Ask the wise old owl
Why do we say “On Christmas Day” but “at Christmas”?
Question: I learned that for days of the week, we use “on” – on Thursday etc. Why then do we have to say “at Christmas time”?
Those annoying prepositions!
When we’re talking about days, we use on:
on 23rd April
on Christmas Day
on Good Friday
On my birthday
However, if it’s a more general time, we use at:
at the beginning of August
at Christmas/at Christmas time
If it’s a season or a month, we use in:
If you say “I like to be with my family at Christmas time”, you’re talking about the holiday around Christmas, and not one specific date such as Christmas Day.
I like to eat mince pies at Christmas – this means the time around Christmas.
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