Decor and Floral Ideas to Celebrate and Understand Hanukkah

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By Jill Brooke

Hanukkah is the festival of lights, a feat of the Jewish people to prolong one day’s worth of oil to eight, which secured a victory over  Syrian rule and prevented their faith and temple from being diminished and destroyed.

For 2023, the Hanukkah festivities start on December 7th and I wanted to give you some decor ideas to celebrate this annual holiday.

The colors for Hanukkah are often blue and white, the colors of the flag of Israel. Of course, the question then is why blue? It’s the color of a thread the Israelites were told to dye the thread on the knotted fringes of their prayer shawls with this “perfect blue” made with ink for a sea snail. 

Pottery Barn has a wonderful display as seen above for Hannukkah decor. Lovely and lively. Designer Seth Allen accessorized this table to perfection and these items are great for any collection.

However, there is no religious reason why you have to decorate with blue and white if it doesn’t suit your color palettes.

I live in a 1790 farmhouse in New York, where the term Hanukah bush was conceived. Nothing is blue and white. Therefore I find other options. I always play with items I have collected over the years. Then I find some little items to inspire me – usually from Home Goods, Pottery Barn or other places.

This year, what inspired me was the menorah napkin ring I found for $9.99 at Home Goods. But then I had to match it with a gold tone. Thus I found this fab evergreen holiday tablecloth for $16.99. The star garland was bought at Pottery Barn. Everything else came from what I’ve collected over the years.

Decor Tips for YOUR Holiday Table

First decor tip. CANDLES. The more the merrier. Candles immediately warm up any environment. Whether it’s using floral holders or colorful tapered candles, make the effort to get stylish candles as well. Mackenzie-Childs is a great place for festive candles. Etsy also has fab floral candle holders. Perhaps buy a special floral menorah as I did at Target. Or use ones from your Mom. I often use candelabras I inherited from my mom and it gives me a gateway to attach our past to the present. 

Think of candles as enLIGHTenment. Ways to improve our state of mind. 

Incorporate any of the following ideas and remember that holidays are also an opportunity to share family histories and traditions.

5 Floral Ideas for Hannukah

1)  Anthuriums  

Since Hanukkah is about the effort to maintain purity and pure love of faith and family, find flowers that symbolize this sentiment.

The tulip is a flower that symbolizes purity and pure love,” says CEO Sarah-Eva Marchese of Floracracy.  “It also is one of the few flowers that keeps growing after it has been cut, growing sometimes 2 – 4 inches in an arrangement. It is a message that we can keep evolving and can make ourselves better.”

This year I went for wine colored flowers to match the dark green and added gold faux. Also included anthuriums that are trending big time. In the language of flowers, anthuriums also represent hospitality.

Furthermore, Suntory has just introduced blue chrysanthemums for those wanting that color palette.

TIP: “Silver brunia berries are an excellent way to add Hanukkah colors into the home. They last a long time, and you can even replace some of the less long-lasting flowers.  You want something for at least 8 days. Also, don’t fill up the vase of tulips with too much water.

2) Hyacinth

Fill the holiday table with flowers, which collectively mean new beginnings and the courage these starts take,” Marchese says. “Hyacinth, for example, means confidence, courage and power. These meanings capture how the Maccabees showed confidence and power to rebel against Antiochus” as well as the oppressors. 

TIP: Design these small spring flowers in an open arrangement style. Here, you see Floracracy’s Arch shape in our bohemian design look. It has the feeling of flowers growing right out of the ground. You may want to add freesia to the mix too since it symbolizes rebellion and also smells divine. 

3) Daffodils

Sometimes, the message needed by our loved ones is simple: dare to believe. White daffodils mean spirituality and faith.  They are an invitation to the Hanukkah message that we need to have belief, as the Maccabees had faith that they could free themselves from oppression. And move on to a better life.

TIP: Use white flowers to pack more tightly into a small arrangement that sits well on bedside tables or elsewhere in the house. You can also put just a few sprigs of daffodils into bud vases and distribute them throughout your home.  The gift of this is that it allows you to see this symbol in unexpected places throughout your day. Paperwhites also smell nice. 

4) Astilbe

Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew and is also called the “festival of lights.” Incorporate astilbe, which means dedication to symbolize the heart of the Hanukkah message.

TIP: Make your arrangement about light in full white or pink astilbe and pair with deeper foliage hues, like eucalyptus which have an intoxicating smell. You are intending to invite wellness and spirituality into the home. Another option to add is ranunculus which means radiance. 

5) White Roses

White roses symbolize a miracle, which invites your guests into the story of how the oil was supposed to last one night but ended up lasting 8. It creates a palette for belief and a holiday message of hope.

Tip: Loosely run the white roses down the center of the table as a table runner centerpiece, letting the flowers and message become part of the meal.  Let your family take some of the roses back to their rooms or homes as a symbol of the miracle and its love.

Remember, while having the smell and shape of real or faux flowers invites all the seasons into its story, you can add these messages in plate designs, candle holders, and especially napkin rings. 

Napkin rings are my favorite way to inexpensively update any table with a new theme. Ditto for ornaments. Scatter them like fairy dust on moss to create more storytelling. Pottery Barn really has an awesome selection each year. Also, holiday tree decor is a celebration of the season. I have many that I use all season. Did you know that decorated trees were banned in the United States in the early years with threats of imprisonment?  Queen Victoria’s love for her husband Prince Albert – and his German culture – encouraged her to do a photo shoot to take the stigma away from the spirit of the holiday – which is inclusiveness and love.

The menorah also becomes a design opportunity. There are now so many cool designs. It is one of the few things that the next generation keeps. Build a collection or give as gifts – especially this year.  I bought my son Parker one this year and was so touched he asked for one.

Collectively, all these details can be launching pads to share the story of the Hannukah season in your home or with friends you love. Perhaps ask family members what these meanings mean to you or how you experience the Hannukuh season. This can be a way to connect with family from a distance or to help your children understand and appreciate the season. Decor is truly an enduring way to tell stories – and be memorable.


Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and a monthly contributor to Florists Review magazine.