Beyond the Hanukkah Bush: 6 Awesomely Bad Holiday Items

From a pious lighted polar bear to a chocolate Hanukkah Harry, a list of tchotchkes to make this the tackiest Festival of Lights.

Yael Miller
Yael Miller
The Hanukkah sweater and stocking: Without them, the Festival of Lights wouldn't be complete.
The Hanukkah sweater and stocking: Without them, the Festival of Lights wouldn't be complete.
Yael Miller
Yael Miller

When I was a kid, decorating for Hanukkah meant bringing home some glittery arts and crafts projects from school and hanging them on the fridge.

My, how times have changed.

From the beautiful to the absurd, Hanukkah decor is now available for every taste and budget. While looking for some fun holiday tchotchkes myself, I stumbled across some of the most awesomely bad Hanukkah items I've ever seen.

Feel the Arctic chill

The polar bear may not be a traditional Jewish symbol, but with a tallit and a kippah, this teddy looks fit to head to his bar mitzvah. Yes, this ginormous lighted polar bear can go on your lawn – or in your home – to commemorate a can of oil lasting eight days. Does this make sense to anyone? Apparently it does to a lot of people, since it's sold out.

Do you want to build a kosher snowman?

If the pious polar bear doesn't strike your fancy, how about this inflatable kosher snowman? What makes Olaf “Jewish”? Well, he’s holding a dreidel and a menorah! We can pretend that the mistletoe sprigs tucked his cap are bitter herbs.

Ho, ho, oy?

I get it. Many interfaith families try to blend several traditions during the holidays. From Hanukkah bushes to Star of David Christmas tree toppers, there's a lot you can get to make everyone in your family feel included. But this Hanukkah stocking, emblazoned with the image of an ultra-Orthodox dude and the words "Oy Oy Oy," goes above and beyond – perhaps even crossing into the tackily offensive.

When dreidel got stuck up the chimney

What’s a family holiday without parents traumatizing their children in some way? Scare the living daylights out of your kids by wearing this unbelievably frightening dreidel costume. Thank goodness my parents didn’t think it was appropriate to dress up as a giant blue spinning top to get us excited about the holiday, since I probably would have needed to sleep with the lights on for weeks. Or maybe that’s the point – after all, Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights.

I saw mommy kissing...Hanukkah Harry?

Hanukkah is, in many ways, turning into Christmas in terms of decor. And Hanukkah Harry has existed since I was a kid. But let's get a bit more creative than this, people! The blue and white food coloring isn't fooling anyone: This chocolate pop is clearly molded in the image of Santa.

An ugly sweater for any occasion

And lest you feel left out during the requisite tacky Christmas sweater party, many retailers offer ugly Hanukkah garb that is sure to please. You could even make your own!

Happy Hanukkah!

Yael Miller lives in Washington, D.C.

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