Every year as we approach the holidays, stores become full of holiday decorations. Christmas becomes the main event, with Santa taking over malls and green and red colors splashing storefront displays.
As a young Jewish woman who loves decorating her home and celebrating the holidays, there have always been limited Hanukkah-themed items for me to buy. Among all of the Christmas-themed décor in stores, there is usually one lone table featuring a couple menorahs. And for a long time, there were no ugly Hanukkah sweaters. One year, I made my own (spoiler alert: it wasn’t good).
However, times have changed. Over the years, more and more Hanukkah decorations and clothing have been taking over retail stores. This year, especially, I’ve seen more Hanukkah stuff than ever before. From ugly sweaters to party items to home décor, Hanukkah is having a moment.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know you needed to buy in 2017 for a fabulous Hanukkah celebration, starting December 12th.
1. Home décor that is Hanukkah themed
Every year, stores sell red and green blankets, Santa pillows, and Christmas tree figurines. But this year, the décor world has started to bless us with Hanukkah themed stuff—including this hand towel from Nordstrom that was so popular, it sold out. However, you can get a Yiddish pillow, which is good enough for me.
2. Chic garland that says “Happy Hanukkah”
Happy Hanukkah banners have existed before, but from what I’ve seen, nothing this cute has graced us with its presence… until now. I go into Paper Source on a weekly basis, as one does, and was happy to find lots of Hanukkah themed stuff, like this awesome garland.
3. Hanukkah themed props for a DIY photo booth
First of all, if you’re having a holiday party this year and you’re not having a photo booth, shame on you. Photo booths are what make the party world go ‘round. To make a DIY photo booth at home, you’ll need a fun backdrop like this one on Amazon and props. There are lots of prop kits you can buy, and this year, there is a Hanukkah photo booth set! I already bought it.
4. A Hanukkah-scented candle
After years of actually purchasing jars of Yankee Candle’s “Christmas Cookie,” I failed to wonder when a Hanukkah candle would come to life. Alas, that moment has come. This Hanukkah candle smells like latkes with apple sauce (yum!), but also warm jelly donuts, so I’m really not sure how this works. I’m into finding out though.
5. Ugly Hanukkah sweaters (and onesies!)
In 2012 I was invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party, but I didn’t want to wear another Christmas sweater. I wanted to wear a Hanukkah-themed one! Because they didn’t sell Hanukkah sweaters in stores yet, I bought myself a black hoodless sweatshirt from Target, as well as a bunch of felt menorahs. I then glued the felt menorahs on the sweatshirt, thus giving birth to a glorious DIY ugly Hanukkah sweater. Luckily, Hanukkah sweaters grew in popularity and I was able to buy a real one because tbh, mine kind of sucked. As a self-proclaimed llama-lover, I now own the “Happy Llamakah sweater” from Tipsy Elves (that's me in the far left in the picture above!), and my unicorn-loving co-worker owns the “Jewnicorn” one. This year onesies are all the rage and they have some awesome ones, too.
6. Other Hanukkah-themed clothes to wear to your holiday party that aren’t ugly sweaters
Ugly Hanukkah sweaters aren’t the only Hanukkah clothes you can get. Tons of retailers have Hanukkah apparel this year! Dresses, t-shirts, cardigans, and more. Shopping has never been this fun before, or has it?
7. Matching Hanukkah outfits for the whole family
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one day I take a family holiday photo with my future children all wearing this same shirt.
8. The “Jew Pack” version of Cards Against Humanity
What is more fun than playing card games with your family on holidays? Probably a lot of things, but that’s not the point here. Games are a fun thing to do, so why not buy a hilarious Hanukkah-themed game to play on Hanukkah? Cards Against Humanity came out with a Jewish version of the popular party game, which makes sense because 100% of the games’ writers are Jewish. This game is both inappropriate and appropriate for the holiday, so if your fam has a good sense of humor, get this now!
9. Funny Hanukkah cards, because humor is most important
I’ve always been a humorous greeting card enthusiast. I spend hours scanning all of the cards at Target and CVS, and I do research online for funny cards you can only find at cool boutique stores. This year, I’ve already browsed tons of Hanukkah cards, but here are some of my favorites. They are all from my #1 go-to greeting card store, Paper Source.
10. And finally, a Menorah cork for all the wine you’re going to have to drink to make it through the holidays
Paper Source is winning Hanukkah this year. I need this.