When Does Christmas Come Before Thanksgiving? A Riddle That Will Make You Think

Have you ever wondered when does Christmas come before Thanksgiving? It sounds impossible, right? After all, Christmas Day is always on December 25th, while Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. How can Christmas ever be before Thanksgiving in the calendar?

Well, the answer to this riddle is not about the dates, but about the words. Yes, you read that right. The words Christmas and Thanksgiving have a certain relationship that makes this riddle possible. Do you want to know what it is? Then keep reading and find out.

The Secret of the Alphabet

The key to solving this riddle is to think literally rather than logically. When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving? The answer is: in the dictionary!

That’s right, the word Christmas comes before the word Thanksgiving in the dictionary because it is alphabetically ordered. The letter C comes before the letter T in the alphabet, so any word that starts with C will come before any word that starts with T in the dictionary.

This is a clever trick that makes this riddle fun and challenging. It plays with our expectations and assumptions about the meaning of the words and the order of the events. It also tests our knowledge of the alphabet and the dictionary.

The Origin and History of the Riddle

This riddle is not a new invention. It has been around for a long time and has been used as a brain teaser, a joke, or a conversation starter. According to Quick Answer, the earliest recorded version of this riddle dates back to 1896, when it appeared in a newspaper called The Daily News of New York.

The riddle was also popularized by a famous comedian and actor named Groucho Marx, who used it in his radio show You Bet Your Life in the 1950s. He would ask his guests this riddle and then make witty remarks about their answers.

The riddle has also been featured in various books, movies, TV shows, and websites over the years. For example, it was used in the movie Miracle on 34th Street (1947), the TV show The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019), and the website Riddles.com.

The Meaning and Significance of the Riddle

This riddle is not just a simple word game. It also has a deeper meaning and significance that can teach us some valuable lessons. Here are some of them:

  • It reminds us to be creative and flexible in our thinking. Sometimes, the obvious answer is not the correct one, and we need to look at things from a different perspective. This can help us solve problems, overcome challenges, and discover new possibilities.
  • It encourages us to be curious and learn new things. Sometimes, we may not know the answer to a question, and we need to do some research, ask for help, or consult a reliable source. This can help us expand our knowledge, improve our skills, and satisfy our curiosity.
  • It shows us the importance of language and communication. Sometimes, the words we use may have different meanings, connotations, or implications, and we need to be careful, clear, and respectful in how we use them. This can help us avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and errors.

The Fun and Joy of the Riddle

This riddle is not only a clever and challenging puzzle. It is also a fun and joyful activity that can bring us some entertainment and happiness. Here are some of the benefits of riddles:

  • They stimulate our brain and improve our cognitive abilities. Riddles activate our logical, analytical, and creative thinking skills, as well as our memory, attention, and concentration. They also enhance our mental health and prevent cognitive decline.
  • They make us laugh and smile. Riddles often have humorous or surprising twists that make us chuckle or grin. They also release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel good and reduce stress.
  • They connect us with others and foster social bonds. Riddles are great icebreakers and conversation starters that can help us break the ice, start a conversation, or keep it going. They also promote cooperation, collaboration, and competition, which are essential for healthy and positive relationships.


When does Christmas come before Thanksgiving? This is a riddle that will make you think, learn, and have fun. It is a riddle that has a long history, a deep meaning, and a joyful effect. It is a riddle that you can share with your friends, family, and colleagues, and enjoy the benefits of riddles together.

So, the next time you hear this riddle, don’t be confused or frustrated. Instead, be creative and flexible, be curious and knowledgeable, be careful and clear, be stimulated and improved, be happy and relaxed, and be connected and bonded. And remember, Christmas comes before Thanksgiving in the dictionary!