My Nana is a plant lady. All varieties, she's not biased. She's got this Christmas cactus that's got buds on it, surely it will be beautiful for the Christmas season... but is it actually a Christmas cactus? Apparently not.
Thanks to a very definitive explanation from desertsucculents.com, we have discovered her beloved Christmas cactus is in fact a Thanksgiving cactus. Go figure. Those jagged "teeth" on the stems are indicative of the Thanksgiving cactus. A Christmas cactus on the other hand would have smaller segmented leaves that are more rounded and slightly notched.
As with the yam/sweet potato post, most sellers (knowingly or unknowingly) mislabel their cacti and lump them all as Christmas cacti. There's also an Easter cactus that has similar stem characteristics as well, but it's stems are even more rounded than the Christmas cactus. The Desert Succulent website has a great photo and sketch of the three side-by-side if you're confused by the lingo. I remember it in order... Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter... Jagged, less jagged, not jagged.
Do you have a "Christmas" cactus who has been mislabeled?