We live in one of those neighborhoods that goes all out for the holidays. Competition and cash prizes for the tract with the most holiday spirit. Our home is on a prominent corner, ripe for over the top decor.
However… we are Jews. We were uncomfortable, therefore, when the neighborhood committee presented us with luminaria fixings, to light our walkway in honor of Joseph and Mary’s epic journey to the Inn.
Nobody likes being pressured to decorate for someone else’s holiday.
I am more than happy to decorate for my own holiday though. Hanukah is, after all, the festival of LIGHTS and I have fond memories of candles burning outside homes in Jerusalem. So festive!
So we decided to join in the holiday fun with the neighbors. Bring a little Jewville to Whoville. Only problem? There are a bazillion inflatable 8 foot (licensed) Santa/reindeer/snowmen/snowglobe etc inflatables and life sized light up sleds available at many a store near you. There are precisely zero lawn menorahs & dreidels.
So, about ten years ago, a competition was born.
My husband and I take turns trying to outdo one another each year with our monster constructions but it usually ends up being a team effort and we’ve had some elaborate and grand menorahs over the years. One year, when the menorah in our town square was vandalized, we even brought our creation to the square and the kids were on the news on three channels. Wee!
This year, for the first time in a decade, my husband was out of town on an extended contract and unable to get his menorah on. The menorah construction work fell solely to me and my kids. My two daughters were old enough to help but hedged a little about the whole thing. Oddly, they seemed to think that the drilling and wiring stuff was man’s work. This of course upset me and made me double my efforts to dazzle and get them to wield power tools and get a little dirty.
I’m proud to say that with their help, the menorahs turned out better than ever and we even braved spiders in the bushes, without incident, to wire that puppy.
Here’s how it all began:
We started at IKEA as we often do. I had a bee in my bonnet about the FNISS trash cans and how they’d look stacked and lit from within.
While we were shopping, the girls fell in love with hot pink FANGST toy holders in the kid’s section which is how they ended up designing and helping to construct their own Menorah. We simply hung the FANGST from a PVC Pipe and put some oversized (driveway markers) Holiday Christmas lights inside to complete the candle effect. Lucky for us these lights were sold in sets of 3 so this went up very fast and easy!
The FNISS one… well not as easy but now that I know how to do it, it will go fast for future years and I can vary the look by using different colored lights inside the bins. It’s super awesome to behold, the Vegas showgirl of menorahs!
I’ll write a separate tutorial on how to achieve this menorah. After the holidays. When I have recovered!
Until then – Happy Holidays to you and yours whatever you celebrate!