Season Greetings in 4 Different Languages

You might already be on your language adventure and perhaps you want to wish your host family, teacher or new friends a merry Christmas or happy new year in another language?


With Kaplan International now offering language courses in English, French, German and Spanish, let’s find out how to wish friends and family a happy new year in another language.


an English / AMERICAN christmas 


At this time of the year, town centers are lite up in beautiful fairy lights and peering through flats and houses around the the USA and UK you'll see Christmas trees adorned with beautiful decorations. Shoppers are out in full force and British pubs are spilling over with festive drinkers. It's a magical time of the year.  


Christmas Eve is when friends usually get together to have a festive drink, with everyone waking up on Christmas morning with their families. Presents is strictly done on Christmas day but each families' tradition differ as to whether that's as you wake up or after your meal. The majority of those celebrating feast on turkey, pigs in blanket, parsnips, carrots, mashed potato (USA) and Yorkshire pudding (UK).


In the UK, the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day, and originally comes from long ago when the upper class would give house servants boxes of fruit and food to take the day off and relax after working on Christmas day. Today, many people hit the sales both in-store and online to bag themselves a bargain. 


Season greetings in English: 


Merry Christmas

Eg: I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.


Happy Holidays

Eg: Happy holidays to everyone, I'll see you all next year! 


Season’s Greetings

Eg: Season greetings from my family to yours!


Happy New Year

Eg: Happy new year, may it bring only good things.


Be Merry

Eg: I will meet my friends, we'll drink, eat and be merry!



a French christmas 


In France, if you're invited to a Christmas meal you should check the date. Some families celebrate Christmas Eve with a big meal and present opening and others might open presents on Christmas morning followed by a lazy lunch. Both are considered the norm and it varies from family to family.


Traditional Christmas food includes an appetizer of foie gras followed by mains of turkey or duck, finishing off with a very traditional Yule log, also known as a bûche de noël.


Tourists and locals can also enjoy one of the many Christmas markets dotted all over the country. Here you'll usually find Christmas decorations, unique gifts for family and friends, local produce and delicious festive food. These markets create a lovely atmosphere and can be enjoyed by the whole family.


Season greetings in French: 


Joyeux Noël – Merry Christmas

Eg: Nous vous souhaitons un joyeux Noël !


Joyeuses Fêtes – Happy Holidays

Eg: Passez de joyeuses fêtes et à l’année prochaine !


Bonne Année – Happy New Year

Eg: Je vous souhaite à tous une très bonne année 2020.


Fêtes de fin d’année  – End of year celebrations

Eg: Toute la famille se joint à moi pour vous souhaiter de belles fêtes de fin d’année.


Meilleurs vœux  – Best wishes

Eg: Je t’envoie mes meilleurs vœux pour cette nouvelle année.





In Germany, most families (usually only parents and siblings) sit down to open presents and enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve dinner. Many people go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and families with small children take them earlier around 6pm where they can watch a nativity play. Seeing extended family, like aunts, uncles and grandparents is reserved for the following days of the 25th and 26th December, where they'll open presents and have another meal. 


With Christmas markets originating in Germany, it's essential to visit one of these around the festive period. Made up of wooden chalets, it dates back to when local traders would sell their fare in the run up to Christmas and today these markets are prized on selling local produce and unique gifts. Open from the end of November, it's lovely to get together with friends, drink mulled wine and feast on festive foods.


Season greetings in German: 


Frohe/Fröhliche Weihnachten – Merry Christmas!

Eg: Fröhliche Weihnachten für dich und deine Familie!


Schöne Feiertage! – Happy holidays!

Eg: Schöne Feiertage, ihr Lieben! Wir sehen uns nächstes Jahr!


Ein frohes neues Jahr! – A happy new year!

Eg: Ich wünsche euch ein frohes neues Jahr!


Besinnliche Festtage! – Contemplative holidays!

Eg: Ich wünsche dir besinnliche Festtage!


Schöne Adventszeit! – Happy Advent!

Eg: Wir wünschen euch eine schöne Adventszeit!





In Spain, it's a strong tradition that many locals head to mass on Christmas Eve and partake in nativity scenes, with locals dressing up, singing songs and telling stories. Traditional foods include jamon (traditional Spanish cured ham), sweet biscuits called mantecados, nougat known as turron and sweet bread flavoured with fruit and spices called roscos navidenos. Another very Spanish tradition is to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve to bring luck for every month of the year.

December 28th is the Spanish equivalent of the Western April Fools' Day, known as 'Día de los santos inocentes' or 'Day of the Innocent Saints'. It's tradition to try and trick each other into believing silly stories. It's so popular that even newspapers and TV stations get involved in the trickery. 


Season greetings in Spanish: 


¡Feliz Navidad! – Merry Christmas 

Eg: Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo.


Feliz año nuevo – Happy New Year 

Eg: Feliz año nuevo mamá y papá.


Que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad – I wish for all your wishes come true

Eg: Estas navidades, que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad!


Felices Reyes – Happy Epiphany (January 6th) 

Eg: Felices reyes a tu familia.


Que tengas felices fiestas – I wish you a merry Christmas

Eg: Que tengas felices fiestas y un año nuevo feliz!


Take a look at some other festive vocabulary to get you through the festive season, no matter where you are: 


English   French   German   Spanish 



Bonhomme   de neige


 Muñeco   de nieve



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