7 Things 'The O.C.' Taught Us About Blending Religions, Because Chrismukkah Really Is The Best of Both Worlds
In the first season of The O.C., Seth Cohen introduced viewers to one of the best holidays ever — Chrismukkah. Raised by parents in an interfaith relationship (his mother was a Christian and his father, a Jew), Seth found a solution to the overload of December holidays by combining the two to create Chrismukkah. In addition to giving fellow Cashews a holiday they could call their own, the Chrismukkah episodes of The O.C. taught viewers about blending religions, and how to balance a family while juggling traditions.
According to paper released in 2014 by David McClendon of the University of Texas at Austin, the proportion of interfaith marriages that remain with mixed-faith partners had gone up to 40 percent in the early 2000s from just 20 percent in the 1960s. As a result of interfaith marriages being on the rise, there are more families raising children to celebrate more than one religion.
And while Jewish-Christian pairings are the most common in the U.S., they’re not the only kind of interfaith family that exists. For them, Chrismukkah is a perfect solution, particularly because there are two widely celebrated holidays that happen at the same time of year (it happens again in the Spring, too). For other families, they may have to create their own blended holidays. But we have The O.C. to thank for these lessons about why blended holidays are the best holidays.
1. Blending Holidays Makes The Celebration Stronger
As Seth says, “it has twice the resistance” of a singular holiday, meaning more cheer, more joy, and more reasons to celebrate.
2. There’s No Way To Ruin A Blended Celebration
Chrismukkah is “unruinable.” There’s no way to ruin a holiday based on a combination of all of the best aspects of other holidays, because you’re making it into something that works for your family.
3. Combining Holidays Means Equal Love To Both
Being interfaith can often feel like having to make hard choices between the two. But as we learn from The O.C., you don’t have to choose. You can have it all.
4. Honoring One Tradition Doesn’t Take Away From Another
None of the significance is lost from either holiday when you combine them. It doesn’t water either of them down, unless that’s your goal. So don’t worry about feeling bad about making two holidays into one.
5. Adding Members To The Family Just Enhances Celebrations
When we watch Ryan hang up his stocking in the first season, it symbolizes that he’s officially part of the family. Family doesn’t have to be blood related — celebrating holidays with your chosen family can be just as, if not more, meaningful.
6. Blending Holidays Can Lead To More Presents
According to Seth, Chrismukkah has “eight days of presents followed by one day of many presents.” If your family can afford it, that sounds heavenly.
7. Chrismukkah Is Sweeping The Nation
As more and more people enter into interfaith marriages, families have to navigate the terrain of managing holidays. For families where one partner is Christian and the other is Jewish, Chrismukkah is a wonderful solution. Merry Chrismukkah to you and yours!