Hanukkah begins on December 7 at sundown and ends at nightfall on December 15. Chrismukkah begins at the same time as Hanukkah, but does not end until December 25, Christmas day. Chrismukkah is a new hybrid holiday that seeks to conflate Hanukkah and Christmas. It is a reflection of the high degree of intermarriage, especially in recent times, between Christians and Jews.
Catholic League president William Donohue addressed this issue today:
“Chrismukkah is a multicultural mess that glosses over the historical significance of both Hanukkah and Christmas. Not surprisingly, it is most popular with secular Jews and their equally non-observant Christian counterparts. Though the idea of Chrismukkah comes from a teen soap, ‘The O.C.,’ the person behind the marketing of Chrismukkah is Ron Gompertz. He readily admits that Chrismukkah is taking the secularization of ‘The Holidays’ one step further.
“No doubt the motivation behind such so-called Merry Chrismukkah cards and Yamaclaus hats is benign, but that doesn’t empty the issue. Unlike Kwanzaa, which was created in the 1966 out of whole cloth (it is not an African tradition and it has nothing to do with religion), Chrismukkah merges two religious holidays. The effect of this blending is to dilute the distinct meaning of both Hanukkah and Christmas, thus ill-serving the interests of observant Jews and practicing Christians.
“In this vein, we would agree with the recent statement on mixed marriages prepared by the U.S. Catholic-Jewish Consultation Committee. It branded attempts to raise a child simultaneously as both Jewish and Catholic a ‘violation of the integrity of both religious traditions, at best, and, at worst, syncretism.’ From a Catholic perspective, anything which contributes to this phenomenon should be resisted, and that would include Chrismukkah.”