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The Origins of Christmas

From a religious standpoint, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. In addition, Christmas has become a cultural holiday for many over the years with the evolution of St. Nicholas into Santa Claus.

When Christmas is Observed

The Christmas season begins for Western Christianity and some of the Eastern Churches on December 24 with Christmas Eve followed by Christmas Day on December 25 and runs through either the Epiphany or the Baptism. The Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Evangelical Church, and some Anabaptists recognize January 6 as Christmas. Most Oriental Orthodox and some of the Eastern Orthodox churches recognize Christmas on January 7. 

How Christmas is Celebrated

Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. Popular traditions include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends, and waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.

2023 Christmas Displays and Attractions

A trellis lit put with blue lights and a wreath hanging at the end.

The Boston Holiday Lights Tour

Explore the annual holiday displays in the parks and streets of Boston. Use this guide to tour Boston Common, Boylston Street, Christopher Columbus Park, Newbury Street, the Seaport District, and more!

Four carolers sing on a side walk, dressed in old fashioned dresses and suits.

13 Ways to Catch the "Christmas on Cape Cod" Spirit

When you think of Cape Cod, warm summer days on the beach might be the first thing that comes to mind. But come the holiday season, everyone is in the spirit, whether it’s enjoying dinner by a cozy fire, caroling by a lighthouse, or greeting Santa dockside. 

A boat decorated in holiday lights with a big star on the front glides through the ocean.

10 Places to See Amazing Christmas Light Displays in Maine

If Christmas lights are your thing, these displays will make you smile!

A drone shot of a Newport mansion with Christmas lights.

10+ Classic Holiday Happenings in + around Newport

Think cobblestone streets lined with the glow of white lights, the glitter and gold of Gilded Age mansions bedecked with dozens of Christmas trees and thousands of poinsettias, and warm, quaint shops with candlelit windows.