Our 8 Favorite Hanukkah Crafts

Let’s get one thing clear: WE LOVE TO DECORATE FOR HANUKKAH! It is so fun to go ALL out on the holidays. If you like DIY projects, this post is definitely for you. Now, get ready to get festive and to have fun with your family. Click on the pictures of the Hanukkah craft for their instructions.

Now tell us–which of the Hanukkah crafts will you attempt?

1. Toilet Paper Roll Menorah

This is such a fun craft to do and a safe and fire free way for your children to have their own “menorah”.

Recycled Menorah, hanukkah crafts, kids diy, traditions gifts

 2.  Hand Print Menorah

Not only a fun project that any kid would love to do–but a great keepsake!. This would make a wonderful gift!

hanukkah crafts, kids diy, traditions gifts

3. Make Your Own Menorah

All you need is stock paper. These would look so festive at a Hanukkah dinner party!

diy, menorah, haukkah

4. The Perfect Paper Star of David

Grab a pair of scissors and go to town. Hang from the ceiling or on garland for the perfect touch of Hanukkah flair.

5. Holiday Star Garland

diy, menorah, haukkah, star of david garland

6. Hanukkah Bath Stickers  

This is genius.  Check out these unique Hanukkah bath stickers! These would make really neat gifts, as well.

bath time, bath stickers, dy, hanukkah

7. Upcycled Hanukkah Menorah

Follow these easy directions for a DIY menorah that lights up any room (fire not needed!)

DIY Upcycled Chanukah Menorah (for hanukkah)

8.  Money Origami Star

Who doesn’t love getting cash as a gift? Spice up the gelt you give with this fun origami star made of bills.

money origami, hanukkah, gift ideas

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Mensch on a Bench: From Kickstarter to Shark Tank

mensch_Blog

Your Friends at Traditions are excited to announce that on Dec 12th Shark Tank will feature Mensch on a Bench. A beloved toy in Jewish homes around the world.

In 2013 a Kickstarter was created  based on the wishes of Neal Hoffman’s young child. During Hanukkah of 2013-just one year after its successful Kickstarter–the toy sold out in just ten days. Fast forwarding to present day– what was once an idea is now one of the must have gifts of the holiday season.

Meet Neal Hoffman, once a marketing manager, now successful entrepreneur.  Recently quitting his full time job in order to ‘Mensch full time,’ telling Fox News that he wouldn’t even sell his company for ten million dollars. Perhaps, to Neal, living the American dream is priceless. With a brand like his–we certainly don’t blame him! He is certainly on his way to establishing his brand into corporate America.

On December 12th, Shark Tank will air the episode that features Hoffman’s brainchild, ‘Mensch on a Bench’. Shark Tank seems like just a stop on the corporate ladder he is steadily climbing. Surely, with the exposure and most-likely-a deal on Shark Tank this is just the first of many brand achievements. Our hearts are full of pride to see this family run business skyrocketing.  Shark Tank is the beginning of a massive branding plan that Neal has for the Mensch. Next year consumers can expect plenty of Mensch themed Hanukkah items: think candy, dreidels, gift wrap and more. Neal is also getting ready for the release of the AfikoMensch–the Passover edition of Mensch on a Bench.

A few days after the original idea of the Mensch was born, Neal began to write a story all about the Mensch. His brain was full of ideas–he already saw the adventures and scenarios that the Mensch would get himself into. He was inspired. He needed to write…and that is exactly what he did. If toys didn’t work out for him–he would have been interested in having a career in the comic book world! Soon after the book was written it was read to his son. His son loved it and the rest is history.

The inspiration didn’t stop. Hoffman found himself constantly chatting about it and planning. His wife finally urged him to trademark it and he did so just in the nick of time because a few days later someone else would try to trademark the same thing. With some hope, his family savings and help from Kickstarter Neal’s idea became a reality and he sold over 1,000 units in just ten hours.

Something that makes Hoffman’s brand AMAZING is the connection that he has with his fans on social media and blogs. Like his Facebook page here—> http://goo.gl/gu1Giu . He is very interactive, as are his followers. Neal does not have a lot of time to focus on content creation because of his busy schedule–however it is something he does not need to worry about as over 12,000 people have sent their pictures and name ideas to Neal and his page.

The Mensch on the Bench comes with eight rules.

rules

These rules have allowed families to create lifelong traditions and memories and simultaneously the Mensch is helping to teach morals such as good behavior and giving to others. Our favorite rule is rule number seven. The rule says to not open presents for one night of your choice during Hanukkah. Instead of opening presents kids have to give a gift to someone who is in need. With these rules, children all over the world are being introduced to what the word Mensch means and how to live like one. This is a priceless lesson that is learned through making Hanukkah memories with your family and having fun. No wonder it’s been an instant hit.

Hoffman’s story is compelling and inspiring–with the influence that he has in Jewish homes right now he has successfully encouraged boys and girls all over the world to give gifts instead of receiving one for one night of Hanukkah. Via his family’s brand; Neal is a real modern day Mensch.

Traditions is so happy to be carrying Mensch on a Bench. We were so excited that we even got our own office Mensch–the newest addition to our Hanukkah plush family. Traditions is a proud supporter of Neal and his brand; after all,  family founded small businesses need to stick together..

Meet Moshe,our office Mensch. He made instant friends with Mr. Maccabee. Instantly after meeting they had a crazy guys night playing dreidel.
coffee
We even found them shmoozing over coffee this morning!

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to see what Moshe will be up to next.

Get your own Bench on a Mensch with FREE Hanukkah gifts. Click — >http://goo.gl/s3q2Ai

Get your Maccabee on a Mantel. Click —> http://goo.gl/q2WByG

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8 Hanukkah Kitchen Supplies That We Love

During this Hanukkah, you can find us in the kitchen. We love latkes, sufganiyot, brisket and more!! We have taken the time to list eight of our favorite Hanukkah kitchen supplies. Whether you are hosting a party or cooking for a small family gathering–we have all you need to make your kitchen and table festive for the holiday!

1. Keep Calm and Eat Latkes Plate : Keep calm and buy our latke plate!! Perfect for a fun  party or a hostess gift.

keep calm, eat latkes, blue plate, hanukkah

2. Dreidel Salt and Pepper Shakers : The perfect final touch to your  table.

salt, pepper, shakers, kitchenware,

3. Reusable Dreidel Ice Cubes : Keep your drinks ice cold while the flames burn hot with these fun reusable ice cubes.

drinks, drunk, drinking, resuable, ice cubes, happy hanukkah

4. Hanukkah Paper Tableware : No one likes to do dishes–especially after a big meal. Have one less thing on your to do list with this  tableware set made of paper.

paper, throw away, recycle, party, no clean up, easy, festive, happy hanukkah, gifts

5. Complete Hanukkah Cupcake Decorating Set: Can you say Cupcake Decorating party??? At your gathering have icing, sprinkles and this set–a sweet creative treat!

cupcakes, cupcake wrappers, cupcake decorations, happy hanukkah, food, party

6. Nylon Latke Server : Latkes are a holiday favorite. Serve this crowd favorite in style.

server, spatula, happy hanukkah, dinner, party, kitchenware

7. Round Hanukkah Serving Plate : Colorful and festive–make your table pop with this eye catching  plate.

plate, hanukkah, festive, celebrate, table, dinner, party

8. 2 Piece Hanukkah Towel Set : There will always be a cleanup after a successful evening. Keep the spirit going and get festive while you clean! A great gift for your host or mom.

towels, hanukkah, clean, gifts

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8 Amazing DIY Menorahs

Menorahs are often the center of attention during a Hanukkah gathering or party so it’s no wonder people love to put so much thought and  time into their choice of menorah. There are so many menorahs in the world that are crazy, fun, chic or contemporary. Here at Traditions we prefer the unusual and quirky ones! We searched the internet up and down and found 8 menorahs that people from all over have made. 

Click on the pictures to get the instructions so you can DIY, too!

1. Used Pez-norah Dispenser Menorah : This is as close to DIY menorah perfection as you can get. The potential for awesome themed Pez-norahs are endless! This would be such a fun Hanukkah gift.

Use Pez dispensers:
Pez-norah by Lifehacker

2. Spray Painted  Menorah : These white and matte finished bottles make us wish it snowed in Florida. We are loving this winter inspired menorah.

Spray Painted Glass Bottles
Spray Painted Glass Bottles by Better Homes and Gardens

3. Spray Paint Pasta-norah : Sauce not included!  Use these noodles and paint to create a delicious looking pasta-norah.

Or spray-paint pasta:
Pasta Menorah by the MV Times

4. Modular Menorah: Inspired by the mod look of the 60s!

Modern Modular Menorah
The Modernist Menorah by JustinaBlakeney.com

5. Industrial Pipe Menorah : A bold  and fun Hanukkah statement to make. The perfect menorah for a handyman or a construction industrialist.

pipe menorah
Industrial Menorah by ManMadeDiy.com

6. Building Block Menorah : This is a fun Hanukkah craft to make for the kid or kid at heart in your life. Personalize it to any name or word you want. Have fun!

 

Use building blocks:
Building Blocks Menorah by CreativeJewishMom.com

 7.  Pool Noodle Menorah : If you are lucky like us and you can spend Hanukkah in warm weather–this may be a great decoration for the outside of your home.

Pool Noodles Menorah
Pool Noodles by www.BibleBeltBalabusta.com

8. Branch Menorah : This menorah will immediately bring a rustic and whimsical touch to any Hanukkah table.

Branch Menorah Martha Stewart
Branch Menorah by Martha Stewart
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FIND HANUKKAH HARRY!

Can you help us find Hanukkah Harry? We have been looking all over the place for this crazy guy!

For Hanukkah we wanted to have some fun with you and do a treasure hunt of sorts. You will get one clue–one day at a time–for eight days! You can use these eight clues to help you find Hanukkah Harry and receive a 10% off coupon and an entry to for a chance to win a $25 gift card for you to spend in our store. To enter into our drawing for the $25 gift card, simply email us at contest@traditionsjewishgifts.com with Harry’s code.

Find the rules to our game below.

HAVE FUN AND HAPPY HANUKKAH FROM TRADITIONS!

Click the picture below to go to our Facebook page.

Find Hanukkah Harry

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HOLIDAY MADNESS IS HERE!

We are excited to announce our Holiday Madness sales! Save on shipping, candles, dreidels and more!

 These codes expire on November 25th at midnight. Only one code per order, please!

Holiday Madness is Here

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Gratefulness.

Thanksgiving is almost here and the holiday has us talking about gratefulness. We talked about the things that we are grateful for this season–scroll down to see what the staff of TraditionsJewishGifts.com is grateful for.

Gratitude, Enough, Traditions Jewish Gifts staff

Wendy: My family!

Andi: I am most grateful for the fact that I have such a great family. I am also very grateful for my job at Traditions.

Roy: My health, my sound mind, my wife and grand-kids.

Greg: My friends and family.

Richard: I am grateful that I work with one great bunch of people.

Matt: My friends, family, food and drink.

Nina: I am grateful for my kids, job and consistency.

What are you grateful for? 

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Festive Hanukkah Nails

Get ready to illuminate any room you go into during the Festival of Lights with these Midrash Manicures festive Hanukkah nail decals. Hanukkah lasts eight days and nights long and one of our favorite ways to commemorate our favorite holiday is to light up our fingertips with some festive Hanukkah nails. When done correctly, these nails can last up to TEN DAYS–your very own Hanukkah miracle!

Festive Hanukkah nails, Midrash Manicures, nails, cute, holidays, DIY, fun
Festive Hanukkah nail decals by Midrash Manicures

To create your own festive Haukkah nails look you will need:

A solid base coat and solid color coat.
Midrash Manicure’s Hanukkah Nail Decals (Buy them HERE!)
A glossy top/bottom coat
Toothpick or pair of tweezers (optional)

The first step is to prep your nails! Apply a bottom coat on your nails to create a protective barrier. Next you need to apply the base coat of your choice. We like blue, white or a matte silver.

 After you apply your base coat, you need to let it dry. After your polish dries you may then apply your festive Hanukkah nail decals to the center of your nail beds. Simply peel the decals off and with a light hand press the sticky side down. To make sure its securely on, an extra step you can take is to use a toothpick or tweezers and push down on the decal. This will secure your decals and ensure accurate placement. This step is completely optional as the decals can also be applied with just your fingers.

Festive Hanukkah nails, Midrash Manicures, nails, cute, holidays, DIY, fun
Festive Hanukkah nails in white with decals by Midrash Manicures

Your almost done! Now all that’s left to do is apply your top coat and let dry.

Festive Hanukkah nails, Midrash Manicures, nails, cute, holidays, DIY, fun
Festive Hanukkah nails  in blue with decals by Midrash Manicures

Now your festive Hanukkah nails are complete! May you shine bright this holiday season.


Tradition’s would like to announce that we are going to have a Hanukkah nail contest! Paint the most festive Hanukkah nails you can and post it with the hash-tag #HeyTraditions so that we can see your entry. You do NOT need to use the Hanukkah decals if you don’t want to–just be as creative as you can!  The best entry will win their very own set of Midrash Manicures nail decals. You can pick between their High Holidays Decals or Hanukkah Decals. Contest ends December 8th!

Good luck and have fun doing your festive Hanukkah nails!

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Mini Challah Rolls Recipe

mini challah rolls
Photo Cred: CompletelyDelicious.com

 

The other day we came across the cutest and yummiest recipe for Shabbat/Holiday dinner mini challah rolls! The second we saw it, we knew this was a recipe that had to be shared. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

Ingredients for Mini Challah Rolls

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) honey
1/2 tablespoon salt
5-6 cups bread flour*
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) warm water
4 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, for egg wash

Instructions for Mini Challah Rolls

Your first step is to take a cup of hot water and dissolve your yeast by letting it set in the water for five minutes. Next you take the honey, salt and half a cup of flour; the most ideal way to mix this would be using a mixer with a dough hook attachment. After you do this you will need to add the yeast/water mixture that you previously made along with the eggs and butter in the mixer–you should mix this concoction until is is creamy in texture.

Start mixing the mixture on a medium speed and gradually add the rest of the flower a quarter cup of flour at a time. You will know that its done when the dough is pliable. This process will take about about five minutes or so. Now it is time to let the dough rise. Take the dough and place it in a faintly greased bowl. Cover the dough and place it in a moderately warm location. Let sit for an hour and a half until it has doubled in size. Turn your oven on so that you can bake it at 350 degrees.

Kneed the dough and section it into 2 ounce balls. After sectioning it, you will then roll the dough out until it reaches ten inches in length. Take the rolled out dough and tie it into a knot.  Place the freshly knotted dough onto a paper lined baking sheet for about an hour so that they may rise some more–they will double in size once again.

After you give the dough some time to rise, you will want to brush the dough with eggwash. You will know when they are ready to serve when they are golden brown in color and sound empty inside when you tap on them–this is a process that takes about 40 minutes.

When the time is up and the mini challah rolls are done, simply let cool and serve on a gorgeous board similar to this one!

BambooChallahBoard
BAMBOO CHALLAH BOARD WITH MATCHING KNIFE

ENJOY!

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What Is A Dreidel? How Do We Play The Dreidel Game?

Pewter Filigree Hanukkah Collector Dreidel
Pewter Filigree Hanukkah Collector Dreidel

Why Do We Play With A Dreidel Top?

The Dreidel Game Originated Out Of Life Or Death Circumstances. The Greek Syrians Had Tried To Convert The Jewish People To Their Own Pagan Ways. When The Jews Refused To Convert And Remained Steadfast And True To The Jewish Religion The Frustrated Greek Syrians Created Laws Against Studying From The Torah As Well As Other Ritual Observances. The Jewish People Were Compelled To Continue Learning From The Torah And Had To Devise Other Methods Of Hiding Their Studies.

The Children Of Israel Would Take The Torah To Remote Areas And Continue Their Studies. The Plan Was Not Foolproof As The Enemy Had Many Soldiers On Patrol To Make Sure The Laws Were Not Broken. The Jews Therefore Brought Along Small Tops That They Could Quickly Pull From Their Pockets And Start Spinning And Playing Games With To Disguise What They Really Were Doing In The Remote Location. This Trick Worked And They Were Able To Continue With The Tradition Of Torah Studies.

Why Do We Collect Dreidels In The Modern Day?

There Are Many Dreidel Collectors That Have Collections Of Different Dreidels On Display In Their Home Or Office. While It Is A Sweet Reminder Of How The Jewish People Worked To Continue Their Jewish Education It Is Also A Beautiful Object On Its Own. Modern Day Collectors Dreidels Come In All Different Shapes, Sizes And Materials. Judaica Artists Like Gary Rosenthal , Quest And Tamara Baskin Create Amazing Works Of Art Into Their Dreidel Designs. From Molten Metals To Fused Glass, Each One Is Unique In Its Theme And Design. Whether You Are A Seasoned Collector Or Just Starting A Collection You Will Be Amazed At The Dreidels That Await You.

Why Do Dreidels Have Different Letters?

There Are Four Hebrew Letters On Each Dreidel. You Will Either See; Nun, Gimmel, Hay And Shin Which Stand For: “Nais Gadol Hayah Shahm – A Great Miracle Happened There”. “There” Is Referring To Israel. Or You Will See; Nun, Gimmel, Hay And Pay Which Stand For: “Nais Gadol Hayah Poh – A Great Miracle Happened Here”. “Here” Is Also Referring To Israel. The Different Versions Of The Dreidel Were Created As The Jewish People Started Playing The Dreidel Game Outside Of The State Of Israel.

The Dreidel Game Colorful Wood Dreidels
The Dreidel Game Colorful Wood Dreidels

How Do I Play The Dreidel Game?

To Play The Dreidel Game You Need At Least Two Players, One Toy Dreidel And A Large Quantity Of “Small Items” Like Chocolate Gelt Coins, Nuts, Raisins Etc. Each Player Starts Off With An Equal Amount Of Small Items. Sitting In A Circle On The Floor Or At A Table, Each Player Must Put One Small Item Into The Center Before Each Players Turn To Spin.

The First Player Now Spins The Dreidel. Each Side Of The Dreidel Has A Hebrew Letter; Nun, Gimmel, Hay And Shin/Pay. Each Letter Represents A Different Action In The Game.

  • If You Land On Nun You Do Nothing And It Is The Next Players Turn. Don’t Forget To Put In A Small Item Before Each Player’s Turn So the Center Pile Continues To Grow.
  • If You Land On Gimmel You Get To Take All Of The Small Items In The Center.
  • If You Land On Hay You Get To Take Half Of All The Small Items In The Center.
  • If You Land On Shin Or Pay You Must Add A Small Item From Your Hand Into The Center Pile

When You Are Done Playing, The Winner Of The Game Is Determined By The Player With The Most Small Items In Their Hand. Have Fun And Spin Away! Sound A Little Confusing?  Check Out This Video:  How To Play The Dreidel Game

What Are The Words To The Dreidel Song?

  • I Have A Little Dreidel–I Made It Out Of Clay–And When It’s Dry And Ready–Oh Dreidel, I Shall Play
  • Oh, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel–I Made You Out Of Clay–And When You’re Dry And Ready–Oh Dreidel We Shall Play
  • Oh, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel–I Made You Out Of Wood–And When You Are All Ready–I’ll Play You When I Could
  • Oh, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel–I Made You Out Of Glass–And When You Are All Ready–I’ll Play You On The Grass
  • Oh, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel–I Made You Out Of Gold–And When You Are All Ready–I’ll Play You In The Cold
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