VIDEO FOR CHRISTMAS
WATCH NOW: When Exactly Are The 12 Days Of Christmas?
Are there actually 12 Days of Christmas? And if so when are they? Let's take a little stroll down Christmas Carol lane to find out ...
LEARN THE SPANISH WORDS FOR THESE COMMON ANIMALS!
Origin of Christmas
OTHER WORDS FROM ChristmasChrist·mas·sy, Christ·mas·y, adjectivepost-Christ·mas, adjectivepre-Christ·mas, adjective
Words nearby Christmas
What does Christmas mean?
Christmas is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians celebrate the holiday on December 25, but it is celebrated on January 7 in the Orthodox Church due to the use of a different calendar.
Most often, the word Christmas refers to Christmas Day—the day on which the holiday is observed, most commonly December 25. The day or evening before Christmas is called Christmas Eve.
Christmas is also often used to refer to the entire Christmas season, as in Even though it lasts for several weeks, Christmas always seems to go by so quickly. Another word for the Christmas season is Christmastime. Generally, the season begins around the beginning of December, though some people in the U.S. begin to decorate or engage in Christmas festivities immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday or even before. The Christmas season coincides with the “holiday season,” which in the U.S. is popularly understood to include Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Due to its widespread observance, Christmas is one of the federal holidays in the U.S.
In religious terms, the Christmas season is sometimes considered to extend from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany or Twelfth Day on January 6. This period is sometimes called Christmastide, though this word can also be used in a more general way to refer to the period from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.
The word Christmas is commonly used as a modifier in the names of many items and activities associated with the celebration of Christmas, as in Christmas cards, Christmas lights, Christmas shopping, Christmas cookies, Christmas carols, Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas stockings, and Christmas presents.
Traditional Christmas greetings include Merry Christmas and Happy Christmas (which is more popular in the U.K.).
By those who celebrate it, Christmas is often seen as a magical time that’s associated with a sense of hope and wonder and a feeling of festiveness. This is often what people are expressing when they describe something as Christmassy or say that they are in the Christmas spirit.
Example: This is Christmas, the season of perpetual hope!
Where does Christmas come from?
The first records of the word Christmas in English come from before 1050. It comes from the Old English Cristes mǣsse, meaning “Mass of Christ.” The word Christ means “anointed one” or “messiah” and is the title given to Jesus (as in Jesus Christ) by Christians due to their belief that he is the messiah who brings salvation. The words Christianity and Christian are based on the word Christ.
In the Middle Ages, the word mass referred to a religious feast day in honor of a specific person. This is what’s referred to by the ending -mas, which is used in the names of Christian holidays. By far the most well-known holiday that uses this ending is Christmas, but there are others, including Candlemas and Michaelmas.
The celebration of Christmas may date to around the year 200, but it did not become widespread as a holiday until much later, around the Middle Ages. Today, Christians often attend church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Much of the religious observance of Christmas involves the story of Jesus’s birth in a stable in the town of Bethlehem. Some Christians set up Nativity scenes depicting the scene of Jesus’s birth, including figures of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in a manger. For many Christians, religious observation of Christmas is done alongside other secular aspects of the season, such as the exchange of gifts and Santa Claus.
This sometimes leads to criticism among Christians that Christmas has become too secularized and commercialized. The abbreviation Xmas, for example, is sometimes seen as inappropriate, perhaps due to its replacement of the name Christ or its widespread use in commercial contexts, such as in advertising. However, the X is Xmas isn’t an arbitrary placeholder. The abbreviation, which in fact dates back to at least the mid-1500s, uses X because it is the Greek letter chi, the initial letter in the Greek word Χριστός (Chrīstos), meaning “Christ.”
Other names for Christmas include Noel and Nativity, which are typically used in religious contexts. The word yule is sometimes used as another word for Christmas or Christmastime, but it is rooted in and is also used as a name for the celebration of the Winter Solstice that’s observed in some Pagan traditions. Some of these customs influenced the ways that Christmas is celebrated.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to Christmas?
- Christmassy (adjective)
What are some synonyms for Christmas?
- Christmas Day
- Xmas (can be considered offensive or inappropriate in some contexts)
What are some words that share a root or word element with Christmas?
What are some words that often get used in discussing Christmas?
How is Christmas used in real life?
Christmas is one of the most important Christian holidays, but it is also widely celebrated in nonreligious ways.
I'm celebrating Christmas with family and friends today, and then I'm volunteering during the overnight shift at the warming center for the homeless. Take care of each other today!
— Belle 🏰 Resists (@BelleResist) December 25, 2017
Merry Christmas everyone!! 🎄⭐
I know there are 116 days until then, however that doesn't matter 😂😂
I'm always in the Christmas Spirit!
— StardashieVTFOE 🌲🎄🎃🎉 (@stardashie) September 1, 2020
I still have my Snuggie and honestly it’s probably the best and most durable Christmas gift I’ve ever received 🥰
— shuggahoneyicedtea (@_kourtneylee_) August 31, 2020
Try using Christmas!
True or False?
All Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25.
Example sentences from the Web for Christmas
In the wee hours of Christmas morning, a flight deal was shared in an exclusive Facebook group for urban travelers.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement|Charlise Ferguson|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Plenty of Jewish kids today grow up with a Christmas tree next to their menorah.
So this is Christmas, as the song goes, and what have we done?
This is the first Christmas I can remember when the news was all about cops and race.
And that was well before this Christmas, when he appeared to joke about Obama being a Muslim.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll|Asawin Suebsaeng|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She longed so to gather them all to herself, and take them home, and make a Christmas for them!Faith Gartney's Girlhood|Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
Would you not like to blessedly surprise them on next Christmas morning?
The open pantry door revealed a tempting array of Christmas delicacies.Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901|Lucy Maud Montgomery
We made sure that you would be with us till after Christmas at least.Betty Trevor|Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
De preacher's name was Christmas Crawford, and dat de reason I 'members it, it so funny to us.Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves|Work Projects Administration
British Dictionary definitions for Christmas
- the annual commemoration by Christians of the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25
- Also called: Christmas Day Dec 25, observed as a day of secular celebrations when gifts and greetings are exchanged
- (as modifier)Christmas celebrations
Word Origin for Christmas
Cultural definitions for Christmas
A festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, traditionally celebrated on December 25 by most Western Christian churches. Although dating to probably as early as a.d. 200, the feast of Christmas did not become widespread until the Middle Ages. Today, Christmas is largely secularized and dominated by gifts, decorated trees, and a jolly Santa Claus.