Every year, the eight-night-long celebration of Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Jewish lunar month of Kislev. This year, the 25th of Kislev corresponds to December 20th on the Gregorian calendar. During the eight nights of Hanukkah we light a hanukkiah (a special menorah candelabra which holds nine candles) to commemorate the relighting of the menorah in the temple in Jerusalem after its destruction in 168 BCE. It is a beautiful celebration of peace after strife, of bringing forth light from places of darkness. And any holiday is, of course, made even more joyful when celebrated using items created by our children.
I first saw this Hardware Store Hanukkiah being created by children at the play-based preschool my mother co-owned in Los Angeles for 27 years. I love the post-modern look of using scrap lumber and steel hardware to create these candelabras, and I’m excited to have finally created one with my older son for our use during the approaching holiday.
A scrap of lumber (a rectangle, triangle or trapezoid shape will work fine)
A bit of sandpaper
Ten 3/8 inch galvanized hex-nuts and some white glue
Paint & glitter are optional
To start off, use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
If you’d like your hanukkiah to be colorful, now it’s time to add some paint.
Then glue on nine hex-nuts, making sure that there is at least one inch between each of the nuts.
To make a proper hanukkiah, you will take the tenth nut and glue it stacked on top of one of the nuts which has already been glued down (see photo below). This will be for what is referred to as the Shamash (or “helper”) candle. The Shamash is lit first and then used to light each of the other candles.
In this winter season may you celebrate the bringing of new light into places of darkness.
Margaret Bloom lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and 2 sons. This is the third piece she has contributed to Rhythm of the Home and you can also find her blogging at her blog, We Bloom Here.