The Festival of Lights at Goodwill®

The first year that I was invited over to my brother’s house to celebrate Hanukkah with his family, I was humbled. Like many Americans, I grew up in a home that celebrated only Christmas, but as an adult I was suddenly able to peek into another holiday tradition and I appreciate that honor. Watching my niece and nephew explore their Jewish heritage was a joy. They giggled as they spun their dreidel and I admired their little faces in the glow of the light from the menorah. Now that Hanukkah is just over two weeks away, Jewish families are gearing up to celebrate once again.

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Last year, Beth from the blog Pampers and Paklava prepared for Hanukkah by visiting her local Goodwill. Although she wasn’t specifically in search of the Little People Hanukkah set she found, she recognized its worth right away. Discontinued in 2012, this educational collection sells for hundreds of dollars on eBay, but Beth scored hers for just $2.99 at Goodwill. The most heartwarming aspect of the set, though, was seeing the light in her daughter’s eyes when she unwrapped the box on the first night of Hanukkah.

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If you’re in search of some festive goodies to give this year, but can’t find anything in your local Goodwill, don’t forget that you can shop Goodwill online, too! Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (Portland, OR) has some Hanukkah books and music available for sale on their website. After these gifts are opened, books and CDs can double as decor! When they’re not being read or played, pop them up on a small book stand amid a seasonal mantel display. With bright illustrations, covers like these are meant to be displayed (and you don’t have to remember to blow out these candles before bed)!

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Now let’s chat table settings! It’s easier (and less expensive) than you think to curate a table display unique to Hanukkah. Checking Goodwill for dishware and tablecloths of blue, white, and silver is really all you need to do. In this tablescape created by Allison of Goodwill Industries of Denver (CO), a second, folded tablecloth acts as the runner that accents the table and beautifully fills empty space. Using your menorah as the centerpiece, accent any other open spots with even more candles and finish the display by nestling a candy or dreidel on the napkin of each setting.
Do you or does someone you know celebrate the Festival of Lights? It seems like there is one thing that is shared amongst people of many religions, especially at this time of year; the importance of giving. So whether you give Christmas gifts, Hanukkah Gelt, or even a donation to a worthy cause, we hope that you enjoy your season. Don’t forget that your donation to Goodwill makes a positive impact for people in your community and it’s a super easy thing to do. Happy holidays!