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How Many Days Until Christmas Are There? Here's Your Festive Countdown

Newsweek logo Newsweek 11/30/2021 Soo Kim
A Santa Claus hat seen next to a calendar with December 25, Christmas, highlighted in red. © iStock/Getty Images Plus A Santa Claus hat seen next to a calendar with December 25, Christmas, highlighted in red.

Getting excited about Christmas? The festive holiday is just weeks away and the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season kicked off last week on Black Friday.

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But how far are we exactly from the big day?

How Many Days Are There Until Christmas?

Including today, November 30, there are 25 days until Christmas Day, meaning there are 25 more sleeps to go before Christmas morning.

This also means you've got only around three full weeks before December 25 to get all of your Christmas shopping done.

Is Christmas a Federal Holiday?

Yes, Christmas is a federal holiday in the U.S., which means many government offices and some private businesses are closed on the day.

A Brief History of Christmas Celebrations

Christmas is celebrated in many countries worldwide and observances can vary from religious traditions to secular ones, such as gatherings of families and friends who share a festive meal and exchange gifts. Christians mark the day as a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

The Library of Congress explains: "The origins of the holiday are uncertain; by the year 336, however, the Christian church in Rome observed the Feast of the Nativity on December 25. At that time, Christmas coincided approximately with the winter solstice and the Roman Festival of Saturnalia."

Christmas traditions today incorporate the religious and non-religious customs of many cultures, from the ancient Roman practice of decorating homes with evergreens and the exchanging of gifts at the New Year to the Celtic Yule log, the Library of Congress says.

Some Americans see Christmas as a religious occasion, but the U.S. federal courts have upheld its status as a legal holiday.

According to the website of the U.S. Embassy in the U.K., one court reasoned: "By giving federal employees a paid vacation day on Christmas, the government is doing no more than recognizing the cultural significance of the holiday."

Nine in 10 Americans (90 percent) celebrate Christmas, according to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center.

However, the role of religion in Christmas celebrations was reported to be declining. The 2017 study showed that 46 percent of Americans said they celebrated Christmas primarily as a religious—rather than cultural—holiday. The figure marked a decline from the 51 percent who said the same in 2013.

More than half of U.S. adults (56 percent) believed the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less in American society today than previously and relatively few were reported to be bothered by this trend, according to the 2017 survey.

A clock seen next to Christmas gift boxes and Santa hats. The unofficial start of the festive shopping season kicked off on Black Friday. iStock/Getty Images Plus © iStock/Getty Images Plus A clock seen next to Christmas gift boxes and Santa hats. The unofficial start of the festive shopping season kicked off on Black Friday. iStock/Getty Images Plus

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