Christmastide (also known as Christmastime or the Christmas season) is a season of the liturgical year in most Christian churches. In some Christian denominations, Christmastide is identical to Twelvetide, a similar concept. It is the traditional ’12 days of Christmas’, hence it is the shortest of the liturgical season, including only one or two Sundays.
For most Christian denominations, Christmastide begins on 24 December at sunset, which is liturgically the beginning of Christmas Eve. Most of 24 December is thus not part of Christmastide, but of Advent, the season in the Church Year that precedes Christmastide. In many liturgical calendars, Christmastide is followed at sunset on 5 January by the closely related season of Epiphany.
There are several celebrations within Christmastide, including Christmas Day (25 December), St. Stephen’s Day (26 December), Childermas (28 December), New Year’s Eve (31 December), the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ or the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (1 January), and the Feast of the Holy Family (date varies). The Twelve Days of Christmas terminate with Epiphany Eve or Twelfth Night (the evening of 5 January).