Definition of Christmas noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkrɪsməs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkrɪsməs//
    [uncountable, countable] Religious holidays and festivals
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  1. 1(also Christmas Day) 25 December, the day when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ Christmas dinner/presents see also Boxing Day See related entries: Religious holidays and festivals
  2. 2(also Christmastime) the period that includes Christmas Day and the days close to it the Christmas holidays/vacation Are you spending Christmas with your family? Happy Christmas! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! see also white Christmas
  3. Word OriginOld English Crīstes mæsse (see Christ, Mass). Culture Before Christmas, in the UK and US, people send Christmas cards to their friends and family showing traditional Christmas symbols such as Santa Claus, angels, holly and snowmen. Shops are decorated for Christmas from September and in the weeks before Christmas people do their Christmas shopping, buying Christmas presents for friends and family. In schools in Britain at the end of the Christmas term children often sing carols, decorate Christingle oranges and perform a nativity play representing the birth of Christ, which parents are invited to watch. A few days before Christmas, families decorate a Christmas tree, a fir tree covered in lights and colourful decorations, in their home. Many people go to midnight mass in church on Christmas Eve. Young children believe that Santa Claus will bring them presents during the night and they usually wake up to find a stocking, a long sock filled with small presents, by their bed. Presents wrapped in coloured paper are put under the Christmas tree and on Christmas morning many families open their presents together. Families try to get together at Christmas and celebrate with special food. In Britain people eat mince pies and Christmas cake, and in the US they make Christmas cookies. They share a special meal, Christmas dinner, which in Britain usually consists of roast turkey or goose and vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding, a rich pudding made with dried fruit that is served with brandy burning on it and eaten with brandy butter. People pull paper crackers which make a loud bang and contain paper hats, jokes and small toys. On the day after Christmas, called Boxing Day in Britain, many sporting events take place, and large shops begin their sales.Extra examples Did you have a good Christmas? For Christmas he gave her a silk blouse. The children are hoping for a white Christmas= with snow on the ground. The library is closed over Christmas. There are lots of parties at Christmas. We’re going to spend Christmas at home this year. We’re going up to town to see the Christmas lights. What did you get for Christmas? to celebrate Christmas in the traditional way
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Christmas