How to Celebrate Chrismukkah (Slideshow)
December 12, 2016
Hanukkah? Christmas? Why not celebrate both at once this December?
How to Celebrate Chrismukkah
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.
When Is Chrismukkah?
There’s no exact date for Chrismukkah, but it is does place over nine evenings, described by Seth Cohen on The O.C. as “eight days of presents, followed by one day of many presents.” However, this year Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah coincide, giving the hybrid holiday an easy-to-remember start date.
Who Celebrates Chrismukkah?
Chrismukkah can be celebrated by a wide range of families. The most obvious segment of the population for Chrismukkah celebrations is interfaith couples and families who want to embrace both Jewish and Christian beliefs every winter. Chrismukkah is also fitting for Jewish families who want to join in on the Christmas craze in December (or vice versa) and secular folks who want to embrace a little kitsch and irony.
On The O.C., the Cohen family would eat take-out Chinese food on Christmas and watch holiday movies such as A Miracle on 34th Street and Fiddler on the Roof every year. However, because Chrismukkah is a made-up celebration, every family can honor the holiday as they see fit. Perhaps you fry up some latkes to eat while decorating the Christmas tree. Maybe you play rounds of dreidel with Christmas cookies as the loot. Or you can light the menorah and then head to Christmas Eve Mass. Pick and choose your favorite parts of Christmas and Hanukkah, leave the aspects of each holiday you don’t care for behind, and have fun!
Books for Chrismukkah Kids
If you’re an interfaith couple who wants to teach your child that both Christmas and Hanukkah are holidays worth celebrating, there are plenty of stories that will let them know that celebrating a different holiday than their friends is OK. My Two Holidays stars a young boy who rocks both candy canes and dreidels every December. Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama features a Christmas tree surrounded by gelt (money or gold-wrapped chocolate coins). Light the Lights! is a classic tale of two holidays, and the creatively-titled Blintzes for Blitzen embraces the miracles of Hanukkah and Christmas.
Decorating for Chrismukkah
The easiest way to blend Christmas and Hanukkah is to deck the halls in the spirit of Christmas but with a Hanukkah flair. Fill your Christmas tree with blue and white lights and ornaments in the shape of menorahs, Stars of David, dreidels, and hamsas. If that’s not enough for you, find an interfaith-themed menorah and fill it with red and green candles. There are endless ways to blend Christmas and Hanukkah, from stockings embroidered with dreidels to blue and white wreaths.
Dress for Chrismukkah Success
Tacky sweaters and hats don’t have to be reserved solely for Christmas. They can work for Chrismukkah, too! The classic kitschy way to dress for both holidays comes via the “Yamaclaus.” Once again, this red and white yarmulke gained notoriety on The O.C., but it’s the perfect merging of Santa’s hat with the traditional Jewish head covering. Chrismukkah celebrators can also rock their own ugly holiday sweaters featuring reindeers with menorahs for antlers, Jewish Santa Claus, and plenty of holiday puns.
8 Days of Presents, Followed by 1 Day of Many Presents
The best part about Hanukkah is eight days of small gifts. The best part of Christmas is a massive amount of presents to open on the morning of Dec. 25. Chrismukkah unites both of these commercialized traditions together with nine days of gifts. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, exchange small tokens, such as homemade edible gifts, clothes, or little holiday decorations. Then, break out the big-ticket items on Christmas.
Latkes and Cookies: The Best of Both Holidays
Christmas is a time for cookies, cakes, and big roasts. Hanukkah is the holiday for celebrating the Miracle of Oil, so there is literally an endless amount of fried food. Combine both of these food traditions for your Chrismukkah meals. Embrace Hanukkah by eating latkes, rugelach, and gelt; then break out the Christmas cookies, pie, and your favorite traditional Christmas dinner foods and chow down. Because Chrismukkah is a hybrid holiday, mix these dishes together for one big meal you’ll never forget.