December is known as the holiday season. It features Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, and other major and minor holidays — and let's not forget Festivus. But if you have a diverse family or friend group, or just really, really love to celebrate the holidays, there’s a relatively new tradition: Chrismukkah.
As its name suggests, Chrismukkah is the merging of Christmas and Hanukkah traditions, creating one big “super holiday.” The hybrid holiday can be embraced by interfaith families looking to teach their children about both Judaism and Christianity, Jewish people who want to join in on the Christmas craze every December (or vice versa), or non-religious people who still happen to love the holiday season.
Though all walks of life have likely been celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas every year for centuries, Chrismukkah first came into the mainstream thanks to a 2004 episode of The WB’s teen drama The O.C., which starred a half-Jewish, half-Christian character, “Seth Cohen” played by Adam Brody. Featuring Christmas music, Chinese food, menorahs, Santa hats, and more presents than you can imagine, The O.C.’s take on the holiday season was quickly embraced by pop culture.
This year, celebrating Chrismukkah seems especially appropriate, as the first night of Hanukkah happens to land on Christmas Eve. Thus, families who usually observe both holidays separately will truly be able to celebrate both simultaneously.
Because Chrismukkah is both made up and a blending of two established holidays, this celebration can really be whatever you want it to be. Whether you want to play dreidel using Christmas cookies, decorate a menorah with pine tree-shaped candles, or rock a Santa Claus yarmulke, it’s all fair game during Chrismukkah. But if you’re looking for ways to celebrate, we have an easy guide for you to follow this December.