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8. For extra crunchy results, drain
latkes on brown paper bags from gro-
Entertaining is a lot like gardening,"
cery stores rather than on paper tow-
says author Linda Burghardt. "You
can't make mistakes."
9. Make your own chocolate
In other words, no matter what you
Chanukah gelt by melting chocolate
do, it's OK.
and spooning it into rounds on alu-
Just as each combination of flowers
minum foil coated with a no-stick
produces a different garden, each
approach to party planning results in a cooking spray. When the circle
"coins" have cooled, wrap them indi-
unique gathering. Through these sug-
gestions from Burghardt's book, Jewish vidually in silver or gold foil.
10. Create a lovely ceremony by
Holiday Traditions, hosts can re-invent
asking guests to bring menorahs from
Chanukah parties or weave in new
home. Provide candles in a variety of
ideas with established traditions. The
colors, sizes and shapes, including
holiday starts at sundown Nov. 29.
some from Israel.
1. Make a guest list of family and
11. Place menorot around the din-
friends who light up your life.
Celebrating the holi-
table at the
day with friends is
fun for people with
2. Using construc-
tion paper, show chil-
dren how to cut out
dreidels or candles
and create one-of-a-
kind invitations by
filling in the time
lowed by the
3. If you want to
do something fancier,
buy_ plastic dreidels
with removable tops
to be daz-
and put a note inside
each one, explaining
12. Explain each step of the holi-
the party details.
day for guests who've grown fuzzy
4. Make a centerpiece by turning a
large cardboard box into a dreidel and about Jewish customs or who are
learning about Judaism for the first
letting children decorate it. Fill the
dreidel with party favors wrapped in
13. After dinner, read Isaac
blue and white paper, taping mesh
Bashevis Singer's delightful "Zlatch
bags of Chanukah gelt (the wrapped
the Goat" from the Yiddish writer's
chocolate "coins") or real money on
collection of stories by the same
top. Attach long ribbons, so it's easy
name. Young and old alike will be
for children to pull party favors from
entertained by this charming tale.
14. Sing traditional songs such as
"Rock of Ages." Remember to copy
purchase, make gifts yourself, or ask
song sheets and distribute to your
guests to bring something to
guests, so they can join in.
exchange. Organize two grab bags —
15. Before the party, take a long
one for children and one for adults.
Allow 45 minutes to relax.
Set a price range to ensure fairness.
your role as host is to
6. Plan a manageable menu and
extend warmth and welcome people
prepare as many dishes ahead of time
into your home. Forget perfectionism
— it has no place at Chanukah.
7. Experiment by making latkes
— Linda Morel/JTA
out of sweet potatoes or try carrots,
zucchini or turnips.