The Christmas season, also called the holiday season (especially in the U.S. and Canada), the festive season, or simply the holidays, is an annually-recurring period recognized in Western culture and Western-influenced cultures that is generally considered to run from late November to early January, defined as incorporating at least Christmas and usually New Year's, and sometimes various other holidays and festivals. It incorporates a period of shopping which comprises a peak season for the retail sector (the "Christmas (or holiday) shopping season"), and a period of sales at the end of the season (the "January sales").
Originally, the term "Christmas season" in Western culture was considered synonymous with Christmastide, a term itself derived from Yuletide, which runs from December 25 (Christmas Day) to January 6 (Epiphany), popularly known as the 12 Days of Christmas. However, as the economic impact involving the anticipatory lead-up to Christmas Day grew in America and Western Europe into the 19th and 20th centuries, the term "Christmas season" began to become synonymous instead with the traditional Christian Advent season, the period observed in Western Christianity from the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day until Christmas Day itself. The term "Advent calendar" survives in secular Western parlance as a term referring to a countdown to Christmas Day from the beginning of December.
Christmas music comprises a variety of genres of music normally performed or heard around the Christmas season, which tends to begin in the months leading up to the actual holiday and end in the weeks shortly thereafter.
References: Number of Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores: 1,241
Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is Canada's largest retail pharmacy chain, and it has its headquarters in North York, Toronto, Ontario. It has more than 1,241 stores operating under the names Shoppers Drug Mart in nine provinces and two territories and Pharmaprix in Quebec as well as in Hawkesbury, Ontario.
Christmas in Ireland is the largest celebration of the year]citation needed[ and lasts from 24 December to 6 January,]citation needed[ although 8 December is traditionally viewed as the start of Christmas]citation needed[ with many putting up their decorations and Christmas trees, along with doing their Christmas shopping. Irish Christmas traditions are similar to those in most Western countries.]citation needed[
The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas of the world include the lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, and the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas carols may be sung and stories told about such figures as the Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkindl or Grandfather Frost. The sending of Christmas cards, the exchange of Christmastime greetings, observance of fasting and/or special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve, the burning of a Yule log, and the giving and receiving of presents. Along with Easter, Christmas time is one of the most important periods on the Christian calendar, and is often closely connected to other holidays at this time of year, such as Advent, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, St. Nicholas Day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's, and the Feast of the Epiphany.