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Spanish Christmas Vocabulary: A Quick Guide to Celebrating Holidays

Ho, ho ho! OK, we’ll stop now.

Christmas is near, and that’s a fact. We’re not going to tell you New Year, new me, and all that stuff you already know, because we are not selling you a gym or nutrition plan.

However, we want to show you some new words related to the holiday season in Spain. So let’s dive into the Spanish Christmas vocabulary guide we prepared for you.

If you are spending the Christmas holidays in Spain, you should know how to wish someone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Or how to shop for some Christmas decorations.

We believe that this guide of vocabulary for Christmas will help you navigate through some situations no matter where and who you celebrate the holidays with. Not to mention the fun you’ll have!

Let’s get on with it then!

A Guide Through Spanish Christmas Vocabulary

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (alright, Andy! We get it!).

We don’t know how people in other countries celebrate the winter holidays, but in Spain, Christmas is a really big thing! You will see why.

In this guide through vocabulary for Christmas, we gathered the most important Spanish Christmas words and expressions that can come in handy during the holidays.

Decorated Christmas Tree
Decorated Christmas Tree

Spanish Christmas Expressions

Children are incredibly excited about the Christmas holidays but not just them. The grown-ups are also fond of the Christmas spirit and all that comes with it.

Do you ever wonder why we use merry for Christmas and happy for New Year in English? Why aren’t they both happy? A funny thing is that in this vocabulary for Christmas you will find out that Spaniards say happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Interesting, right?

So, before celebrating, learn what Christmas words in Spanish to say when the clock strikes midnight. In the following tables, you will find some of the usual Christmas expressions Spaniards say to each other on Christmas and New Year’s Eve!

¡Feliz Navidad!
Merry Christmas!
¡Felices fiestas!
¡Felices fiestas!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Happy New Year!
¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!
Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
¡Feliz Día de Reyes!
Happy Three Kings' Day! (Happy Epiphany Day!)

General Spanish Christmas Vocabulary

Now, before we get down to business and start decorating a Christmas tree, let’s review some basic Christmas words in Spanish.

Recommendation: There is no need to memorize these Spanish Christmas words all at once. What we recommend is to write down the ones you like most, then call one of your Spanish friends and practice them in a sentence together.

We don’t mind if you don’t believe in Santa or if you think the presents in the Christmas stocking are only for kids. Maybe you will like the Christmas lottery better!

Either way, we will teach you how to say and pronounce these Christmas words in Spanish so no one can steal your thunder at your Christmas dinner!

Ready? Let the Christmas party begin!

El Año Nuevo
New Year
Fiestas navideñas
Christmas holidays
El día de Navidad
Christmas day
La Nochebuena
Christmas Eve
La Nochevieja
New Year's Eve
La cena de Navidad
Christmas dinner
La Misa del gallo/Misa de medianoche
Midnight Mass
Los Tres Reyes Magos
The Three Wise Men
La estrella de Belén
The Star of Bethlehem
El pesebre, belén
Manger, nativity scene
La lotería de Navidad/El Gordo de Navidad
Christmas lottery
El regalo de Navidad
Christmas present
El papel de regalo
Wrapping paper
Los villancicos
Christmas carols
Papá Noel
Santa Claus
La nieve
El trineo
Sled, sleigh
El muñeco de nieve
Los copos de nieve
El duende
El reno
Los juguetes
El calcetín navideño
Las campanas
El acebo
El Caganer
the ‘Pooper’
El Tió de Nadal
the ‘Poop log’
A person writing down the words in a notebook
General Christmas Vocabulary

Christmas Decoration

It all starts with decoration. Spaniards just love to decorate everything: streets, shops, and their homes. You will find that many words in Spanish Christmas vocabulary are related to ornaments! No village or municipality is left without it! Everything is so shiny and colorful!

Yet another peculiar thing you probably won’t be able to see as often in other places is a nativity scene. In Spain, Christmas is not Christmas without one displayed on the city squares. Or even in malls (we’ve seen it!).

Then, there’s a Christmas tree, a key part of the vocabulary for Christmas! Putting up the Christmas lights is an event in every city in Spain that people look forward to!

Now, do you need some help decorating your Christmas tree? Just say the word!

El árbol de Navidad
Christmas tree
El ángel
La vela
La bola de Navidad
Christmas ball
Los adornos
Decorations, ornaments
La estrella
La guirnalda
Garland, wreath
El espumillón, el oropel
Las luces de Navidad
Christmas lights
El muérdago
La purpurina
La lentejuela
Crystal ball decoration with glitter inside
Crystal ball ornaments with Glitter inside

Christmas Food and Drinks

One of the reasons Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year is food! Spanish holiday cuisine is really something! But most of all – sweets! Lots of them!

You can either buy them at a bakery or supermarket or prepare them yourself as the Spaniards do.

When talking about sweets, there’s this special bun that Spaniards eat on January 6 when they celebrate El Día de los Reyes. For that occasion, they either prepare or buy the roscón de Reyes, a favorite among children but grown-ups too.

Some sweets’ names are untranslatable due to their uniqueness, so what you will find in this Spanish Christmas vocabulary is more of a description.

Our mouth is watering, so let’s check them out!

El hombre de jengibre
Gingerbread man
El Roscón de Reyes
King cake
El turrón
El brindis
El mazapán
Los polvorones
Christmas powdery shortbreads
Los alfajores
Spanish Christmas confection
Los mantecados
A variety of Spanish shortbreads
Los canelones de Navidad
Christmas cannelloni
Las doce uvas
Twelve grapes
El cava
Cava (sparkling wine)
El champán
Christmas sweets called alfajores, made for holidays
Alfajores, Spanish Traditional Sweets Made for Christmas

Christmas Verbs

We won’t beat around the bush here. If you learned the Spanish Christmas words, you must also know the verbs. How else would you form a sentence?

Yes, we know. But we promise these verbs are easy to remember. You’ll see!

Recommendation: try to form a sentence with the words from the Spanish Christmas vocabulary you previously read (and hopefully learned) with the verbs from the table below you will conjugate. This way, it will be easier to memorize them. You can also add an emoji next to the sentences so that it sticks in your mind.

Celebrar la Navidad
To celebrate Christmas
Decorar el árbol de Navidad
To decorate Christmas tree
Envolver los regalos
To wrap the presents, gifts
Abrir los regalos
To open the presents, gifts
To give
Disfrutar de las fiestas (navideñas)
To enjoy the (Christmas) holidays
Preparar la comida
To prepare the food
Cantar villancicos
To sing Christmas carols

Final Thoughts

(*Christmas songs playing in the background*)

We hope you had fun reading this text and that you also managed to memorize some words! It’s so easy to learn them, especially if you are decorating a Christmas tree and going through this Spanish Christmas vocabulary. Visualization helps for sure!

If you have kids, you can also show them how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish or I’m wrapping up the presents for you! We bet they will like it!

After you learn the vocabulary for Christmas, you’ll see how it makes all the difference, first because you will show how much you know about Spanish culture and language. Second, you’ll enjoy the Christmas holidays with your friends without having to speak English.

What are the Spanish Christmas words, phrases, or verbs you memorized easily?

Until next time,
🎄 ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo! 🎄

17 Tips to Becoming Conversationally Fluent in Spanish


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