Festive ways of wishing Merry Christmas in French

Updated: Feb 24

Almost Christmas! Are you looking for ways to say merry Christmas and wish happy new year to your friends and relatives?

In that case, keep reading till the end as you will learn how to say merry Christmas in French, happy holidays, season's greetings, decoration items names, and more.




1. How do you say merry Christmas in French?


To wish merry or happy Christmas in French we simply say Joyeux Noël. Another variant is Bonne fête de Noël.


If you want to be a bit more formal, you can use the verb souhaiter which means to wish. In that case you should say :

  • Je te souhaite un joyeux Noël;

  • Je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël.


Depending on your relationship with the person you are talking to, you could use tu or vous instead. You can find a full explanation of when to use tu or vous here.



2. How to wish happy holidays and season’s greetings in French?


Everybody does not celebrate Christmas. For those people, it would be more convenient to wish them happy holidays. In French, the equivalent expression is Joyeuses fêtes.

You can also say Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année to mean happy end of year holidays in case you want to be more precise. Bonnes fêtes or Excellentes fêtes can be used as well. A combination with the verb souhaiter is also possible.

« Je vous souhaite de joyeuses fêtes » or « je vous souhaite de bonnes fêtes ».


For the new year's wishes, we generally say meilleurs vœux which can be translated as best wishes.

Other formulations can also be used. For example :

  • Bonne et heureuse année;

  • Je te souhaite une bonne et heureuse année;

  • Tous mes vœux les meilleurs.


3. What to write in your Christmas or season’s greetings card?


Several expressions can be useful when wishing merry Christmas or happy new year. It depends on your inspiration and also on how close you are to the person you are writing to.



Here are some typical sentences you can use in your greeting’s cards.


  • Nous vous souhaitons une très bonne fête de Noël à toi et à ta famille. => We wish merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • Recevez nos meilleurs vœux de santé, joie, et prospérité, … => Receive our best wishes of health, joy and prosperity.

  • Tous mes vœux de bonheur et santé. => All my wishes of happiness and health.

  • Je te souhaite une excellente année pleine de joie, santé et amour. => I wish you an excellent year full of joy, health and love.

  • Pour cette nouvelle année, nous te présentons nos meilleurs vœux. => We present to you our best wishes for this new year.

  • A toi et à tes proches, je vous envoie mes meilleurs vœux de santé, amour, et paix. =>To you and your relatives, i am sending my best wishes of health, love and peace.

  • Je te souhaite une année riche en belles surprises. => I wish you a year rich in nice surprises.

  • Une année prospère, paisible et sans Covid-19, voici mes voeux pour vous pour l’année 2021. => A prosperous, peaceful year and Covid-19 free, these are wishes for you for 2021.

This last one could be very great regarding the current context of Covid-19.


4. French Christmas activities vocabulary


Talking about Christmas involves knowing all the vocabulary about activities around it like giving presents, decorating, and so on.

Below is a list of some activities that people do for Christmas.

  • Décorer = to decorate

  • Offrir des cadeaux = to give presents

  • Recevoir des cadeaux = to receive presents

  • Déballer les cadeaux = to open the presents

  • Passer le réveillon de Noël en famille = to spend the Christmas eve with family

  • Se retrouver en famille = to meet up with family

  • Aller à la messe = to go to the mass

  • Manger de la dinde =to eat turkey

  • Manger des huîtres = to eat oysters

  • Manger des marrons = to eat chestnuts

  • Déguster la bûche de Noël = to taste the Christmas log.

  • Participer au marché de Noël = to participate to the Christmas fair

  • Cuisiner/préparer = to cook

  • Écrire au père Noël = to write to Santa

  • Écrire une carte de vœux = to write a greeting card.



5. Christmas decoration vocabulary


A long time before Christmas, streets, shops and even houses are decorated. It would be great to know how to name decoration stuff.

Here is a vocabulary list of Christmas decoration in case you might want to tell your friends what you bought for Christmas


  • Une décoration = a decoration

  • Un sapin de Noël = a Christmas tree

  • Une boule de Noël = a ball ornament

  • Des guirlandes (f) = garlands

  • Un bonhomme de beige = a snowman

  • Le père Noël= Santa

  • Un renne = a reindeer

  • La neige = snow

  • Un Traîneau = a sleigh

  • Un sucre d’orge = a candy cane

  • Une étoile = a star

  • Une chaussette de Noël = a Christmas stocking

  • Le gui = mistletoe

  • Le houx = holly

  • Les guirlandes électriques =strings of light

  • un cadeau = a present

  • Une cloche = a bell

  • Un chapeau = a hat.


I hope this vocabulary will be very helpful. While waiting to celebrate Christmas, this is my message for you : je vous souhaite à tous de passer de bonnes fêtes de Noël et du nouvel an. Que 2021 soit une année de paix, santé, amour, pleine de bonnes résolutions et surtout sans Covid-19. => I wish you all to spend a merry Christmas and happy new year. May 2021 be a year of peace, health, love, full of good resolutions and most importantly without Covid-19.

Speaking about resolutions, what is your resolution for next year? Say it in French in the comments.


Fore more about Christmas


French Christmas songs with lyrics

Free French Christmas activities



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