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See also: yuletide



A c. 1912 Yuletide and New Year card, from the collection of the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Though attested late (c. 1475), probably dates back to Old English *ġēoltīd (literally Christmas season). See there for more; also Yule and tide.



Yuletide (countable and uncountable, plural Yuletides)

  1. (dated) The period around Christmas; the Christmas season, Christmastime; specifically, Christmas itself.
    • 1862, modified from Thomas Oliphant's original, “Deck the Halls”, in Jerry Snyder’s Easy Chord Christmas Guitar Book, Miami Beach, Fla.: Hansen House, published [19—?], →OCLC, page 17:
      Deck the halls with boughs of holly, / Fa la la la la la la la la! / 'Tis the season to be jolly, / Fa la la la la la la la la! / Don we now our gay apparel, / Fa la la la la la la la la! / Troll the ancient yuletide carol, / Fa la la la la la la la la!
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 17: Ithaca]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC, part III [Nostos], page 673:
      What did the first locked drawer contain? [] a Yuletide card, bearing on it a pictorial representation of a parasitic plant, the legend Mizpah, the date Xmas 1892, the name of the senders: from Mr and Mrs M. Comerford, the versicle: May this Yuletide bring to thee, Joy and peace and welcome glee: []
    • 1986, "Weird Al" Yankovic (lyrics and music), “Christmas at Ground Zero”, in Polka Party![1]:
      It's Christmas at ground zero / Just seconds left to go / I'll duck and cover / With my Yuletide lover / Underneath the mistletoe
  2. (dated, or Germanic Neo-Paganism) The period of celebration of a pre-Christian festival associated with the (northern) winter solstice, later absorbed into the festival of Christmas (but sometimes recreated by modern neo-pagans).
    • 1902 October, Henry van Dyke [Jr.], “The First Christmas-tree”, in The Blue Flower, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, →OCLC, section II, page 277:
      For this is the Yuletide, and the heathen people of the forest are gathered at the thunder-oak of Geismar to worship their god, Thor.
    • 1923 October, H[oward] P[hillips] Lovecraft, “The Festival”, in Weird Tales, volume 5, number 1, Indianapolis, Ind.: Popular Fiction Pub. Co., published January 1925; reprinted in Lin Carter, editor, The Doom that Came to Sarnath, New York, N.Y.: Del Rey Books, Ballantine Books, February 1971 (May 1991 printing), →ISBN, page 95:
      It was the Yuletide, that men call Christmas though they know in their hearts it is older than Bethlehem and Babylon, older than Memphis and mankind. It was the Yuletide, and I had come at last to the ancient sea town where my people had dwelt and kept festival in the elder time when festival was forbidden; where also they had commanded their sons to keep festival once every century, that the memory of primal secrets might not be forgotten.
  3. (Australia, regional) The period of southern winter in the middle of the year, sometimes celebrated in the colder, snowy regions of Australia with allusions to Christmas, which originated as a marketing gimmick.
    • 2010, Lee Atkinson, Ron Crittall, Marc Llewellyn, Lee Mylne, “New South Wales”, in Emil J. Ross, editor, Frommer’s Australia 2010, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing, →ISBN, page 186:
      Note that the colder winter months (June–Aug) are the busiest season. This period is known as Yuletide—the locals' version of the Christmas period, when most places offer traditional Christmas dinners and roaring log fires.




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