If you're still reeling from the lackluster Hanukkah celebrations of your youth — you know, the ones where your parents tried to get you excited about a game of dreidel while your friends were off singing, dancing, slurping eggnog, and waiting up for Santa — you might want to consider starting your own Hanukkah traditions. More specifically, traditions that make Hanukkah just as exciting as any Christmas party on the block. That's right, there are tons of Hanukkah party ideas for adults that are fun and festive enough to totally re-write the Hanukkahs of your childhood.
Think about it: the Hanukkah celebration of light includes a celebration of oil, which lit the lamp for the those holy eight days. So not only do you have a built-in sparkly candlelight theme, but you also have an oil theme, which in the culinary world is gold. Sweet donuts and greasy potato latkes are going to take your party to the next level. Plus, now you're old enough to enjoy some "holy" wine, so take full advantage of that.
Here are a few ideas for throwing the perfectly modern and festive Hanukkah party – traditional enough for those who celebrate, and casual enough for those that don't. You'll never spin a dreidel with out a drink in your hand and a donut in your belly again!
Light It Up
Hanukkah is also known as the festival of lights. The only party decor you need to focus on, is lights. Combine candles, clear strung holiday lights and tinsel to create a twinkly atmosphere, with no harsh lighting.
There are so many ways to make latkes. So, instead of just making and serving one kind, have each guest bring their own latke recipe, with ingredients, and have a cook off. This is a great way to have some healthy competition, and a lot to eat.
The fried cakes are a Hanukkah staple. Get some plain donuts, a lot of toppings, and have your guests decorate and fill their donuts as they please. A little bit of arts and crafts before dessert never hurt anyone.
Dreidel Drinking Fame
Dreidel is not a riveting game. That is, until you add some drinking stakes. Pick a side of the dreidel to be the designated drink side, and spin the night way.
Organic Wine Tasting
If you're not into Manischewitz wine, you can experiment with organic natural wines. They're perfect this time of year, and a Hanukkah gathering is a great time to test out some new wines on your friends.
Making your own gelt is way more fun than just buying it from the store. All you have to do is melt down the chocolate of your choice, spread it on some wax paper on a baking sheet, let it set, and carve out your own coins with a toothpick.
Poker With Gelt
To really get the competitive spirit going, set up a poker table and play with your guests — use gelt as currency, of course.
Cards Against Humanity (The Jew Pack)
If you've got a wicked sense of humor and are already unfazed by Cards Against Humanity, opt for "The Jew Pack", a special set of cards with hilarious Jewish themes.
Eight Crazy Nights Viewing
Whether you want to do a proper sit-down viewing of this film or not, you should definitely at least have it on in the background for both vibes and laughs.
"The Hanukkah Song" Music Chairs
While you're on an Adam Sandler kick, you might as well play the infamous Hanukkah song and sync it up with a game of musical chairs. Whoever wins, get the take home all of the gelt!
The best way to celebrate the festival of lights is to have your own festival of lights gift swap. Advise each guest to bring a wrapped candle. Place each candle in a box or large bag and have guests blindly fish out a surprise candle before they go.