By Lior Zaltzman
This originally appeared on Kveller.
For me, the most exciting thing about Chanukah, which is coming up on Dec. 22, is getting to take out my Chanukah sweaters.
I love, love, love Chanukah 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 Chanukah sweaters all year round.
Unfortunately, since my favorite Chanukah sweater company, Gelt Fiend, stop making sweaters (there were beautiful knit things — one sweater even had actual gold gelt) there just aren’t enough great Chanukah sweaters out there.
And a lot of them are bad. I mean, really, really bad. From using non-Chanukah-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 Chanukah sweaters, or at least, the good ones still out there for you or anyone in your family to enjoy.
Baby and Kids Sweaters
‘My First Hanukkah’ and ‘That’s How I Roll’ tops from Carters
OK, so the following few listings are actually shirts, but they do serve the same purpose as Chanukah sweaters — a cute festive thing to wear at the local Chanukah party. For my baby’s first and upcoming second Chanukah, 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).
Old Glory Chanukah ‘This Is How I Roll’ Dreidel ‘Sweater’ (Amazon)
While this Amazon listing uses the word sweater, this is a shirt with sleeves cuffed like a sweater. But it’s cute. And it says “This is how I roll.” A fun dreidel pun for the whole family.
TeeStars Chanukah ‘Happy Llamakah’ sweatshirt (Amazon)
This youth-sized Chanukah sweater has a llamakah on it, which is a Chanukah llama. As I mentioned in our Chanukah pajamas list, I am not sure where the llamakah came from, but llamas are adorable, so I support this trend, and I love the ridiculous facial expression on this particular llamakah.
‘Meowy Christmas, Just Kitten Around, Happy Hanukcat Chanukah’ Top (Etsy)
Do your kids love cats? Well, this Chanukah sweatshirt which has, quite literally, all the cat puns on it, is perfect for them.
‘Happy Hanukkah’ simple blue sweater (Etsy)
It’s blue. It’s white. It’s got dreidels and menorahs. It’s the most basic Chanukah sweatshirt. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you want.
‘You Spin Me Right Round’ sweater (Etsy)
Our kids do have a way of spinning us right around. This adorable dreidel sweater is a fun reference to this song by Dead or Alive.
‘Happy Hanukkah Ya Filthy Schmuck’ children’s toddler sweatshirt (Etsy)
Let’s face it — for some moms, there’s nothing like putting a sassy profanity-adjacent shirt on a baby. And the sassy Jewish-ness of the word “schmuck” is perfect for Chanukah. This is the perfect Chanukah kids’ sweater for a very specific crowd, and if you’re part of that crowd, you already know you need this.
Chanukah kids hoodie, ‘I’m Here for the Gelt’ (Etsy)
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.
‘Happy Llamakkah’ toddler /kids Chanukah sweatshirt / hoodie or crewneck (Etsy)
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.
‘I’m Just Here for the Latkes’ sweater (Etsy)
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.
‘I Only Love My Dreidel and My Latkes, I’m Sorry’ Chanukah sweater (Etsy)
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 Chanukah sentiment behind this particular sweatshirt is relatable for anyone.
Jewish Drake Pocket Detail Sweater (Etsy)
This Drake Chanukah sweater is a lot simpler. It’s Drake. Wearing a yarmulke. You’re welcome.
‘They See Me Rollin’ ’ Chanukah sweatshirt (Etsy)
Hip-hop and R&B puns have become a quintessential part of the Chanukah 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 Is How We Jew It’ Chanukah sweater (Etsy)
This Chanukah 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.
Chanukah light-up sweaters — women’s, unisex and Dr. Dre (men’s)
These Chanukah sweaters have actual Christmas lights embedded in them. If you don’t want anyone to take their eyes off you during the holiday party, these are the sweaters you need.
‘Chinese Food on Christmas’ sweater (Etsy)
Need the perfect, effortless sweater for a Christmas party? This one is just telling it like it is. We’re eating Chinese food on Christmas. And that’s that.
‘Time to Light the Meownorah’ sweater (Etsy)
Unlike meowzal tov, here’s a good and appropriate Chanukah cat pun.
‘Let’s Get Lit’ Chanukah slouchy sweatshirt (Etsy)
A cute, slouchy, kinda sexy Chanukah sweater with a fun pun. We can support it.
‘My Latkes Bring All the Boys to the Yard’ sweater (Etsy)
If you’re the latke queen, own it with this super fun sweater (that’s a reference to this wonderful Kelis song, just in case you’ve forgotten or — gasp — didn’t know).
Chanukah sweatshirt for women and men – unisex blue and aqua pullover (Etsy)
This ugly Chanukah sweater is anything but ugly. We love this pretty peacock-ish dreidel print.
‘Hanukkah 8 Nights’ sweater (Etsy)
This Chanukah sweater is simple and not obvious. I like how it looks like a sports team sweatshirt. It says “Hanukkah 8 nights.” What else do you need to know?