For me, the most exciting thing about Hanukkah, which is coming up on December 22, is getting to take out my Hanukkah sweaters.
I love, love, love Hanukkah sweaters. Because I grew up in Israel, they don’t have the tacky Christmas party connotation for me. In fact, I wear some of my more fashionable Hanukkah sweaters all year round.
Unfortunately, since my favorite Hanukkah sweater company, Gelt Fiend, stop making sweaters (there were beautiful knit things — one sweater even head actually gold gelt!) there just aren’t enough great Hanukkah sweaters out there.
And a lot of them are bad. I mean, really, really bad. From using non-Hanukkah-related Jewish puns like meowzel tov to some slightly anti-Semitic stereotypes (gelt digger?!), a lot of the sweaters out there are just inappropriate.
But, after wading through all the bad options, I’ve managed to put together the creme de la creme of Hanukkah sweaters, or at least, the good ones still out there for you or anyone in your family to enjoy.
Baby and Kids Sweaters
OK, so the following few listings are actually shirts, but they do serve the same purpose as Hanukkah sweaters — a cute festive thing to wear at the local Hanukkah party. For my baby’s first and upcoming second Hanukkah, I’ve personally resorted to these Carter’s tops for parties — they’re cheap, they don’t get messy, and they’re good if you’re in a warmer climate or in a very hot home (frying sure has a way of heating things up!).
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 points, so be it. This shirt will definitely get a chuckle at the family 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.
This sweater is one of my favorites. Yes, because I love latkes, but also because it has nice, non-cliched colors and a lovely illustration.
These next two are for the Drake lover in your family. This one uses a lyric from the Jewish rapper’s song, “God’s Plan”: “I only love my bed and my mama, I’m sorry” (he’s talking about his Jewish mom, aw!). And combines it with the cover of Drake’s mixtape “If You’re Readin This It’s Too Late.” Plus, the Hanukkah sentiment behind this particular sweatshirt is relatable for anyone.
This Drake Hanukkah sweater is a lot simpler. It’s Drake. Wearing a yarmulke. You’re welcome.
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!
This Hanukkah sweater, with a reference to the excellent Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” is a great pun, and already 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 Christmas party, this may be the perfect sweater for you!
A cute, slouchy, kinda sexy Hanukkah sweater with a fun pun. We can support it!
It says Hanukkah in a kind of metal 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 party. Comfy and unassuming.
These three sweaters are garish and over-the-top, and I love them. They have shiny silver on them. The llamakah sweater has an actual 3D scarf. The “keep calm and dreidel on” sweater has way too many colors. It’s everything an ugly holiday sweater needs.
It’s Larry David. On a Hanukkah sweatshirt. It’s pretty, pretty, pretty awesome.