Here’s how to celebrate an unforgettable Hanukkah party (on a budget)

From playlists to drinking games, we've planned the perfect budget-friendly Hanukkah party

The Hanukkah countdown is on! The holiday’s may be earlier than usual this year, but that’s not stopping us from celebrating to the fullest.

We know hosting can be daunting, especially if you’re on a budget, so here are 5 tips to host a Hanukkah party like a pro… without breaking the bank.

Set the vibe

No party is complete without a little decoration, right? You can set the mood with some regular twinkle lights or buy these cheap ones off Amazon!

If you’re into crafting, you can also DIY a bunch of Hanukkah decorations to spruce up your hosting environment!

Cue the music

Hanukkah music — you either love it or hate it. But it’s free! And no one likes awkward silence. Plus, a Hanukkah get together is the only socially acceptable time to play Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song, so we need to take full advantage.

Here’s a playlist with all those cheesy Hanukkah tunes:

Or, create your own playlist that will channel the cozy, Hanukkah good vibes.

Feed your guests latkes

Trust us — Latke’s are not only festive but they are literally a poor man’s best friend. We all know potatoes are one of the cheapest items on the shelf so it’s no surprise those of us with Ashkenazi ancestors have been eating them for centuries.

Quick history lesson: In the late eighteenth century, Eastern Europe was plagued by repeated crop failures. To stave off massive starvation, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great ordered farmers to plant potatoes instead of grain because potatoes grow more quickly and can survive a variety of weather conditions, explains author of Jewish Soul Food: Traditional Fare and What It Means, Carol Green Ungar.

Since Jews were mostly poor and hungry in the shtetl, potato’s were somewhat of a Godsend. Jews developed a variety of potato-based dishes (potato kugel, anyone?) and that’s where the potato latke originated, she writes.

So save money on those fancy snack platters and make your bubbe proud by just sticking to tradition.

(Photo: e_known/Unpacked)

Keep the party going!

The unspoken truth is that by the last few nights, the same old Hanukkah activities can get a bit repetitive, but that doesn’t mean you need to splurge on anything extravagant. 

We’ve got you covered. Try out a dreidel drinking game. All you need is a dreidel and have your guests BYOB. This will definitely keep the party going.

If drinking games aren’t really your scene, here are 10 other games (like The Chosen One) that can be enjoyed sans alcohol.

Subscribe to This Week Unpacked

Each week we bring you a wrap-up of all the best stories from Unpacked. Stay in the know and feel smarter about all things Jewish.