I'm wondering if "in the Christmas holiday" is acceptable. If we put down "at Christmas", we want to talk about the period of Christmas holidays. For example:

We always break up for the holidays at our granny's at Christmas.

In a like manner, "on Christmas day" refers to one specific day:

There are a lot of sales on Christmas day.

I've just found "in the Christmas holiday(s)" in the book. There is no other context. Since the first means "period" and the second "one day", the third one is odd to me. That is the main reason which has brought about this question.

  • 1
    Do you mean you found "in the Christmas holiday" in a book? What comes before it? How can there be no other context, if it is a book??
    – Lambie
    Nov 27, 2017 at 14:43
  • @Lambie, Grammar book. Nov 27, 2017 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


"On Christmas Day" means December 25th, but otherwise these are not fixed time periods that start and end on specific days. Most of the time you can figure this out from context. For example:

Here's how you can spend more time with your family and less time shopping this holiday season

Because Christmas day is often a work holiday for many people, "this holiday season" means "around December 25th this year", but when it starts and when it ends varies. For some in the United States, the season can start right after Thanksgiving, which this year was November 23rd, because that's when they start preparations for Christmas Day. The season usually ends on January 2nd, because that's when many people go back to work.

However, other people may consider "the holiday season" to start and end earlier or later, depending on religious faith and personal preference. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas starting on January 7th. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah starting December 13th. And so on.

When someone in a book (written about people living in the Americas or Western Europe) says, "We always break for the holidays at Granny's around Christmas," you can assume this means some time period which includes December 25th. Unless there is more information from context, the actual start and end dates are probably not important.

  • I apologize for having made answer another question. I meant "in the Christmas holiday", but wrote "the third one..." by mistake. I want to know what "in the Christmas holiday" means. Nov 27, 2017 at 22:10
  • @AnthonyVoronkov - "In the Christmas holiday" doesn't sound idiomatic to this US English speaker. We usually say on a certain day, or over the holiday or during the holiday, but not "in".
    – stangdon
    Nov 27, 2017 at 22:15
  • @AnthonyVoronkov as stangdon says, "in the Christmas holiday" doesn't seem quite correct, but my answer applies the same to any expression with "Christmas holiday". The exact start and end dates of this season will vary from person to person, and usually don't matter. The only constant is that the holiday will include December 25th.
    – Andrew
    Nov 27, 2017 at 22:23
  • In British English, in the Christmas holiday(s) means during the period around Christmas that many people have time off work - or when schools are closed for Christmas. Aug 1, 2021 at 18:14
  • This is because what the British call "holidays" -- time off -- is what the Americans call "vacation."
    – Mary
    Feb 12, 2023 at 23:50

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