Premium- The OC -How The Director Of 'The O.C.'s "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" Created A Holiday Phenomenon
Everyone remembers the moment they fell in love with Seth Cohen. For me, it was when he held up a menorah in one hand and a candy cane in the other. Watching him introduce Ryan and the audience to Chrismukkah — “the greatest super-holiday known to mankind” — I knew: It was love. This was, of course, the opening scene of what would become one of the most iconic episodes of The O.C.’s four season run, "The Best Chrismukkah Ever."
Even before “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” aired on December 3, 2003, the show had been well-received by both audiences and fans. Teens across the country (my sisters and myself included) would record every episode on VHS live so that they could watch them over and over again on weekends. Fans were taken by Ryan Atwood's signature chocker/leather bracelet combo and Summer's incredible use of shade in a pre-shade world.
But, it was Chrismukkah that took the show from a very normal and healthy obsession to something that I could actually relate to. So, 17 years later, I reached out to episode director Sanford Bookstaver to find out everything I could about how the magic of Chrismukkah was created.
As a Jewish kid who celebrates Christmas, I had never seen anything like my holiday experience represented in the way "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" did at the time. And, as it turns out, neither had Bookstaver. “I’m Jewish, but I wasn’t raised as a very religious Jew,” he tells me over the phone. “When I was growing up we always had a Christmas tree and a menorah in my house, which was like an amazing coincidence that they actually wrote an episode about something I had dealt with in my childhood.”