Christmas, Outside at Christmas, Christmas lights

Sending Christmas greetings across the world

In the U.K., there are many ways to wish one another a happy Christmas. “Merry Christmas” and “Season’s Greetings” are the two most popular. With many other countries celebrating at this time of year too, eSense Translations shares the different ways Christmas greetings are shared in other languages and cultures.


There are plenty of festivities at this time of year in the USA. From Thanksgiving in November, right through to the New Year, there are plenty of reasons to get together with friends and family and enjoy the celebrations. With the multiple celebrations, you will often hear “Happy Holidays” here to cover the whole season.



In Germany, you can wish people a “Merry Christmas” by saying Fröhliche Weihnachten(formal) or Frohe Weihnachten (for friends and family).

You can also say, Schöne Feiertage, meaning “Happy Holidays” or Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr, which is “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.



Christmas is widely celebrated in France and, like in the U.K., it is not necessary to be Christian to join in the festivities.

A Christmas greeting frequently used in France, so much so that many in the U.K. would also be aware of it is Joyeux Noël meaning “Merry Christmas”. However, unlike in the U.K., this greeting is not used weeks in advance, but only a few days prior to the day.

“Happy Holidays” may also be said using Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année.

Meilleurs vœux is used at this time of year to mean “Season’s Greetings”, however throughout the rest of the year it simply means best wishes.

Bonne année et bonne santé can be used to wish a “Happy New Year and good health.” This is also a popular greeting in France, as it is common to wish someone good health.



In Spain, Christmas greetings do not include “Merry”, instead they wish one another a “Happy Christmas” ¡Feliz Navidad! or Happy Holidays ¡Felices Fiestas! during their celebrations, which take place mainly on the 24th December, as opposed to the 25th here.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! or ¡Feliz Año!  is used to wish one another a Happy New Year.



Italy is another country where Christmas is widely celebrated. A straightforward way to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” there is Buon Natale. However, in Italy too you can say “Happy Holidays” as Buone feste, as at this time of year, this can also be interpreted as “Happy Christmas.”

A more formal greeting, perhaps one you would write is Auguro a tutti Voi un Natale Seren, which means “I wish you all a Merry Christmas.”

And to say “Happy New Year” in Italy, you can use Buon anno or Felice Anno Nuovo.


If you are travelling away at Christmas time or are just interested in the different ways in which other countries celebrate, check out our other blog, Christmas Across the World.

We hope you have a great time over the festive period wherever you are in the world and whatever you are doing. We’d love to hear your festive stories here too. Just share them below this blog.


By Lorna Paice



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