When does Christmas officially start?

Winter officially starts on the 1st December according to the UK Met Office but what about Christmas? For me, it's when I hear Noddy holder belt out "IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!" on the radio.

Nowadays, according to the marketing world, it starts on 26 December and finishes the following 24 December, except in countries where shops are open on 25 December when it never ends!

I know what you're saying - could be there's a Quercy-Rouergue calendar out there somewhere :-D

Andrew, if it's anything to do with the Lot, they're always late. Especially the tradesman. I think they work on a different Calendar.

Accepted Stuart! I always go along with the French standardised format :-O


basically when it's cold it's winter, when it's getting warmer and often rains it's spring, when it's bloody hot summer's arrived and when things cool down and it starts raining a lot, effect cévenol, it's autumn ;-)


It depends where you look Andrew but for me Spring is the 20th March. I'm a ray of sunshine :D

I would sooo love to spend Christmas with you Lis. That sounds like a ripper Christmas :) Full of ritual, good cheer, home made decorations and candles. You have inspired me. I feel like making the most of advent, right up to Christmas :)

Sorry that's 21st March, 21st JUNE, 21st September...!

John, winter finishes/spring starts on the 21st March et ainsi de suite, 21 July, 21 Sept... ;-)

well, where I come from, which is Denmark, the 1st Sunday in Advent, which is this Sunday, we will light the first candle on the advents circle, however, the 1st of December all my Christmas decorations will be up, most home made....

The 1st Thursday in December I have lots of 'girls' coming to my house where we eat, drink and cut lots of lovely Christmas decoration. The 1st Sunday in December we have a house full of friends and family for our Glogg (should be a dash through the o) and lots of aebleskiver....and that's how we start Christmas in our house....

The 22nd December we will bring a fresh tree inside to decorate this, and it's a family affair, for it to be ready for lots of live candles on 24th and 25th (we celebrate both Danish & English Christmas in our house)....and then on 6th January it'll all come down again.... - and the house looks so empty :(

I see a message from Rosie Savage mentioning that the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway & Sweden) celebrate the 6th December, never knew that and that despite I lived in Denmark for a good 31 years, cetainly not in Denmark....my stepfather is Belgium, and there they definately celebrate Santa Nicholas as do all the Benelux countries....the Swedes celebrate Santa Lucia on 13th December, but so do we in Demark)....but Santa Nicholas in the Scandinavian countries? Never heard of it before, but that could be me, though I have worked with people from all three Scandinavian countries....just spoken to a Danish friend of mine, she has never heard of that before either, but maybe we need educating.... :)

The feast of St Nicholas falls on 6th December, and the Scandanavian countries celebrate on this day. We are all aware that unfortunately Christmas in the UK begins far too early, and admonishes us to spend, spend,spend. It's a bit sad that for some the real meaning of Christmas is forgotten, and just is a wonderful excuse to stuff themselves with far too much rich food, and drink themselves into oblivion, so that on Christmas afternoon, surrounded by piles of wrapping paper, the dinner table piled high with unwashed crockery and glasses, they finally slump in a chair in front of the TV, showing oodles of repeats of films they have all seen before, and so nod off until someone says " mince pie anyone ? cold turkey sandwich ?"

I really prefer the French way of having the meal late into Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas day it's nice to enjoy the presents, meet friends for a drink and a chat, and then have a walk in the fresh air.

When the Galeries Lafayette and their neighbours unveil the fabulous Christmas shop windows in Paris.

23.45hr on the 24th December !

If winter starts on 21st of December, when does it officially finish? Is it when the hoopoes return or the first cuckoo sings in February (well it did this year!)? It would be better if it was December 22nd!!!

Winter officially starts on 21st of December in France.

has it ever really finished

I agree with Johnny - Christmas Eve (at 3pm GMT when 9 Lessons & Carols starts!). According to Sainsbury's, et al, then on the day after Easter!

The Advent begins 1st of December. It's not the very time of Xmas but 24 days to prepare our soul to welcome Jesus in His manger. For our kids, this period is full of pleasures!!! They are eager to deck the Tree and discover their presents. In a few days, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, which is a major feast in USA.

In France, NO Noddy Holder , Please - we have Tino Rossi and Petit Papa Noel - that's bad enough !