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How long is the Christmas season?

Decorations for the Advent and Christmas seasons hang in Glendale United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Steven Kyle Adair, United Methodist Communications.
Decorations for the Advent and Christmas seasons hang in Glendale United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Steven Kyle Adair, United Methodist Communications.

Christmas is not just one day, but a season of twelve days from sunset Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) through Epiphany (Jan. 6). 

The twelfth day of Christmas, Epiphany, an even more ancient Christian celebration than Christmas, originally focused on the nativity, God's incarnation (God made flesh) in the birth of Jesus Christ and Christ's baptism. Today, it commemorates the visiting of the Christ Child by the Magi (Wise Men) with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Gift giving in some cultures extends throughout the 12 days of Christmas; elsewhere, gift giving is limited to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or Jan. 5 or 6.

See 12 creative, simple ideas to help celebrate the season. 

Have questions? Ask The UMC or talk with a pastor near you. And check out other recent Q&As.

This content was produced by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.