The word "today" and past tense of verb "to be"

Since "today" implies the present, can that word ever be used in conjunction with the past tense of the verb "to be?"

Consider the following: "John retrieved his sled from his garage. Today was Christmas and he intended to make the most of it." Is the "was" okay in that context, even though it's a past tense verb and "today" describes the present day?

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