Christmas comes but once a year

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Reportedly coined by Thomas Tusser (1524–1580):

At Christmas play and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year.
—"The Farmer's Daily Diet", A Hundred Points of Good Husbandry (1557)

Proverb[edit]

Christmas comes but once a year

  1. Used to emphasize the annual distinctiveness of Christmas, especially in contexts where either the special joys or tribulations of the holiday are described.
    • 1854, Charles Dickens, The Seven Poor Travellers, ch. 1:
      I urged to the good lady that this was Christmas-eve; that Christmas comes but once a year,—which is unhappily too true, for when it begins to stay with us the whole year round we shall make this earth a very different place.
    • 1901, Lucy Maud Montgomery, "A Christmas Mistake" in Short Stories: 1896—1901:
      "Christmas comes but once a year,
      And then Mother wishes it wasn't here."
    • 2006 December 9, Lila Das Gupta, "Christmas gifts," Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 9 Jan 2018):
      Christmas comes but once a year, which is just as well—shopping during the festive season can be no fun at all.