What Does ‘Tis the Season Mean?

‘Tis the Season Meaning

Definition: It is the time of year around Christmas; it is during the winter holidays; it is some other specific time of year.

People use this expression to imply that because it is near Christmastime, it is a good opportunity to do things that commonly happen around Christmas.

Origin of ‘Tis the Season

‘Tis is a contraction of it is. Outside of this phrase, ‘tis is rarely seen in writing or heard in speech. Season, of course, refers to the Christmas season.

The phrase has its origins in the Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls,” which was translated to English in 1862.

  • Deck the hall 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 la

Traditionally, people view the part of the year around Christmas as a time to be jolly and friendly towards others, as you can see from the lyrics of the carol.

Examples of ‘Tis the Season

tis the season to be jolly meaningThis example dialogue involves a husband and wife who are discussing where to eat for dinner.

Bobby: Where do you want to eat tonight?

Jennie: I’m not sure. Maybe we should go to that place that has candy cane desserts, eggnog, and all sorts of traditional Christmas treats.

Bobby: Well, ‘tis the season for such foods. Christmas is just a week away. That sounds great to me. Let’s go!

Jennie: I hope they have fruitcake!

Bobby: I hope they have ham.

Jennie: And wassail!

tis the season defineOne friend is talking to another about a new idea he had.

Andrew: Aaron, I’ve been thinking a lot about giving back to the community. I feel like I’ve become a really selfish person, and since it’s around Christmas time, I want to do some volunteering.

Aaron: Sure. Go ahead. That sounds like it will be good for you!

Andrew: I think you should come with me.

Aaron: Why? I’m not selfish.

Andrew: There are a lot many people who need help. Anyway, ‘tis the season of loving and caring!

Aaron: Okay, fine. If it’s so important to you, I’ll help.

Andrew: Awesome!

More Examples

This excerpt is about a movie coming out in December.

  • As message vehicles go, “Rooted in Peace” may be the hot cocoa and marshmallows version of a Michael Moore film, but ‘tis the season, after all. –LA Times

The second excerpt is about different shows on TV around the Christmas holiday.

  • Tis the season for a new holiday-themed edition of “Cake Wars.” –LA Times


The saying ‘tis the season means it’s that time of year and refers to the Christmas season.