Best Tips For Celebrating Thanksgivingukkah
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By Elizabeth Jenkins
Why is this Thanksgiving different from all other Thanksgivings? This year, it overlaps with Hanukkah, a coincidence that won't happen again for another 70,000 years. To help you celebrate the occasion known as Thanksgivingukkah, we asked home decorating experts for their advice on how to blend your Turkey Day feast with the Festival of Lights.
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Janelle Loevner, owner of Anthem in San Francisco, and Hilary Sessions, head curator of Chairish, created different table settings for Glo. For the easiest version, they suggest separating the two holidays by decorating a Thanksgiving table, enjoying the meal and then clearing it during the inevitable break between dinner and dessert. While your guests watch football (or enjoy a game of dreidel), move the menorah and dessert plates from the buffet to the dining table. "I love the idea of building excitement for the Hanukkah celebration, especially if there are kids involved," says Loevner.
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Stacks of dishes, mixed materials like rocky quartz and smooth crystal candleholders help create a stunning display for the second act of the holiday evening. The warm wood of the sideboard keeps the display cozy rather than cold.
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Since traditional Thanksgiving colors are orange and brown and Hanukkah's colors are blue and silver, it can be tricky to use them together. Instead, Loevner recommends skipping bright saturated hues in favor of neutrals such as white, tan and gray. "I would also lean more toward metallic materials, natural fabrics and organic objects," says Loevner, who cleverly combined brass candlesticks, blue-gray stemware and gold and copper plates alongside a centerpiece of pumpkins and gourds in one tablesetting.
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Mixing and matching textures will keep the table feeling lively rather than stuffy.
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If Hanukkah means more to your family than Thanksgiving and you want your table to reflect that, try for an elegant tablescape with the menorah prominently displayed. In this set-up, Loevner and Sessions selected hemstitch linen placemats and a runner and napkins with a paisley design. On each salad plate they placed a single pear—a nod to the fall harvest.
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Symbolic objects—like the menorah and pears—are subtle but still meaningful.
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By simply changing the runner, candlesticks or centerpiece, you can transform the table and give it a fresh look. For the second night of Hanukkah and those that follow, Loevner and Sessions suggest putting away the cornucopia and opting instead for a vase filled with fresh flowers.
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While fresh blue hydrangeas may not be available everywhere, faux ones are. Tuck them into a vase filled with water and no one will be the wiser. Silver pears, placed on a stack of dishes, keep the display interesting rather than solely functional.
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