It's a big time of the year for men dressed in red and white.
And while Santa Claus gets ready for his big annual performance, in north Belfast Cliftonville are preparing for a big journey themselves.
The Solitude outfit have already come a long way in the last two-and-a-half seasons under Eddie Patterson.
Fifth in 2005-06 the Reds were in the title race right up until the last couple of games last time around, even though manager Eddie Patterson played down his side's Championship credentials from midway through the campaign.
And rightly so because the last thing he wanted was the weight of expectation bearing down on his squad of developing talent.
This season only a fool would rule Cliftonville out of contention, especially as they are currently looking down on the rest of the pack - a point ahead of defending champions Linfield and three better off than fellow challengers Glentoran.
Although Patterson is still a relative rookie in management - in comparison to David Jeffrey's 11-year spell at Windsor Park and Ronnie McFall who has now been in charge of Portadown for 21 years - he has won many admirers and last season's Manger of the Year title wasn't that far from his grasp.
The one prize he wants to get hold of this time around though is the Irish Premier League title and like every other boss Patterson is well aware of how key the next two or three weeks will be to his team's chance of still being at the top of the pile come the end of April.
That starts tomorrow with the biggest Premier League meeting of the season so far when the first placed Reds host Glentoran, who are in third.
After that Cliftonville travel to Crusaders for their annual Boxing Day derby followed by home games against Limavady United and Portadown before the second-half of the campaign starts with another Sky Sports Showdown with Linfield, this time at Windsor Park.
"Every game that we play now is a massive game," said Patterson.
"We are top of the table and for the teams that are playing us we're a big scalp.
"The boys have put themselves up there to be shot at and this is a big learning curve for them.
"Up until now things have gone well for us and if we can come out of the Christmas and New Year period with more points in the bag than we lose that will tell a tale."
Patterson has also worked some magic in the transfer market, picking up players like John Connolly, David McAlinden and Kieran O'Connor who hadn't exactly set the league alight at their previous clubs and brought the very best out in them.
The likes of George McMullan, Declan O'Hara, Mark Holland and returning hero Francis Murphy have also come to the fore more than ever and the current panel at Solitude is the strongest the club has had since their 1998 title winning season under Marty Quinn.
"Last season, the last five games the players were out on their feet, including the Irish Cup semi-final against Dungannon," said Patterson.
"We've added to the squad and it's stronger than it was last season.
"Over the Christmas period we're going to have a couple of games a week.
" Injuries, suspensions, whatever it may be, could take their toll, but we are better equipped now."
The big question surrounding Cliftonville is whether they have the mettle to deal with the pressure of challenging for a championship.
Not one player in the Solitude dressing room has been in this situation before, but is Patterson concerned?
Not at all.
Being the thinking manager that he is Patterson has developed a clever way of training his players to cope with whatever comes their way.
"We've never been in this situation before so we've got to look at the reverse because that is the only experience we can draw on," he said.
"What they players have got to draw from is to think back to when we played Glentoran, Linfield and Portadown when they were top of the table.
"We have to think about how we raised our game and we've got to put that into the context now where we are on the receiving end. We've got to adapt a tough mental attitude.
" If the boys can learn that and bring it on board then I think we'll manage."