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Why does the Doctor celebrate Christmas?

Why not Hanukkah, or kwanza or some Gallifreyan holiday?

Canon answer if possible, not just: the BBC celebrates it, thats why.

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If you don't know how can anyone else possibly know? ;) –  NominSim Dec 24 '12 at 19:03
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And I supposed wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey will not be an accepted answer? –  Monty129 Dec 24 '12 at 20:49
    
That would be a too easy escape I guess. :P –  Mario Dec 24 '12 at 22:58
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not a canon answer but of course you hit the nail on the head: he celebrates Christmas because it gives the BBC a no-brainer marketing opportunity, plus an annual tie-in with their Children in Need Christmas charity special. –  Michael Edenfield Dec 26 '12 at 17:44
    
@MichaelEdenfield, +1 for the timing (Dec 26) :) –  András Hummer Nov 26 '13 at 3:14
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2 Answers

I don't think the Doctor celebrates Christmas exclusively, though granted, his appearances in film do seem centered around the Christmas holiday. The Doctor celebrates celebrations. His is a life of challenge and strife and with the TARDIS he does not have to deal with the dreariness of Mondays or Tuesdays, he can have every day belong to any particular festivity he wants.

The Doctor spends a lot of time at parties because they bring out the very best (and sometimes) the very worst in people. But both of those things are what the Doctor is interested in, not the holiday in and of itself. The Doctor's interests lie in people, no matter what their shape, form, religion or celebration. Think of how often we see the Doctor attending parties even when he doesn't have a gift. In "The End of the World", he offers "air from his lungs" as his gift for the celebration. No one bats an eye. You try that at Christmas...

We see the Doctor taking River Song to a variety of parties and festivals during their "dates" while she was in prison. I can see the Doctor at a bar or bat mitzvah, just as easily, and I suspect weddings are his favorite events, but other festive events are likely to be equally satisfying.

There have been Gallifreyan holidays he has celebrated in the written Doctor Who stories such as the Feast of Omega, celebrating one of the very first Time Lords. (PROSE: Happy Endings)

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Not to forget his party, date (and marriage) with Marilyn Monroe. The gift in The End of the World has been something special IMO (nut just trying to blend by doing something silly). He got surprised by others expecting a present, but he's been fast enough to consider the air to be something special for the guests (considering they're trees). –  Mario Dec 24 '12 at 22:58
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The Doctor himself does not celebrate Christmas. The focus on Christmas in post-Time-War Doctor's life is a result of several factors:

  • The biggest reason is that all of his primary companions have been British (English or Scottish; not sure what Jack Harkness counts as), and they celebrate Christmas. The Doctor often returns them home for Christmas as a favor to them. Note that he usually refuses to actually "celebrate" Christmas, although he is always invited to dinner, and instead prefers to run off somewhere else.

  • He is particularly fascinated with Earth, humans, and in particular Great Britain. This means he tends to find himself in the area of Great Britain even when he doesn't have a companion. Since Christmas is traditionally a time of celebration in Britain, it's understandable that The Doctor would enjoy showing up during that time.

  • For many years, The Doctor ended up saving London from imminent destruction on Christmas, to the point that it became a running joke among the residents. In both "The Runaway Bride" and "The Voyage of the Damned", the fact that this happened on Christmas was entirely coincidental, but it certainly created a connection between The Doctor and Christmas in London.

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Peri Brown was supposed to be American, although played by British actress Nicola Bryant. –  DaveP Dec 26 '12 at 15:55
    
Yes, I was specifically talking about the "new series" companions. In the original series he had plenty of non-British companions (most of Four and Five's companions weren't even human) but there was also no particular emphasis on Christmas in those episodes. –  Michael Edenfield Dec 26 '12 at 17:40
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