Welcome back to Explained, where dictionary definitions are replaced by the photos that capture their essence. In this edition, we tackle the things that make this the most wonderful time of the year through photos that feature the best of what Christmas has to offer.

Pick a winner

The first step to achieving Christmas cheer? Picking out the perfect tree. It can be a challenge when you’re searching through fields of firs, but when you find the right tree for you, it’s like nothing else in the world matters. Next step, decorating.

The night before Christmas

The excitement is palpable. The fire is roaring. The stockings are stuffed and the presents are piled high under the perfectly trimmed tree. Now, all we have to do is wait and see who comes down the chimney, and if they’ll indulge in our milk and cookies.

A holiday feast

There’s nothing like an elegant Christmas dinner to put us in a festive mood, especially when the food and the company are both top-notch. Break out that roasted turkey, the glazed ham, maybe some roasted potatoes, the gravy, of course, and you’re set for the night (and the week with leftovers).

Santa Claus is coming to town

Is it really Christmas without a Christmas parade? It’s not every day you get to welcome Santa into your town, so you might as well go all out. We’re talking marching bands, floats, performances, the works. It’s the best way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Wrapped and ready

Christmas might be all the better when surrounded by your loved ones, but the presents are pretty great too. Close your eyes and feel the adrenaline of picking out that first gift from under the tree. What’ll it be this year?

Walking in a winter wonderland

From Los Angeles to Boston to London to Mumbai, everyone is dreaming of a white Christmas. Because what’s Christmas without a beautiful snowman, effervescent snow angels, or simply watching your breath fly through the air? Time to bundle up and get ready to frolic.

Dashing through the snow

It may not be a one-horse open sleigh, but it sure is fun to ride. There’s no better time than now to grab your warmest clothes, dust off that sled, and find the perfect hill. Then you can take advantage of the best part of the holiday season: letting loose.

Giving back

The holidays are the perfect time to give back to our communities, so if you have some extra time on your hands, why not spend it at a local soup kitchen or wrapping gifts for those in need? That’s what makes this the most wonderful time of the year.

Not a creature was stirring

Photo by Kate Gryson, Photomyne User Photo by Kate Gryson, Photomyne User

After a long day of opening presents, eating good food, playing in the snow, and then eating again, it’s reasonable to be tuckered out. Now it’s time to crawl into bed with a good book, and slowly drift off to dreamland.

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