[ kris-muhs-tahym ]
/ ˈkrɪs məsˌtaɪm /
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the Christmas season.


We Asked: What Are Your Favorite Christmastime Words?

Christmas is right around the corner and there’s a lot of things that come to mind around this time of year. What words reminds you of Christmastime?

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Origin of Christmastime

First recorded in 1830–40; Christmas + time
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does Christmastime mean?

Christmastime is the Christmas season.

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. Christmas is also widely observed in secular (nonreligious) ways. Popular activities include the decoration of a Christmas tree and the exchange of gifts.

Most often, the word Christmas refers to Christmas Day—the day on which the holiday is observed, most commonly December 25. But Christmas can be used to mean the same thing as Christmas season or Christmastime.

Christmastime is generally thought to start 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. Christmastime 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.

In religious terms, Christmastime 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. Christmastime is used more generally.

By those who celebrate Christmas, Christmastime is often seen as a magical time that’s associated with a sense of hope and wonder and a feeling of festiveness.

Example: Christmastime is the season of perpetual hope!

Where does Christmastime come from?

The first records of the word Christmastime come from the 1600s. The ending -time is used in the same way in other words that refers to seasons, such as wintertime.

Christmastime is often associated with wintertime and snowy scenes. However, this is only the case in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, Christmastime happens during the summer.

The word yuletide is sometimes used as another word for Christmastime, but it is rooted in yule, which can refer to Christmas but is also used as a name for the celebration of the Winter Solstice that’s observed in some Pagan traditions.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for Christmastime?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Christmastime


What are some words that often get used in discussing Christmastime?


How is Christmastime used in real life?

People who celebrate Christmas often look forward to Christmastime as a time of festivities and gatherings with loved ones.


Try using Christmastime!

True or False? 

Christmastime always means the same thing as Christmastide.

How to use Christmastime in a sentence