I have a couple Hanukkah music CD's. I like to play it in the background when I'm going about life during Hanukkah. It has made the tunes more familiar over the years for me.
Some years I have made batches of latkes for my immediate neighbors and delivered them hot to their houses (pre-arranged that they would be home to receive them). I've included a little tub of sour cream and small jar of apple sauce with them. People go absolutely bonkers over them. One next door neighbor used to ask me what the delicious smell was wafting from my house. That was the year I decided to make her a batch of latkes and it kind of grew from there. This has been a really nice way of paying back neighbors who have brought platters of Christmas cookies and fudge over the years.
Most years I have tried to add one more Hanukkah-themed item to a little collection I have of candy dishes and the like. It is fun to open the box of them every year and use them during Hanukkah. I put them away after Hanukkah is over and bring them back out each year. For me this sort of replaces the feeling of bringing out the Christmas ornaments each year. I'm starting to have memories of these items. Some were gifts from friends, others I bought at Jewish art fairs etc... None are expensive. They are just little momentos. Having them out on coffee table etc.. during Hanukkah makes it festive.
I buy Hanukkah toys for our dogs - okay, I know, it is stupid but they actually do have them next to the Christmas dog toys in the pet stores. The last couple years I have sent Hanukkah theme toys to our "grand dog". I did not find any for our grand cat however.
Since my children are older and I don't have any grandchildren (just grandpets) I have kind of "adopted" a 5 year old girl who is the daughter of some friends of ours. They are Jewish. For most every Jewish holiday I try to remember her in some way. For Chanukah this year she's getting some chocolate gelt and some Chanukah dominoes from me. Just the experience of shopping for her gift and wrapping it helps me get into a Hanukkah mood. I think for a lot of Jewish kids whose own extended family may be far away - having an adopted aunt or bubbe close by to remember them at Jewish holidays is a nice gesture.
Each year at Hanukkah I try to do some sort of tzedakah project. This year I've put out the word we are collecting items for a flea market to support an animal rescue organization. Other years I have collected coats for coat drives etc...
It's not part of Hanukkah this year - but we always go out for Chinese food and a movie with Jewish friends on Christmas eve. I really look forward to that as part of my December celebration. It is a nice antidote to all the office Christmas parties and other Christmas-themed hubbub around us this time of year.
Afikomen has chocolate gelt which is over the top delicious - even better than See's chocolate gelt. I squirreled away a bag of it for myself and plan to eat a coin or two every day of Hanukkah just because...
If it's in my budget, some years I go to Saul's Deli in Berkeley and have my favorite Jewish comfort foods - Matzos brie, matzos ball soup, etc... It is fun to bring a non-Jewish friend and introduce them to Saul's. Many people (shockingly) have never eaten there.
I attended the big Menorah lighting in Union Square in SF a couple of years. That was cool and better than most Christmas tree lightings I've attended. (Dawn - Did you know Rabbi Manhoff in San Leandro lights the menorah each night on the roof of Temple Beth Sholom in San Leandro - I think he does it usually at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to come watch it. You'd have to check with their office to be sure it's happening still. Their congregation may have a little event around it one night. I'm not sure.)
The J.C.C.'s usually have Hanukkah happenings.
So... that's a lot. I probably could think of other things I've done over the years. I don't do all these things every year. I know Hanukkah is a minor Jewish holiday and shouldn't be equated with Christmas - but it's hard to deny they come the same time of the year and if you are a Jew by Choice who has a lifetime of Christmases in your past it is pretty easy to want to fill the void of Christmas with Hanukkah. Even those of us who were not religious Christians effortlessly celebrated Christmas that was all around us. Being Jewish you have to be more proactive to bring Hanukkah into your life.