By Esther Pransky, Lubicom Staff
Remember the olden days before Corona? Remember all those chats and messages it took to coordinate your family’s schedules for the annual Chanukah party?
Unfortunately, many people WON’T be celebrating Chanukah in-person with family and friends this year. But you can keep the family spirit going by sending out a “Chanukah-Party-in-a-Box.”
Once everyone has the boxes, plan a Zoom party and share the activities. (Fringe benefit: you can get back on the chat to coordinate your schedules!)
It’s like an instant Chanukah party-just add family.
Start With A Schedule
How will you know what to include in your box? Start by planning your party. A simple example might go like this:
6:00 – Light menorah and sing
6:15 – Eat
7:00 – Game or Activity #1
7:30 – Game or Activity #2
8:00 – Opening gifts
By working through the details, the schedule will guide you in filling your Chanukah party box.
1. Light Menorah and Sing
We can assume that each family will handle the menorah part, but what about the songs? Thinking beyond Maoz Tzur, you can include a family songbook in your box.
What’s a party without food? Eat together even when you’re apart by serving the same foods. If you have family classics, consider including the recipes in your Chanukah boxes.
Or send the food itself:
- Chanukah pasta
- Chanukah cookies
- Sufganiyot or Donut mix
- Chocolate gelt
- Latkas or latka mix
3. Games and Activities
There are two ways to go here. One is to plan a game that all the families play together. The other is to have each family play the same game in their separate homes.
For games that you play together over Zoom, check out our 2020 Chanukah Get-together Game Guide.
You can include all the Zoom game supplies in the Chanukah boxes. It may be dreidels, a list of questions, or written instructions for the game.
Individual games offer lots of choices:
- Dreidels– Of course! What’s a Chanukah party without a dreidel game? You can add rolls of pennies or quarters to make the game complete.
- Pin the Candles game – This is a Chanukah twist on the classic “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” Players take turns getting blindfolded and trying to place candle stickers on a menorah poster.
- Chanukah Bingo–Who doesn’t love Bingo? It’s simple enough for preschoolers, and up to six people can play at a time.
- Chanukah Tic Tac Toe– Yet another Chanukah twist on a classic game, playing with dreidels and menorahs instead of x’s and o’s.
4. Chanukah Cookie or Cupcake Decorating
An alternate activity might be to decorate Chanukah cookies or cupcakes.
If you’d like to start from scratch, include baking supplies in the packages:
- Pre-measured baking supplies
- Dreidel silicone molds
Or put in ready-made cookies and cupcakes. Either way, you’ll need decorating supplies, such as:
Make sure every family takes pictures (or screenshots!) before they eat their creations.
5. Open Gifts
Last is the best! Decide in advance who is gifting whom, so they can send the presents before the party.
Here are a few Chanukah-themed gifts your family might enjoy:
- Chanukah diamond painting – This is the latest craft craze! Using a special tool, you place small, colored gems onto a sticky canvas to form a picture, paint-by-number style. The kits are easy to use and inexpensive, but give spectacular results!
- Chanukah crew socks
If you all live local, your family can pick up the boxes from a central point. If not, you can ship them in advance. For boxes that you’re shipping, pay attention to the total weight, which can add up quickly. You’ll also need to have those boxes ready farther in advance.
But all the effort will be worth it when you celebrate Chanukah together. Enjoy your family party!
Are you making Chanukah-Party-in-a-Box boxes? What will you include? Let us know in the comments below.