Look, I’m no Hanukkah grouch: I’m all about getting into the holiday spirit, whether it’s donning a ridiculous Hanukkah dress or throwing a lit party (get it???). I’m even okay with the ugly Hanukkah sweater appropriation we’ve borrowed from our Christmas-celebrating brethren. But when looking at what the internet has to offer this year, I couldn’t help but notice some Hanukkah sweaters that aren’t just ugly, aren’t just silly — but are just wrong.
How are they wrong? Let me count the ways.
1. Happy Challahdays
See here, here, here, and here.
Guys, I love a good pun, I do! But this one doesn’t make any sense!!!! Challah is not a traditional Hanukkah food!!!!! These would be excellent ugly Shabbat sweaters, if that were a thing, but it’s not. I suppose the only exception would be to wear this on the one day that Hanukkah falls on Shabbat each year. But still.
Look, this person agrees with me:
Guys, I love a good pun, but putting “Happy Challahdays” & loves of challah on Chanukah decor makes about as much sense as putting “Merry Christmustard” and bottles of mustard on Christmas decor. 2/10 Homegoods, do better
— A.R. Vishny (@AR_Vishny) November 6, 2019
2. Donald Trump Hanukkah
This is a very upsetting sweater, and I don’t really feel like I need to explain why.
3. You Little Horah
Again, not all puns are created equally. This one is presented as a Hanukkah sweater despite having nothing to do with Hanukkah, and it’s also just pretty offensive? Cool.
4. Gelt Digger
Where to begin. Considering one of the longest standing anti-Semitic tropes is that Jews care about money more than anything (or anyone) else, I’m not sure a play on “gold digger” is how we want to celebrate the Festival of Lights. I also just can’t get over the inclusion of the #hanukkah hashtag here. That’s not how hashtags work! That’s not how any of this works!
5. Deck the Halls with Matzo Balls
In a similar vein of the “challah days” sweaters above, this one just doesn’t make any sense. Matzah balls aren’t a Hanukkah food, even if they are very delicious. Also, the original phrase is “Deck the halls with boughs of holly” so if you really wanted to make a nonsensical Hanukkah sweater, shouldn’t it say, “Deck the halls with balls of matzah”??? I might suggest the actually appropriate (but still dumb) line: “Deck the halls with lots of latkes.” Etsy designers, HMU!
6. Meowzel Tov
Okay, there are a few things going on here. One: “Meowzel tov” a fine pun, though again, it has nothing to do with Hanukkah. I suppose one could argue that we should be sending our congratulations to the Maccabees, who fought against assimilation all those years ago so we could now eat fried foods and exchange presents for eight days in the dead of winter. But also, that’s not a hanukkiyah, as you can easily see it only has seven branches instead of nine. So, I don’t know what these cats are celebrating, but it’s definitely not Hanukkah. Meowzel NOPE.
7. Happy Jewish Christmas
This one just makes me kinda sad. Hanukkah is so many things: a celebration of miracles, a festival of lights, a powerful story of Jews fighting against forced assimilation, a time when we eat fried potatoes! What it’s not is the Jewish version of Christmas. You can spell it however you want, but no need to bring that other holiday into the mix.
8. All I Want for Christmas is Jew
Last but certainly not least, this sweater is currently blowing my mind. What exactly is the message here? Somebody who is celebrating Christmas wants a human being — a Jew — as a gift? And not just any Jew, but an scarily buff, shirtless, yarmulke-wearing Jew? Help.
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