Still, there have been some negative responses from people of both faiths objecting to the mixture of traditions. But Gompertz said they are missing the point. "All I can say to these people is first, lighten up," he said. "This is the secular thing. Christmas works on several levels -- a religious level and a secular, commercial level. … Is Frosty the Snowman Christian? Can Rudolph be enjoyed by Jewish children, too?"
Rather than diminish the importance of each holiday, Gompertz said he hopes Chrismukkah will encourage discussion and allow more children in interfaith families to understand the meanings behind both celebrations and religions. And he said many people are ready for some unity.
"A lot of us are anxious about issues like the rise of religious fundamentalism around the world, the separation of church and state," he said. "A lot of people are embracing what we do. They see it as a reaction to increasingly conservative viewpoints."
Handler said Chrismahanukwanzakah had a similar beginning. "For so many people, this really is a very, very upbeat time of year, and without being goofy, it's a time of hope, too," he said. "We just wanted to be festive and bring everyone in -- pagans and elves and cavemen."
He also acknowledged the need for some togetherness. "It's a little bit of, can we all get along? Can everybody just relax and lighten up?
"It doesn't have to be about red or blue or north or south," he said. "Let's just have fun and celebrate the things that are good."