Chris·muk·kah /‘krismə, ‘hänəkə/ (noun): A celebration that combines the festivities of Christmas and Hanukkah for families compromised of people from both the Christian and Jewish faiths, coined by the popular early 2000s TV drama “The O.C.”
Many years ago, before she sat on a wrecking ball sans clothing, the great and talented Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus sang the undeniably catchy words, “You get the best of worlds.” And this is exactly how I like to think about the magical holiday that is Chrismukkah.
I am the child of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father, which means that I have grown up celebrating not one, but two, joy-filled holidays every winter season. In my house, we have both a Christmas tree and a menorah. We listen to Michael Bublé’s rendition of “Jingle Bells” and Adam Sandler’s original “Hanukkah Song.” And we eat everything.
I think we can all agree that one of the best parts of any holiday is the food, and this certainly rings true for Chrismukkah. Over the years, I have become something of a master when it comes to navigating the culinary ins and outs of this holiday hybrid. And so, I have compiled a list of all the food stops you need to make sure to hit this Chrismukkah season. Mazel tov and merry eating!
Sufganiyah is the Hebrew word for a deep-fried, jelly or custard filled donut covered in powdered sugar. Make sure to get your hands on some of these Hanukkah delicacies, or even try making some of your own.
You can’t have Christmas without cookies; it’s simply not possible. And the options are endless. Have a gingerbread man, have a snickerdoodle, have a frosted sugar cookie. Just make sure to save a few for the big man in the red suit.
It’s money. Made of chocolate. Need I say more?
#SpoonTip: Here’s how you win it.
This may just be the quintessential holiday candy. They’re sweet and they’re pepperminty and they’re pretty to look at. Oh, and they’re versatile as heck.
I’m still not completely sure if people actually eat fruitcake. But, hey, it’s festive!
My Catholic relatives also happen to be Italian. So that means every Christmas Eve I indulge in the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is a delicious Italian-American culinary tradition that involves a meal comprised of, you guessed it, seven different kinds of fish.
#SpoonTip: The linguini with clam sauce is the best part.
Latkes are arguably my favorite part of Hanukkah. These potato pancakes are truly magical. Try them with applesauce, chives, sour cream, or plain and classic. And check these out if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. There’s really no way to go wrong with latkes.
Christmas Ham, or Yule Ham, is a modern Christmas dinner favorite. Meat-lovers rejoice!
Okay, smoked ham is definitely quite tasty. But I think the best kind of Christmas dinner is one that includes rice, dumplings, lo mein, spare ribs, and General Tso’s chicken.
Often thought of as the classic holiday beverage, eggnog is not for everyone. This rich drink is certainly an acquired taste, but when you love it, you REALLY love it.
#SpoonTip: Apparently you can eat it, too.
Think of peppermint schnapps as the liquid, boozy version of a candy cane. Candy for grown-ups, if you will. Mix your schnapps with hot chocolate or a cafe mocha and BAM: An instant festive treat.
I mean, is a holiday really complete without wine? It’s perfect on Hanukkah and on Christmas, making it a Chrismukkah staple.