The Shmooze

Yamaclaus: A Chrismukkah Dream Come True

By Anne Cohen

  • Print
  • Share Share

Seth Cohen’s dream finally came true.

This year, celebrate Christmas the kosher way (sort of), with a Yamaclaus. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a red yarmulke complete with fluffy white Santa trim. And if you’re a millennial, chances are you’ve seen it before.

Fans of “The O.C.” will recognize this holiday gem from the show’s second season Chrismukkah episode, “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t.” In fact, that’s exactly where Yamaclaus creators Alan Masarsky and Larik Malash, both Russian American Jews, got the idea.

“We’d been talking about it ever since it was on “The O.C.” in 2004,” Masarsky said. (Side note: Has it really been THAT long since we first heard about Chrismukkah!) “We thought it was such a brilliant idea. We’d always been those guys who loved the holidays and went to parties wearing interesting things.”

What started as a joke among friends became reality when the pair took to Kickstarter, where they raised $2,834 — more than $300 over their original goal.

Manufactured in San Diego, the Yamaclaus is targeted towards young, secular adults. “This was not something we were trying to shove down anyone’s throats, especially those wo are traditionally Orthodox.” Masarsky said. “We don’t expect them to be worn at synagogue. This is just a fun accessory and a novelty item that you can wear to events.”

But not all see it as a harmless joke. Masarsky admits that when he first started sending out samples, he got negative feedback from Orthodox areas. “People [were] saying ‘I don’t think this is cool, I would never wear this,’ which we understand. We don’t mean to insult. It’s a unique mashup, [and] one that clearly has religious iconography, but it’s not at all meant to be used in a religious way.”

Criticism aside, Masarsky says that the festive caps have been selling big. Even dogs are wearing them:

The best part? Due to the happy coincidence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year, you don’t even have to feel guilty for abandoning silver and blue for red and white. Get yours here.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: yamaclaus, jewish, holiday, hanukkah, christmas

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.