Christmas Day in Canada

In 2019 Christmas Day is on Wednesday, December 25th.

According to our holiday poll, Christmas is Canada's favourite holiday by far - over twice as popular as Canada Day.

This is not a big surprise, there is something about Christmas that most people find attractive - whether it's the smell of gingerbread cookies, eggnog or the excitement of tearing open gifts.

Christmas, according to christianity, is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ but this holiday is widely celebrated by non-religous people as well.


In Canada, Christmas Day is a federal statutory holiday in every province and territory as it is in most other countries in the world. It is followed by Boxing Day on December 26.

Christmas traditions

Many families have their own, unique, traditions that they follow each year. Some people put up a christmas tree on the same day every year, others cook the same meal and visit the same group of people - friends or relatives - on the same day.

In Canada most families put up a tree in early December and also decorate their houses (inside as well as outside) using christmas lights, ornaments, and other decorative objects that are otherwise kept in a box in the closet. But enough about what "everybody" does - what's your story? How do you celebrate Christmas?

And what do you think about the commercialization of this holiday? Take our poll: When should stores start selling Christmas gear?

Spending the holidays away from home?

More people travel around New Year's Eve than around Christmas but still, Christmas vacation packages are very popular. Common and popular destinations include the southern United States such as Las Vegas, Hawaii or Miami, Cuba and Mexico (people go great lenghts just to take a break from shoveling snow!) and many overseas destinations such as France, the UK, Sweden and Italy.

If you're planning to fly this year, remember that holiday high prices generally start on the December 17th or 18th (not the 25th) and stay in effect until January 2nd or 3rd. Also, this will sound as a broken record sure to arrive early at your airport - line ups will be long!

Share your holiday story, idea or comments

Share your Christmas traditions with us - what do you and your family and friends do around The Holidays? Do you bake a special cake? Do you sing Christmas carols together? A snowball fight with your neighbours? Are your Christmas lights the brightest on the block?

Post your comments

Posted by Jay:

So Christmas 2018 falls on a Tuesday. The Company that you work for has a planned 2 week shut down. Christmas and New Years are in that planned 2 week shut down. Do you get paid for Christmas Day and New Years Day?

Posted by Roudayna:

What are the legal holidays for Christmas 2017 are we leagally just off Monday 26th december

Posted by JoeB:

I'm not sure why virtually all of the comments are about what days you might get in lieu if Christmas is on a weekend. In keeping with the subject at the top of this comments page, I'm a senior living alone but with many (all very much grown) siblings, and my Mom usually coming to Calgary from PEI for much of the Christmas/New Years season. So our traditions revolve around decorating, visiting, some family doing midnight Mass, some siblings sharing Christmas dinner, etc. Personally, I enjoy eggnog and various nuts in the shell during the season because we had them as kids. There are many of us so we don't really do gift exchange, just cards. The only personal gift exchange is with my son and very young grandson at his place along with my step-daughter and her two kids, usually an evening with dinner just after Christmas Day. Watching some traditional Christmas movies throughout the season with a nicely decorated, well lit tree, crackling fireplace and eggnog (spiked a bit, eh?) just about rounds things out!

Posted by Marion:

On a long weekend, I look forward to an extra day of less expensive hydro. When Christmas falls on the weekend, shouldn't electricity be doubly discounted? Free hydro on Christmas Day so that people can cook their turkeys and all would be refreshing.

Posted by Kristi:

So if I work Mon-Friday, does my employer have to pay for a stat-not-worked (ie the 8 hours of Christmas day) when Christmas falls on a Sunday?

Posted by Phil:

People are losing their mind about christmas 2016 haha. Some clarification, employers are not required to give you a day off in lieu. However if they do it is their choice which day they give. Boxing day is not a stat. I for example work mon-fri. So i will be uneffected by xmas and boxing day. I will work mon-fri both weeks. However when i receive my paystub it will say 80 reg. hours and 8 SNW hours, stat not worked.

Posted by Meagan:

If Christmas day lands on the Sunday for 2016. What day would employers be required to give off for the stat? .. Considering that boxing day lands on the Monday.


Christmas holidays this year will be complicated. When will the schools close down for their break? Dec 16th or the 23rd. Each local school board can make their own decisions. If they go to the 23rd then having Christmas Day stat taken on the 23rd does not make sense. I hope everyone makes their decisions early because no matter what you do someone will be unhappy!


Christmas Day 2016 is on a Sunday and Boxing Day is on Monday. Would Christmas Day be observed on the Friday before? Friday December 23, 2016.

Posted by meg:

If Christmas falls on a Friday and boxing day a Saturday what days do you get off for work as holidays?

Posted by Marion:

If Christmas is on a Sunday with the Boxing Day Stat on the Monday, is the Christmas Stat observed on the Friday before or the Tuesday after the 25th?


If payday lands on boxing day and your work place is closed which day should you get payed on.

Posted by Nigel:

Boxing day is not a statutory holiday for everyone in Canada. It's only a stat holiday for federally regulated workers and banks and for everyone in Ontario. So if you don't live in Ontario and you're not on a government / bank payroll then it's not a stat holiday for you. (may be in New Brunswick - not sure). Just thought I send this in because there seems to be a confusion about whether or not Boxing Day is a holiday. Cheers.

Posted by Joan Solomon:

If it's a federal holiday, and this country claims Godin it's constitution, why is it incorrect to say "Merry Christmas" now?

Posted by Admin:

We will add a page about Boxing Day next year (2014) - it's too late to do it this year. Thanks for your suggestion!


Why don't u explkain boxing day too??

Posted by JJ:

I see you finally made your website look good on mobile phones - good job! Anyway, just wanted to say that for people living west of Toronto, the Bronte Park Homestead Christmas "party" and the RBC Christmas events are probably your two best bets for family outings. Just an FYI...

Posted by Site admin:

The comments area for the Christmas page is now live!

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