Many years ago, a friend invited me to her annual Hanukkah party, a party of more than 50 people. In addition to the pot-luck nature of the gathering, my friend’s one request for the party was that the attendees bring their own menorahs and candles for a group lighting. Although I had celebrated Hanukkah all my life, I had never been at a gathering like this, and when we all stopped and lit our menorahs at once, the effect was both moving and dazzling. In that one house, in that one instant, there was an immediate feeling of connection to the families worldwide who were participating in this same ritual. At the same time, it was visually dazzling, with menorahs from the most humble to the most glamorous, with candles galore lighting up the house.

Image found on Flickr

Image found on Flickr

I have since borrowed my friend’s tradition on a much smaller scale and the effect remains powerful and beautiful. And now I am starting a new tradition of collecting one menorah a year so that my home can always have the look of my friend’s tradition.

Here are a few that are on my list to collect or give:

Created by a furniture maker, the graceful minimal lines from the branch fit the modernist aesthetic that is calling to me lately.

Menorah by David N. Ebner

Menorah by David N. Ebner

I lust over this menorah every year and perhaps this is the year I will spring for it. My desire today for recycled materials mixes with the enjoyment of the symbolic use of olive oil cans.

Menorah by Jenna Goldberg

Menorah by Jenna Goldberg

Rather than adding to my collection, I think I’ll give this menorah to a young family I know, celebrating their first Hanukkah with their young child. It has such a joyous feeling to it.

Line Dancing Menorah by Boris Kramer

Line Dancing Menorah by Boris Kramer

A piece of sculpture as well as a menorah, this piece by a Tennessee furniture maker celebrates tradition in a most untraditional way, a combination that speaks to my mind and spirit.

Blue Green Jagged Menorah by Kimberly D. Winkle

Blue Green Jagged Menorah by Kimberly Winkle

Happy Hanukkah!