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The Real Meaning of Chrismukkah
When my husband and I first started going out holidays were easy. We'd go to his family for Chanukkah, my family for Christmas, and the two holidays never crossed paths. We were able to spend equal time with both families without having anyone feel slighted. After we
After we married and had our own place, my husband and I really wanted to have our own holiday. In order to have our families all together we realized we'd either have to choose between Christmas and Chanukkah or somehow merge the two. Hence, Chrismukkah was born.
Many interfaith families across America celebrate a blending of the two holidays whether they refer to it as Chrismukkah or otherwise. Despite USA Today's comment a few years ago that Chrismukkah was invented so that "companies could make a buck this season", it really is a legitimate celebration for many people. In my family it's a joyous occasion where two families of different backgrounds can be together to celebrate as one.
To properly set the scene for a Chrismukkah gathering, be sure to decorate for both holidays. If you decorate a Christmas tree, be sure to also light a menorah. Hang stockings by the fireplace and teach everyone how to spin dreidels. For the table settings, try using a universal theme such as a winter scene. I always set my table with snowman pattern dishes and use common colors such as silver and white.
The Chrismukkah menu should also contain items from both backgrounds. I start the festivities out by serving general appetizers appealing to everyone and non-representative of either holiday. For the main course I make traditional Italian foods and set them up on a red and green themed buffet style table for everyone to sample. For the Jewish food I make latkes, brisket and challah bread and present it on a blue and silver themed table. Some people may prefer to serve everything all together, but I enjoy separating the two within the Chrismukkah celebration to give each holiday its own special acknowledgment.
Since starting the tradition both my husband's and my family look forward to it every year. It is a great occasion that allows us to truly enjoy each other without anyone feeling left out or clueless. Everyone feels at home and has something to offer. The first few years we all learned from each other about each family's holiday and traditions while adapting them to fit our special day.
Although Chrismukkah may not be a religious holiday and is opposed by some people, it is a welcome addition to my family. It has become a tradition that has blended our two families together in a way they would have otherwise never known.
Chrismukkah does not fall out on any specific day; rather, it is a state of mind we all enjoy together once a year. It represents the union of two different faiths between families that have accepted and love each other. If you ask me, Chrismukkah should be every day.