Beginning in the mid-20th century, as the Christian-associated Christmas holiday and liturgical season, in some circles, became increasingly commercialized and central to American economics and culture while religio-multicultural sensitivity rose, generic references to the season that omitted the word "Christmas" became more common in the corporate and public sphere of the United States, which has caused a semantics controversy that continues to the present. By the late 20th century, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the new African American cultural holiday of Kwanzaa began to be considered in the U. S. as being part of the "holiday season", a term that as of 2013 has become equally or more prevalent than "Christmas season" in U. S. sources to refer to the end-of-the-year festive period. "Holiday season" has also spread in varying degrees to Canada; however, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the phrase "holiday season" is not widely synonymous with the Christmas–New Year period, and is often instead associated with summer holidays.
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