Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Light, celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which can occur anytime between late November and late December. This year, it falls on December 1rst. The festival is celebrated for eight consecutive days and commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. To read more about Hanukkah and the traditions behind other Jewish holidays, click here.

Below, I've selected eight Hanukkah crafts (one for each day of the festival!) that I think are so pretty, useful and festive. I hope you like them too. Happy Hanukkah!

DREIDEL-SHAPED PLACE CARDS: Every Hanukkah guest gets a prize -- chocolate gelt -- when they unfold these dreidel-shaped place cards.

DREIDEL GIFT-CARD HOLDERS: Brighten up a gift card by putting it in this dreidel-shaped holder.

GELT WRAPPERS: Give Hanukkah gelt -- the chocolate coins traditionally used by children for mock wagers -- a stylish wrapping treatment. In one, small glass canisters are lined with decorative paper and filled with coins. A name tag on top and a paper sleeve are the finishing touches. Another stack of coins is swathed in crepe paper and tied with ribbon bows.
HANUKKAH GIFT-CARD HOLDER: Give someone the star treatment by presenting a gift card in this easy-to-make paper holder. You can also use the decoration instead of a bow to jazz up a plainly wrapped package.

HANUKKAH CLIP-ART FAVOUR BOXES: Silver gelt -- chocolate coins wrapped in foil -- make charming favors when presented in clip-art card-stock boxes tied with ribbon and a Star of David.

MANZANITA BRANCH MENORAH: Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a modern manzanita-branch menorah, sprayed shimmering silver and trimmed with candles.

VELVET GELT GIFT BAG: I saw Martha make this craft on her old TV program and was very impressed with the result. It came together easily and beautifully. Fill them with dreidels and chocolate gelt, or coins. The treats are made more festive when packaged inside velvet bags embossed with symbols of Hanukkah, such as a Star of David or a Menorah.

MONOGRAMMED HANUKKAH COOKIES: Add a personal touch to your holiday place setting by monogramming cookies with guests' initials.

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