Festival of Lights, Apartment-Style

I narrowed the Hanukkah decorations down to a single Rubbermaid bin for the trip across the world and last week we unpacked it and set to work.

Cute Husband was a bit baffled by this effort as we will be on vacation for the duration of the holiday, but really now ~ does the man not know the extent of my holiday decorating madness after fifteen years of wedded bliss?  In my twisted little brain it made complete and total sense to unpack and put up everything for one week, leave town for the holiday and then come home, only to have to take it all down. {Now upon our return when I’m grumbling about having to put everything away I’ll completely deny ever thinking this was a good plan OK?}

There are essentially three things working against me in decorating for holidays in the Tokyo apartment:  no mantle;  a single sideboard as my only horizontal space; and restrictions on hanging things on the wall.  I’m already thinking ahead to next year and ways around these issues ~ just you wait and see! 😉

Above my sideboard, I swagged my Hanukkah ragamuffin garland.  Look how young The Cuties were back then!  There used to be some small glass Hanukkah “ornaments” {why those are even manufactured is kind of beyond me, but they were a great addition to this project!}, hanging from the ribbons throughout the garland, but alas, only a couple on the ends survived the sea transport!

On a long-winded list of “things that were supposed to arrive in Japan but went elsewhere” was the Waterford crystal menorah I chose to bring as our only Hanukkiah.  As you might expect, there aren’t a lot of Judaica shops in downtown Tokyo {that means none}, so I had to improvise on the menorah front and found these pretty votive holders that could be our “apartment menorah” and then line the ledge in my blue and white master bathroom {aren’t I so clever in justifying my purchases!}.

But imagine my delight when there, at the bottom of the Hanukkah Rubbermaid bin, nestled between dreidel-themed dish towels were the special menorahs The Cuties made back in preschool.  Such joy!!!  I had no idea they were in there, and thought they were deep in storage back in The States.  I love these so much!

While I have a few Hanukkah-themed snow globes, I was afraid to send them over and have them crack open in shipment.  But I did send this dreidel music box.  Little Cutie loves to wind it up and perform modern ballet throughout the apartment.  It has a shockingly long play time.  Not that I know this or anything.

My all-time favorite Hanukkah project is my glittered dreidels.

Every year when I bring them out I want to glitter more things.  The fact that I’m using glitter as a verb when talking about the annoying craft dust is a little scary but they’re just so darn pretty it makes me do silly things.  Silly things like purchase that ridiculously over-priced set of Martha Stewart rainbow-colored glitter from Michael’s and dream about all the things I can glitter.

Oops, I did it again.  Oh man, now the sparkle is making me quote Britney Spears.  I think this is a really bad sign….

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13 Responses to Festival of Lights, Apartment-Style

  1. msumissa says:

    Love it! As part of my DD’s brownie scout week, she received a dreidel and instructions. We had a great time as a family playing with pennies. (They cleaned me out!) Very enjoyable!

    Oh- I also was channeling you on Saturday as I picked out my new glasses…designed by none other than Lilly Pulitzer! I had to chuckle, I wanted some green frames (being an MSU Spartan) and the only pair in the shop were Lilly! The inside of the side frames are that fun Lilly pink and green pattern and the outside is green! Love em!

  2. Laura says:

    Despite the 3 things working against you, your decorations look great. Having a few, very special items can be better than 10 tubs worth, in my opinion. Enjoy your vacation!
    Synergistic Acres – Kansas City Natural Farm

  3. kelly says:

    i see nothing wrong with decorating even when you’re traveling! i’ve done it every year (except the past two, as we’ve been at home). it would be sad not to.

  4. bearie1 says:

    Happy Hanukkah. Elaine

  5. Jessica says:

    Did you use plain dreidels? If so, where did you find them? I want to recreate but hesitant to use dreidels with letters printed on them because I think it may show through the glitter. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks. 🙂

  6. feltsocute says:

    I used the wooden dreidels with letters – I had no problem with coverage as long as I used the very fine craft glitter as it’s extremely dense.

  7. Nakahara says:


    Quick question. Do you happen to know the maker of the dreidel music box? I saw one like it years ago and have been looking ever since.

    Thank you!!!

  8. feltsocute says:

    I’m so sorry, I don’t. There’s no make/manufacturer on the bottom. I do regularly see them at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, believe it or not!

  9. Would you tell me where you bought that dreidel music box? We just found one like it at the Salvation Army and are trying to determine the manufacturer.

  10. feltsocute says:

    I bought mine at Marshalls or TJ Maxx but it was about ten years ago (and I’m in the States right now so I can’t pull it out of the Hanukkah bin to find a manufacturer on the bottom for you). Good luck!

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  12. Pingback: Pinspiration: Hanukkah Holiday Decor | adi in the life

  13. Laura says:

    What company makes the dreidel music box?

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