For the past three weeks anytime anyone mentions the phrase "Christmas-time", my son goes through the same line of questioning.
"Is it Christmas-time?"
"Tonight? It's Christmas tonight?"
And then I launch into the same explanation, how Christmas-time is the "season" and the days and weeks leading up to and following the actual Christmas DAY are "Christmas-time". I understand his confusion, he doesn't go to school so the day-to-day lapse of time and a calendar isn't conveyed to him. He clocks his Christmas-time by watching the lights appear on neighboring houses, by the number of seasonal shows on Nick Jr and by the sudden appearance of wrapping paper that has just been pulled out of the closet ("What's that for Mom? Whatcha wrapping Mom? Can I just take one teensy little peek Mom?"). He doesn't yet understand that all the festivities account for the time, culminating in one beautiful day. But that it's not just the singular day that creates the Christmas feeling. He is slowly starting to appreciate the joy and warmth of the season, of the "Christmas-time", and not just the build up to that one singular day of gift giving and receiving. I try to keep things low-key and focused on the whole enjoyment of the season and all of the treats that come along with that, including the lights on houses, Rudolph on TV, making cookies and ornaments and of course, all that wrapping paper!
Here he is last year, anticipating the holidays in his darling reindeer jammies!