To me, the most exciting thing about Hanukkah — which is coming up on November 28 — is getting to wear my Hanukkah sweaters every day.
I love, love, love Hanukkah sweaters. I grew up in Israel, so they just don’t have the tacky Christmas party connotation for me. In fact, I wear some of my more fashionable Hanukkah sweaters all year round. Especially during quarantine, I’ve found comfort in my cozy, old Hanukkah sweaters — which nobody can judge me for wearing months in advance, because no one can see me anyway. Mwahaha.
Unfortunately, my favorite Hanukkah sweater company, Gelt Fiend, stopped making their gorgeous knit sweaters (seriously, they were inspiring works of art — one sweater even had actually gold gelt on it!). Let’s be frank for a second, a lot of Hanukkah sweaters? They’re bad. I mean, really, really bad. From using non-Hanukkah-related Jewish puns like “meowzel tov” to some slightly antisemitic stereotypes (“gelt digger?!”), these terrible sweaters are just super fetishizing and inappropriate. It’s almost like… there’s a non-Jewish person making all of these sweaters? Hmmm…
But, after wading through all the bad options, I’ve managed to pull together the creme de la creme of Hanukkah sweaters — or at least, a few fun, topical ones that you and your family might get a kick out of. So get ready for maximum Hanukkah coziness:
Baby and Kids Sweaters
Do your kids love cats? Well, this Hanukkah sweatshirt —which has, quite literally, all the cat puns on it — is perfect for them!
I’m not a fan of “gelt digger” sweaters, but I like a child that announces what they’re at the party for, and if they’re all about those chocolate coins, so be it. This hoodie will definitely get a chuckle at the family Zoom holiday party.
This Happy Llamakah sweater is a bit on the pricey side, but I love the eight cartoon candllamas (that’s candle llamas, yes) on it.
What’s better than a new Hanukkah sweater? Turning an old plain sweater into a Hanukkah one, of course! These two kits either allow you to make adorable cat or llama-themed Hanukkah sweaters and honestly, they’re just so friggin’ cute. This is the perfect Hanukkah for a crafting project, and we can’t think of a better one than this!
This sweatshirt features a quote from Adam Sandler’s iconic “Hanukkah Song,” (“instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights”) which is also the name of his somewhat ill-advised 2002 Hanukkah film. It’s a simple and lovely little sweater fit for any kid-friendly holiday party.
There’s nothing super special about this sweater, which features a simple menorah graphic, but I do love that there is an option to personalize it with your kid’s name. But as a kid, there’s just something nice about having a unique sweater, just for you.
Hip hop and R&B puns have become a quintessential part of the Hanukkah sweater. “They see me rollin'” just works well, both as a reference to the Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone song, and your excellent sweater and dreidel game!
While I am generally against the concept of “Jew-ing” it, this Hanukkah sweater, with a reference to the excellent Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” just makes me want to dance!
I’m not sure what to make of the Jewnicorn pun. It’s not at all Hanukkah-related, but if you’re the rare Jew at the Zoom Christmas party, this may be the perfect sweater for you!
A cute, slouchy, kinda sexy Hanukkah sweater with a fun pun. Even if you have nowhere to go, wearing a sexy Hanukkah sweater may make you feel a little bit more stylish and human this holiday season.
It says Hanukkah in a very Metallica font. It’s grey. It’s lined with fleece. It’s the Hanukkah sweater you want to be wearing when you’re heating up latkes from last night’s Hanukkah dinner, rocking out to your favorite metal band.
It’s Larry David. On a Hanukkah sweatshirt. It’s pretty, pretty, pretty awesome.