‘Tis the season for ugly sweaters. Whether you’re attending an ugly sweater party or celebrating Hanukkah with your loved ones, Famous In Real Life has a festive sweater for you!
But before we dive into that, when did ugly sweaters get their rise to fame? Why is it that we used to cringe at the thought of our nana’s gifting us tacky holiday sweaters but now, we’re buying them? And not just one, but we’re buying a sweater for each night of Hanukkah. That’s a lot of ugly sweaters for one person to own when you really think about it! Regardless, rocking a silly sweater professing our love for challah or matzo balls is a holiday festivity many of us look forward to every single year.
We put together this post to help you pick a totally rad sweater for each night of Hanukkah to bring you and your family a latke joy. (Ha, see what we did there?!)
Let’s get started.
For many years, while Christmas celebrators were dressing in their finest ugly holiday apparel, decked out in tinsel and pom-poms, those of us who wanted to celebrate Hanukkah were left out in the cold, sans kitschy knitwear. What was a festive Jew to do while the Santa squad flaunted their light-up Rudolf sweatshirts and ornament adorned leggings?
Luckily, those days are way behind us.
In the last few years, funny Hanukkah sweaters have gained momentum, both in physical stores and on the internet. The first company exclusively dedicated to the ugly Hanukkah sweater was Geltfiend, founded in 2012 by Carin Agiman -- a Jewish girl with a deep love for ugly sweater parties and just wanted some cozy knitwear to represent her own culture. Agiman ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and kept her company going for four consecutive Hanukkah seasons, selling surprisingly tasteful dreidel pullovers and cardigans that brilliantly combined Fair Isle patterns with menorahs.
Unfortunately, Aigman had to close up shop, but that didn’t stop Hanukkah sweaters from taking off. And while we can’t quite say that they’re everywhere, you can find them from awesome brands like Famous In Real Life who took their love for the holiday and combined it with their silly sense of humor to create arguably the best line of Hanukkah sweaters on the planet!
The menorah isn’t the only thing getting lit this Hanukkah…
Not only does this funny Hanukkah sweater shine the spotlight on the ultimate symbol of the holiday: a menorah, but it’s also so unbelievably comfy-cozy -- you’ll never want to take it off! And we can’t forget about the “It’s Lit” saying that so appropriately matches the vibe.
Love, peace, and latke grease.
Any family gathering -- whether it’s a family Christmas, office holiday party, or Hanukkah -- can get a little bit hectic, to say the least. But no matter how crazy things get, there’s one thing everyone has in common: their love for soul-warming food. For us Jews, there’s no better treat than a crispy, fried, slightly oniony potato pancake, akalatkes. (are we the only ones drooling?)
Say it loud and sing it proud with this cozy "I Love Hanukkah A Latke” sweater featuring your favorite Jewish treat.
Pour up some kosher wine -- let’s get this party started!
Holiday festivities are meant to celebrate life, appreciate what we have, and, well, get wasted with the ones we love (oh, just us?). Rock this witty sweater to your next Hanukkah gathering, raise your glasses high and say L’chaim.
Drop it like a top.
This hilarious sweater is sure to get a whole lot of chuckles when you arrive at the party -- featuring the one, the only, Dr. Dreidel! Perfect for anyone who loves Dr. Dre and wants to celebrate Hanukkah at the same time. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?
Keep the change.
American English surprisingly has a number of Yiddish-derived words. What the heck is Yiddish, you ask? It’s the language spoken by Jews in Eastern and Central
Europe and has contributed heavily to
American slang. This comical Hannukka sweater is a direct nod to Yiddish slang and is sure to crack a smile on your nana’s face.
OK, so this is not very kosher, but it’ll definitely be a hit at the ugly sweater party!
Show you’re ready for this Hanukkah season with this Yiddish-inspired design featuring nothing by the word “OY.”
To add to the OY sweater we just mentioned above, recruit your bestie or SO to rock this matching sweater that says, "VEY.” Together, you’ll read OY VEY, which is a popular Yiddish phrase expressing dismay -- an ironic thing to say on such a festive holiday!
Who knows, maybe your brother just ate the last slice of challah, or perhaps your auntie is providing you with unsolicited advice about your life choices. Well, we have one thing to say about that: “OY VEY.”
If you ask us, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of matzo ball soup. Also known as “Jewish Penicillin,” this drool-worthy dish is easily the best part of Hanukkah. Sure, when you’re a kid, there are eight days of presents, but as an adult, you’re looking forward to that tasty soup on a chilly winter’s evening.
Rep your favorite holiday dish with this cozy sweater. Not only is it undeniably stylish, but this sweatshirt is also hilarious and will let everyone know you value a home-cooked meal.
You, me, and Bubbe are gonna finish this entire bottle of wine.
This cozy sweater says it all. ‘Nuff said.
If you ask us, it’s much better than money -- it’s chocolate.
Otherwise known as chocolate gelt, this hilarious sweater will remind your loved ones that while you still love getting dolla-dolla bills, you definitely won’t be upset if they make it rain chocolate instead.
Now that you have more sweater options than you probably know what to do with (sorry, not sorry), let’s wrap this article up with some fun Hanukkah facts that you probably didn’t know. Besides, what better way to arrive at the party than with a hilarious sweater featuring matzo balls or Dr. Dreidel and a laundry list of fun facts for all your pals!
There’s a long tradition of giving kids coins (aka gelt) during Hanukkah. In fact, originally, it was the only gift the little ones received, dating back to an Eastern European custom of children giving their teachers a little money as a “thank you” tip.
Fast forward to the modern-day chocolate gelt: these tasty coins were first produced in America back in the 1920s.
Believe it or not, there’s really only one right way to spell Hanukkah, and that’s: חֲנֻכָּה.
Common transliterations include Hanukkah and Chanukah.
Speaking of the word “Hanukkah,” …
The beloved holiday commemorates the victory in 164 B.C. of a small group of Jewish people (the Maccabees) over the Syrian Greeks who had been occupying the Land of Israel since before 167 B.C., which is when they destroyed the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and banned the practice of Judaism. After a brutal three-year fight, the Maccabees finally liberated the Temple (along with the right of the Jewish people to practice their religion).
“Dedication” refers to the rededication of the Temple upon the Maccabee’s victory.
The popular game of dreidel is played by spinning a top with a letter on each of its four sides (the initials for “A great miracle happened there,” which refers to the oil burning for eight days). All players begin with the same amount of money but win more or lose it based on which letter they land on. It’s almost identical to a German game played around Christmas -- which in turn was inspired by a British top called a teetotum.
The traditional foods for Hanukkah are usually always fried. Why? Because they celebrate the miracle of oil that kept the menorah lit. Some of the most common traditional foods that you’ll drool over during Hanukkah include jelly doughnuts, blintzes, and latkes, just to name a few.
Did you know that up until the late 1800s, Hanukkah was actually a relatively minor Jewish holiday? Yup, it’s true. It became as popular as it is today for two reasons, both of which have everything to do with Christmas:
According to the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah falls on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. But since the Hebrew calendar doesn’t sync up with the Gregorian one (that’s the calendar we use), it can fall anywhere from late November to late December (in 2013, it actually coincided with Thanksgiving and was dubbed Thanksgivukkah).
You’ve probably heard that there are no Hanukkah songs (usually in the same breath as there being thousands of Christmas songs), but in reality, there are more songs for Hanukkah than any other Jewish holiday -- they’re just not exactly something you’ll hear on the Christmas radio station. Some of the best known Hanukkah songs include:
If you ask us, the best Hanukkah sweaters are the ones that cause a reaction. Whether that’s a good one or a bad one -- if you can make someone cringe or smile with your undeniably hideous yet adorable holiday apparel, you picked a great sweater.
This year, celebrate Hanukkah in style with a different sweater for each day of the menorah lighting. Not sure where to look? Head on over to Famous In Real Life for the best collection of outrageously funny sweaters around.