This time of year, it’s not uncommon to see a Christmas tree decorated with the star of David and dreidels, perched next to a table where a menorah flickers in the winter light.
A Christmas-Hanukkah hybrid holiday is an annual reality for mixed-faith households, and Jewish people in Germany have been celebrating the secular, cultural traditions of the Christmas tree and gifts since at least the 19th century.
This year, however, Chrismukkah has become even more apropos because the holidays overlap. Remember Thanksgivukkah in 2013?
Merging the “Chris(t)m” of Christmas and Hanukkah’s “ukkah,” Chrismukkah became a buzzword in mainstream media in 2004, after the idea was aired on the FOX channel TV show “The OC.” That same year, USA Today called it “the newest faux holiday that companies are using to make a buck this season…”
Notice the most popular spelling of the merged holiday, Chrismukkah, takes the “t” out yet leaves the following “m” in the fused word, possibly signifying the part of Christmas that’s jointly celebrated is often the Santa version, rather than the Christian reason of celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Hanukkah, on the other hand, doesn’t have much of a secular storyline — besides food. It’s always about food.
Hanukkah’s celebration of the eight days of light happens at a different time every year because it falls on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, rather than the more mainstream Gregorian calendar. In 2016, Hanukkah starts the evening of Saturday, Dec. 24, and ends the evening of Sunday, Jan. 1, thus overlapping with Christmas Day on Dec. 25.
The festive fusion continues the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, a deal, says an industry source, that had been in the works for about 1,300 years, according to Creative Broadcast Services, Inc.
“While details were not available at press time, it is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Hanukkah was becoming prohibitive for both sides. By combining forces, we’re told, the world will be able to enjoy consistently high-quality service during the Fifteen Days of [Chrismukkah], as the new holiday is being called,” the article says.
“Massive layoffs are expected, with lords a-leaping and maids a-milking being the hardest hit. As part of the conditions of the agreement, the letters on the [dreidel], currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming unintelligible to a wider audience.”
Then there’s HanuKwanzMas. Oh, don’t get us started on that too …
If you don’t find the combination offensive, and you have a household or group of friends where this would make sense, there are many ways to celebrate with decorations, clothing, and food.
Chrismukkah: Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate the Hybrid Holiday | Buy Now
This paperback book is an amusing guide to the joys of celebrating Chrismukkah, the hybrid holiday. It walks us through all the Chrismukkah events, history, and lore. You’ll learn about hybrid holiday traditions in decorating, tchotchkes, and all the menorah options. Plus, the book includes games, songs, and recipes — like latkes with sugar plum fairy sauce, Blitzen’s blintzes, and Manischewitz mulled wine. Buy it here.
Chrismukkah Banner | Buy Now
Get that rustic-chic thing going on with your holiday fusion. A hand-painted”Merry Chrismukkah” greeting is placed on burlap in white with a menorah and Santa hat on each end of “Merry.” The burlap has been treated to prevent fraying. Each burlap piece is then strung with twine, providing 20 inches of extra twine on each end for easy securing. Buy it here.
Merry Chrismukkah Apron | Buy Now
While you’re frying latkes and baking pumpkin pie, show your all-in-one holiday spirit with this apron featuring a menorah with a Santa hat. The 100-percent heavy cotton twill kitchen apron is 31 inches long to keep spills and splatters from ruining your clothes. Two large pockets at the waist up front, and a drawstring secures at the waist in the back. Buy it here.
Chrismukkah Hat | Buy Now
For Jewish men who want to get in the Chrismukkah spirit, they can wear this brimless Santa hat like a kippah or yarmulke. There’s a little extra material on the inside so you can secure them with a bobby pin or hair clip. The red material is flannel with a faux fur trim and a pom pom ball on top. Many people buy them to celebrate Chrismukkah or just a little something different to wear around the holidays. Buy it here.
Chrismukkah Booze Holiday Cards | Buy Now
Whether or not you can send these cards on time, you can use them next year. This set of 10 4-by-6-inch Chrismukkah cards celebrate families with mixed religious affiliations. On the front, the image demands you to choose your poison: Manichevitz or egg nog. Inside, it says “Merry Chrismukkah!” The cards are printed on the top fold on heavy uncoated cardstock. White envelopes are included. Buy it here.
Want some recipe ideas on how to celebrate this hybrid holiday?
1. German Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is just wine that steeps in spices and dried fruits. So instead of the recipe’s recommendation to use dry red wine, pour in some Manischewitz. It might be a little too sweet, but you can adjust to your taste. Get our German Mulled Wine recipe.
2. Sweet Potato Latkes
If you’re incorporating Hanukkah in to a traditional Christmas dinner, skip the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows topping, and fry up some sweet potato latkes. They’ve got a spicy, creamy topping too. Latkes with cranberry sauce is another merger idea. Get our Sweet Potato Latkes recipe.
Instead of filling your traditional Hanukkah doughnuts with jam, stuff them with buttercream icing, dyed in red and green. That is, if you’re eating kosher and it’s a dairy dinner. Get our Sufganiyot recipe.
— Head image: Etsy