- offers tons of vocabulary lists to help you practice your favorite holiday words.
- (Christian Dramas) offers Spanish-language Christmas plays. What better way to learn Christmas vocabulary than getting together with friends and putting on a festive play? Or you can just read them yourself for fun. But be sure to do voices. Voices are essential.
- offers a great list of familiar Christmas carols. Choose your favorite Christmas carol, and you can learn the lyrics in Spanish. Once you learn carols in Spanish, you’ll never forget the vocabulary—those things are unbelievably catchy. When you spend the next three years with “Cascabeles” (Jingle Bells) constantly ringing in your head, just don’t blame us.
Spanish Christmas Greetings
1. Feliz Navidad — Merry/Happy Christmas
2. Felices Fiestas — Happy Holidays
3. Próspero Año Nuevo — It’s used to mean “Happy New Year, ” but it literally means “prosperous New Year.”
4. Nochebuena — This term for “Christmas Eve” literally means “Good Night.” It usually consists of a large meal.
5. Misa del Gallo — This means “Midnight Mass” or literally “Rooster’s Mass.” Many Catholic families attend this mass at midnight on Christmas Eve as part of their annual celebrations.
6. Navidad — Christmas
7. Día de Navidad — Christmas Day
8. Día de los Santos Inocentes — This “Day of the Holy Innocents” is celebrated on December 28th. Though it has Biblical origins, it is now much like the American April Fool’s Day where people play small pranks on each other.
9. Nochevieja — This term for “New Year’s Eve” literally means “old night.”
10. Año Nuevo — New Year
11. Día de Año Nuevo — New Year’s Day
12. Noche de Reyes — This means “Night of Kings, ” referencing the Three Kings most Americans are familiar with. Noche de Reyes occurs on the night of January 5th into the morning of the 6th. In many Spanish-speaking countries (and indeed, many other countries around the world), most gifts are traditionally delivered by the Three Kings during this night. On Christmas, the children just receive small gifts.
13. Día de Reyes — This “Day of Kings, ” is also known as “Epiphany” or “Three Kings’ Day.” It’s on January 6th. This is the proverbial “12th day of Christmas” and is celebrated with food and gifts. Though in the US this day is largely ignored, many people around the world (including in Spanish-speaking countries) consider this the pinnacle of the Christmas season.
14. Vacaciones de Navidad — “Christmas holidays” or “Christmas break.”
15. Niño Jesús — Baby Jesus
16. Virgen María y José — Virgin Mary and Joseph.
17. Reyes Magos — This literally means “Magi Kings.” It refers to the “Three Magi, ” “Three Kings” or, as they’re most commonly known in English, the “Three Wise Men.”
18. Papá Noel — Rather than Santa Claus, most Spanish-speaking countries have “Father Christmas.” He isn’t as popular as Santa, though, and he often leaves only a small gift on Christmas. The Reyes Magos usually bring more gifts on the Día de Reyes.
19. Árbol de Navidad — Christmas tree
20. Calcetín — Stocking
21. Luces navideñas — Christmas lights
22. Hombre de nieve — Snowman
23. Corona de Navidad — Christmas wreath
24. Flor de Navidad/Flor de Nochebuena — These terms for “poinsettia” literally mean “Christmas flower” or “Christmas Eve flower” respectively.
25. Adornos — Decorations/ornaments
26. Espumillón — Tinsel
27. Muérdago — Mistletoe
28. Acebo — Holly
29. Comida del día de Navidad — This refers to “Christmas dinner, ” though it literally means “food of Christmas Day.” In Spain, this often consists of pavo trufado de Navidad (truffled Christmas turkey) which is turkey rolled with truffles and various meats like pork and veal.
30. Tronco de Navidad — This literally means “Christmas trunk.” This term refers to a Yule log, also known as a bûche de Noël. It’s a rolled cake decorated to look like a log. Because, you know, nothing is more festive than eating a log. Mmm…woody.
31. Pastel de Navidad — This term means “Christmas cake.” Traditionally, these feature various dried fruits. Unlike American-style fruitcakes, though, they often feature almond paste and icing.
32. Polvorones — The word polvorones comes from the Spanish word polvo (dust/powder). These cookies are also known as “Mexican wedding cookies.” They’re buttery, crumbly cookies chock full of chopped walnuts and joy. Plus, they’re usually dusted in powdered sugar, making them look like tasty little snowballs.
33. Mazapán — This means “marzipan, ” which is a sweetened almond paste. It’s a particularly common holiday treat in Spain.
34. Turrón — This is a type of nougat. It can be flavored with any number of things including nuts, seeds, chocolate or spices. Seasonings vary regionally.