Christmas (Holiday Observed)

Christmas is a major Christian holiday held on December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a federally observed major holiday in the United States. If the holiday falls on a Saturday then Friday is observed as an additional federal holiday. If it falls on a Sunday then Monday is observed as an additional federal holiday. In addition to the 3-day weekend, many Americans have a week or more off as winter break from school and work.

Christmas is commonly celebrated with festive decorations the weeks leading up to the holiday, starting as early as the day after Thanksgiving in the US. In other countries, such as the Philippines, holiday decorations are already up in October. With a tradition of gift giving, this is a major commercialized event with several sales promotions before, during, and after. Families and friends may attend special church services, contribute to charities, gather for special meals, and/or exchange greeting cards and presents.

Traditional Food

  • Turkey or ham
  • ♣ Eggnog, mulled wine, glow, punch, and/or hot chocolate
  • Cakes, pies, gingerbread, and cookies
  • Cookies & milk for Santa Claus and his reindeer

  • Superstitions: None

  • Holiday Decorations:
    • Christmas tree
    • Tinsel
    • Hang stockings
    • Nativity scene
  • ♣ Church Services:
    • Attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve or attend on the day of
  • ♥ Families:
    • Parents stuff children stockings with small gifts if kids were good or fake coal if they were bad (e.g. candy coal)
    • Children prepare cookies and milk for Santa Claus to eat when he comes down the chimney to deliver presents
    • Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
  • ♦ Music:
    • Holiday music and Christmas carols are aired on the radio and publicly sung by carolers
  • ♠ Charity:
    • Charitable organizations seek out contributions
    • People donate or volunteer for charities

Travel Tips

Christmas is a major observed holiday in the USA. Most businesses will be closed.  If the holiday falls on a Saturday then Friday is observed as an additional federal holiday. If it falls on a Sunday then Monday is observed as an additional federal holiday. Please plan accordingly. Contact businesses directly to find out if they have any special holiday hours.

  • Peak Season for Travel:
    • Make reservations early
    • Airfare, car rentals, and lodging will be booked far in advance and selling at premium holiday rates
    • Flying on the actual holiday is generally cheaper than the days surrounding it
    • Hotels and other accommodations may require a minimum length of stay
    • Expect traffic the week leading up to and the days following as families return from vacation (especially Fridays and Sundays)
    • Christmas Day is usually low traffic
    • The day after may be heavy traffic at stores for gift returns/exchanges
  • Hours:
    • Non-essential government offices will be closed
    • Many businesses (including groceries and restaurants) will be closed or have limited hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
    • National parks are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving
    • Public transportation will be running limited holiday hours
  • Road Closures:
    • Roads may be closed ahead of time for celebrations; they remain closed for an extended period of time after celebrations for cleanup 
  • Free Street Parking:
    • On-street parking meters are generally free on federal holidays and federally observed holidays (see meter or street sign)
    • On-street parking meters are generally free on Sundays (see meter or street sign)
  • Sales:
    • Most stores have promotional sales leading up to the holiday
    • Additional sales are available the day after for Boxing Day and online on Monday for CyberMonday
    • Many Americans shop on Black Friday (following Thanksgiving) for bargains to gift for Christmas

Event Location

Event Timing

  • Date:December 26, 2022