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Chrismukkah

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Chrismukkah is the spectacular super-holiday that is created when you combine Christmas with Hanukkah. It can range anywhere from 9 to 29 days and usually starts in December, but sometimes in November.

How to Celebrate Chrismukkah

There are four main parts to Chrismukkah: Hanukkah, the in-between, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. (The in-between doesn’t happen every year.) Here’s how to celebrate each part:

  • Hanukkah: Light the menorah at sundown each night for eight nights, listen to Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song frequently, eat lots of latkes and jelly doughnuts, and exchange gifts on the first and eighth nights.
  • The In-Between: Go about your days as you normally would, but with slightly more joy.
  • Christmas Eve: Visit family and over-indulge on cookies and eggnog. Watch a cheesy Christmas movie.
  • Christmas: Open piles of presents. Visit another branch of your family and over-indulge on cookies and eggnog. Watch football.

If the Hanukkah and Christmas portions overlap, simply celebrate both on that day.

When is Chrismukkah?

The dates change every year, based on how the Jewish and Roman calendars line up. Most years, Chrismukkah starts on the first night of Hanukkah, but sometimes Christmas Eve kicks things off. The super-holiday ends with Christmas or the last day of Hanukkah, whichever comes latest. This year, Chrismukkah starts on December 2 and ends on December 25.

We put together a list of Chrismukkah dates from the year 2000 through 2150. It’s a long list, but if you want to see it, click here.

The History of Chrismukkah

People have been mixing elements of Christmas and Hanukkah for generations, but the “official” beginning of Chrismukkah was in December 2003 on the “The O.C.” when Seth Cohen — the fictional son of a Jewish father and Christian mother — shared the term with millions of young viewers. The series included Chrismukkah episodes all four seasons that it ran.

Should I Be Offended?

No. While some people have been offended (and continue to be offended), the intention of Chrismukkah was never to take anything away from Christmas or Hanukkah. Chrismukkah is about being able to celebrate the best of both sides of your family’s heritage and not having to choose between the two.

It’s also worth noting that most of what we think of as Christmas — the tree, the lights, the yule log — were all taken from a Pagan winter holiday that had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus; and modern Hanukkah more closely resembles that modern Christmas than the original celebration of the Temple’s rededication. Holidays evolve.

Spelling Chrismukkah

We’ve seen it spelled so many different ways it’s hard to keep track. Part of the issue is that one of the words being combined — Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hannukah, etc. — has 14 accepted spellings in English! We’re sticking with Chrismukkah but, before making our decision, we compiled a list of 16 common variations, sorted by the popularity of their Instagram hashtag. Show it.

Happy or Merry?

Christmas always gets the bulk of the attention so, to help even things out, we usually go with Happy, but either is acceptable. Happy Chrismukkah!