The most epic feast and celebration is just around the corner. That’s right, the first night of Hanukkah is here! To all my fellow vegan Jewish peeps out there (or those of you who just love eating Hanukkah food during the holidays), I hope you’re getting mentally prepared for eight solid nights of family, cruelty-free gifts, and most importantly, vegan food. Just to make things a little easier (it’s not like celebrating like a pro for eight straight nights is some easy feat), here are some tips for making this the best vegan Hanukkah EVER!

1. Eat latkes—and a lot of them—since they are pretty much the tastiest food in the world.

Just follow this easy recipe for vegan latkes, then top them with applesauce and vegan sour cream and revel in the perfection. Tip: Skip the prep work when making latkes by using frozen shredded hash browns instead.

dog with potato pancakes

2. One word: kugel.

How come no one ever talks about kugel? It’s delicious and super-easy to veganize (try this classic vegan kugel recipe.)

3. Splurge on bagels and cream “cheese”

If your family is anything like mine, bagels and cream cheese are present at any and all gatherings. This year, as a Hanukkah gift to cows everywhere (and to you and everyone you know because this stuff is seriously delish), replace dairy cream cheese with Tofutti, Trader Joe’s, Kite Hill, or Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread!

4. Order Takeout!

Let’s not forget about a classic component of any Jewish family’s holiday experience (or at least my family’s, and it’s not one that I’m EVER planning to give up): the inevitable dinner from your favorite Chinese restaurant. And for yet another Hanukkah miracle, Chinese food is so easy to veganize with peta2’s Chinese takeout guide!

Sesame chicken TVP from Chau's Cafe this past weekend with @georgelowden and @mrsblairwolf ???

A post shared by Brynn Richardson (@brynnvr) on

5. Gelt

Don’t forget to stock up on some dark chocolate vegan gelt for those fiercely competitive dreidel tournaments

6. Don’t forget the presents

Is the thought of finding gifts for everyone you know and love for eight crazy nights starting to sound a bit intimidating? We’ve got your back! Use our cruelty-free shopping guide for inspiration. Who decided that it was a good idea to have eight nights of gifts, and how is one single human being supposed to handle this?!

dog thinking of gifts

7. Vegan Sufganiyot (Also known as “jelly donuts”)

Locate a donut shop near you that offers vegan options. You might be surprised to find out how many places offer vegan donuts! Or try making your own from a recipe.

8.  Pledge to save lives!

In the spirit of giving and as a celebration of freedom, let’s be sure to use this Hanukkah as a chance to make a serious difference in the lives of animals. For a night of Hanukkah, tell your parents that the best gift would be to have them pledge to cook only vegan food for one week! Not vegan yet yourself? Make the pledge to try it out! You’ll feel great and save tons of animals from suffering.

factory farm, joanne mccarthur

9. And last but not least, OWN lighting that menorah!

Light it with style, light it with pride, and make sure that you’re using cruelty-free candles. Try candles made with vegetable wax instead of ones made with beeswax.