17 Creative Ways to Celebrate Christmas AND Hanukkah
In 2017, for the first time in a quarter-century, Christmas and Hanukkah fell on the same night. The two holidays share one theme: the miracle of lights, whether from a guiding star or a tiny bit of oil burned for eight nights. We gathered scores of ideas for interfaith families or ones welcoming guests from different religions this season. Try some of these tips to create heaps of festive fun in a two-for-one Chrismukkah celebration.
- Skip the yams alongside your Christmas turkey, and serve up potato pancakes (latkes) instead. Hanukkah is the one time of year when we're encouraged to eat foods fried in lots of oil!
- Make star-shaped cookies with the kids, which will honor both the Jewish Star of David and the guiding star that led the wise men to Bethlehem. Decorate them with blue, silver, red, and green icing.
- Hanukkah is also sufganiyot season—time to devour these yummy round, fried, jam-filled, powdered-sugar dusted doughnuts! Or, you may want to bake up a hybrid version this year: Eggnog doughnuts!
- Combine many seasonal colors by adapting this recipe for Glitter Ball Cookies, adding green, red, and gold sprinkles, too.
Pull together decorations that blend both holidays:
- Decorate your Christmas tree with blue and white lights, mini-menorahs, dreidels, or this adorable Hanukkah reindeer ornament. Make or buy a Star of David as a tree topper.
- Use red and green candles when lighting the menorah.
- Wrap evergreen boughs with blue and silver ribbons.
- Put up a Chrismukkah Mistletoe that combines silver bells and a dreidel—it's also a great gift for an interfaith couple.
- Set your table with a gorgeous DIY centerpiece using poinsettias, amaryllis, and filling the vase with Hanukkah gelt (chocolate wrapped in gold and silver foil).
- Make a wreath-inspired holiday star to adorn a mantel or a wall.
- Drape blue and white paper dreidel garlands on your tree or from the ceiling.
Crafts & Activities
- Instead of building a gingerbread house, make a holiday one using matzoh, a traditional Jewish food, plus plenty of frosting to glue the roof and walls. Decorate with candy canes, gelt, and gum drops.
- Pick up a few hybrid holiday puzzles and ornament kits that the family can do together.
- Spin the dreidel, handing out candy canes as prizes.
- Read Chrismukkah books, such as My Two Holidays: A Hanukkah and Christmas Story, Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama, and Blintzes for Blitzen.