It’s hard to choose a unique, heartfelt Christmas greeting for cards, letters, emails and other holiday messages.
Well, why not try out some new Spanish Christmas greetings?
Once you’ve got some festive vocabulary under your belt, you can add to the cheer by spreading some Christmas love in español.
Why Learn Spanish Christmas Greetings?
There are only so many ways you can say “Merry Christmas” in English. The Brits mix things up by referring to Christmas as Crimbo, and wishing friends and family a “Happy Christmas” as well as a “Merry” one. But if you’re not in the UK, you might get some strange looks talking about Crimbo.
For example, it will come in handy to know what to reply when someone says “Felices Fiestas.” Should you reply with “igualmente”? Or should you reply like you do when someone says “mucho gusto” (it’s nice to meet you)? Or is it more of a “y tú también” (and you too) kind of situation? (The answer: Go for “igualmente” or “igual para ti/usted.”)
These are just the kinds of things you’ll need to know to fit in over Christmas.
And of course, double the language, means double the holiday joy! So get ready to learn how to spread some festive Spanish cheer.
Traditional Spanish Christmas Greetings
The greetings you’ll see most often around the Christmas season are “¡Feliz Navidad!” (Happy Christmas) and elices Fiestas!” (Happy Holidays). There’s no being merry in Spanish around the Xmas season, it’s all about the happiness.
Other new year greetings are eliz Año Nuevo!” (Happy New Year), which is often shortened to just eliz Año!” (Happy Year). Don’t get mixed up and say these greetings too soon. Save them until December 31st. Also, don’t forget that Spanish-speaking countries usually celebrate Christmas on December 24th, not the 25th. They call the evening of the 24th Nochebuena (good night).
You can also pass on your good wishes for the new year by saying something like “que tengas un próspero año” (I hope you have a prosperous new year). This might be a good one to write in a Christmas card, message or an email, and could also fit nicely in a Happy New Year tweet—though if you’re messaging your numerous followers, be sure to change tengas to tengan. If you’re not sure why we’re using the subjunctive form of the verb tener here, or aren’t sure what the subjunctive form even is, see this post.
If you want to add a little more love or affection to your Christmas messages, try something like “con mucho cariño, te deseo una Feliz Navidad (with all my love, I wish you a Happy Christmas) and you could tack on “y un próspero Año Nuevo“ there if you want to go all out.
Spanish Greetings for Wishing Joy and Happiness to Others
To go even further with the Xmas love, you can wish joy and happiness to those around you with the following phrases:
Mis mejores deseos para Navidad y Año Nuevo.
My best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
Te deseo mucha alegría y felicidad estas fiestas.
I wish you lots of joy and happiness this holiday season.
Que se cumplan tus deseos/sueños.
I hope your dreams come true.
Este año te deseo amor, dinero y salud.
This year I wish you love, money and good health.
Mucho cariño para ti y tu familia esta Navidad.
Lots of love to you and your family this Christmas.
Que lo pasen lindo.
I hope you have a nice time. (This refers to the Christmas celebrations themselves.)
Que lo pasen en familia.
I hope you spend time with your family.
You can even go further by adding a bit of peace to your message.
Que en esta Navidad el mejor regalo que recibas sea estar junto a tus seres queridos compartiendo paz, esperanza y alegría.
I hope that this Christmas the best present you get is to be near your loved ones sharing peace, hope and joy.
You can switch these around or be more specific about spreading joy over the holidays (las fiestas), Christmas (Navidad) or New Year (Año Nuevo). So in the one about wishing that other people’s dreams come true—a very nice sentiment, I’m sure you’ll agree—you could say “Que se cumplan tus deseos estas fiestas/esta Navidad/en el Año Nuevo, ” or even be more specific and simply put “en 2016.” (in 2016).
You could also simply write one of the above messages, such as “Que lo pasen lindo, ” and then put “¡Feliz navidad!” at the end.
Religious Spanish Christmas Greetings
If you’d like to spread some joy of a more religious nature, try these phrases. As before, you can tack on different endings as you like.
Que Dios te bendiga este Año Nuevo.
God bless you this new year.
Que Jesús te proteja a ti y a tu familia este Año Nuevo.
May Jesus protect you and your family this New Year.
Que la estrella de Belén ilumine tu vida esta Navidad.
I hope that Bethlehem’s star lights up your life this Christmas.
Que los Reyes (Magos) te protejan.
May the three Kings (Wise Men) protect you.
Apart from the last two, which have more of an Xmas feel to them, you could use the first two phrases throughout the year, for any occasion, by just saying the first part of the phrase (Que dios te bendiga) and leaving out the New Year’s or Christmas part.
Note that in many Spanish countries, the Reyes Magos are said to visit on January 6th, so you may hear references to them, especially around this time.
More Playful Spanish Christmas Greetings
If you like to spread the Xmas love by making your loved ones laugh, giggle or smile, you can try these more playful Christmas greetings. (Note that some of these may not be appropriate for the family dinner table).
Todo lo que quiero para Navidad eres tú.
All I want for Xmas is you.
Nos vemos debajo del muérdago.
See you under the mistletoe. (Be careful where you use this one! There is no mistletoe in Latin America, although some people may understand the reference through having seen Christmas movies.)
Espero que no te hayas portado mal este año.
I hope you haven’t been too naughty this year.
No le des demasiado al turrón.
Go easy on the turrón (a Spanish nougat candy).
Toasting on Christmas
As most Spanish-speaking families celebrate on the 24th, they toast at midnight. If you suddenly find yourself having to lead the toast, remember that the verb for “to toast” is brindar, so you can say:
I toast to…
And then add on whatever you want toast to. You could say, for example:
Brindo por un próspero año nuevo para todos.
To a prosperous new year for all of us.
Brindo por nuestra amistad.
A toast to our friendship.
Brindo por la paz, la alegría y la felicidad.