Ron Gompertz was a fellow Rutgers College ’75 alum. I remember him as a ski bum and psych major who dated Laurie.
He is the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors and his wife, Michelle, is a minister’s daughter. Their religious mashup led him to write Chrismukkah: Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate the Hybrid Holiday.
The book is described on Amazon.com in this way:
"Christmas meets Hanukkah for millions of mixed-faith families—who deck their trees with Stars of David and spin the dreidel under mistletoe. Here is a one-of-a-kind, amusingly illustrated and endlessly entertaining guide to the joys—and oys—of celebrating Chrismukkah, the hybrid holiday.
Now published in paperback, this handy (and often hilarious) lifestyle guide walks us through all the Chrismukkah events, history , and lore. You’ll learn about hybrid holiday traditions in decorating (ornaments, wreaths, menorahs, dreidels); innovative tchotchkes (Chrismukkah cards, stockings, lights); and a plethora of menorah options (Godzilla or snowman, anyone?).
Plus, the book includes rollicking games to play and songs to sing, along with easy-to-follow recipes for Latkes with Sugar Plum Fairy Sauce, General Saul’s Chicken, Mama Mia Matzah Pizza!, Blitzen’s Blintzes, and other Noel Noshes.
Your yuletide happy hours will never be the same once you start mixing a Yule Plotz, Meshugga Nog, or Manishewitz Mulled Wine.
Chrismukkah is not Ron's invention, but was a hybrid celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah which seems to have first appeared on the television show The O.C. in 2003.
Ron got into it (as others have done with Jerry Seinfeld's TV holiday of Festivus) and started sending out cards to friends. He registered Chrismukkah.com (which appears to be currenly down and out) and then wrote the book version of the “mish-mash holiday.”
He did get some grief from conservative Christians and Orthodox Jews, but also acceptance from others who had to deal with the mix that leads to the “December Dilemma.”
This post originally appeared here 12/30/2009