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How to Celebrate Hanukkah 2020 Safely


illustration of Happy Hanukkah, Jewish holiday background

 The Festival of Lights runs from December 10 through December 18, which means it’s time to think about how you’ll celebrate Hannukah 2020 safely, with the coronavirus lurking. With a little creativity there’s plenty of Hanukkah fun to be had without increasing your family’s risk of contracting the disease.

Make Hanukkah 2020 Simple

As you plan your Hanukkah celebration, keep in mind that the CDC recommends hosting any get-togethers with people outside your household virtually to help contain the spread of the virus.

“It’s really a return to a simplicity of the holidays, how they used to be. We’re going to have smaller moments together with our trusted inner circles,” says food and lifestyle expert Chadwick Boyd. “Hanukkah and Christmas are going to be more intimate and contained.”

Indoor, Outdoor, or Virtual?

Indoor celebrations put you and your entire family at high risk. The same goes for traveling long distances to get together with friends and family. We’re lucky here in Santa Barbara to have beautiful year-round weather making it possible to celebrate outside. But even that comes with a moderate risk, so consider your options carefully. Your best bet is to celebrate with those household members who are riding out the pandemic with you, while inviting others to join virtually.

READ: How Santa Barbara Homeowners Can Create a “Smart” Healthy Home

Celebrating Hanukkah 2020

When the pandemic began, some celebrated rabbis created which lists ideas for family activities, cooking tips, Hebrew lessons and more. The info is invaluable this year. Check out the site for excellent ideas for your Hanukkah celebration from more than 50 Jewish Community Groups worldwide.

READ: The Increasing Popularity of the Multigenerational Home

The Festival of Lights, as it is known, is all about bringing light to the world. That’s why families light one candle each night on the special Hanukkah menorah. The menorah is placed in the window to show its light. December is the perfect time of year to do that since the days are short, making it the darkest time of the year.  

A family is lighting a candle for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah that is observed for eight nights and days.

7 Steps to a Safe and Happy Hanukkah 2020

You can still celebrate Hanukkah safely in 2020. Here’s how:

  • Limit the guest list
    If you still plan to get together with loved ones, keep the Hanukkah gatherings outdoors and brief. Rather than rotate in a different group of friends and loved ones each night, it’s better to stick with the same tribe (or your Covid bubble) throughout the holiday. The good news about going virtual with your holidays this year is that everyone can attend. In fact, the more, the merrier!
  • Give quarantine-friendly gifts
    Opt for gifts that’ll help make your time at home this winter cozy and comfortable. Think fuzzy socks, a warm blanket, a good book, a fun game to play, or a bag of State Street Blend from the Santa Barbara Roasting Company, the area’s original small-batch coffee roaster since 1989.
  • Share with friends
    Even if you aren’t able to get together this year, you can still enjoy the same treats and Hanukkah recipes Drop off a homemade sweet treat, like rugelach, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), or a little gelt to friends and family and make their Hanukkah celebration a little brighter.
  • Declare it pajamakah
    We’ve all gotten a lot more casual during quarantine, so this year, go ahead and break out the PJs. Wear your favorites every night!
  • Light up the night
    If you’re planning an outdoor Hanukkah celebration, you’ll need a menorah that won’t blow out in a gust of wind. Look for modern LED versions that will help keep the “flames” lit throughout the celebration.
  • Mix it up a little
    You’ll probably still want to serve all the classic Hanukkah dishes like latkes, brisket, kugel, and matzo ball soup. This classic soup is also a great way to help keep off the chill when you’re gathering outdoors. Be sure to create a theme for each night, whether you do breakfast-for-dinner for one night, or an all-sweets day, make it memorable.
  • Be kind to yourself
    The pandemic has been so hard on everyone this year, so give yourself room to simply enjoy the season. Look for little shortcuts that make it easier for you to relax and spend time with the people you love, no matter if they’re across the table or across the country from you.

The new year is likely to return us to a more “normal” and traditional Hanukkah. Why not consider celebrating in a new home? Whether you’ll be moving to Santa Barbara or Montecito, or you’re considering selling your home here, just call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at I look forward to helping you find your dream home or selling your property in this beautiful part of the world. May you succeed in celebrating Hanukkah 2020 safely. Shalom aleichem!


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