enjoy adding something a little different and unexpected. Your guests will certainly remember those little touches and will remember the fun time you shared together.
I hope you have enjoyed my ideas, and see that you don't need to spend much to make something special. Be creative, make it fun, and involve the entire family in the Thanksgivukkah preparations. You will amaze yourself that you really can create something from nothing.
Please ask any questions about everything in this post or any other table scape ideas in the comments below.