54 Useful French Vocabulary and Expressions for the Holiday Season


Last Updated: August 31, 2022

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Christmas is here!

Before you head off to do Christmas-y activities, here is a list of the most useful vocabulary and expressions related to the holidays. Learn the French holiday words and phrases for common Christmas topics, and spruce up your conversations with French Christmas words this season.

French Christmas Vocabulary

If you need more details about how Christmas is celebrated by the French, you can also visit this article about the ABCs of French Christmas and new Year or you can listen to this podcast episode about French Christmas traditions.

But now, here’s the list of French Christmas words. You can also download the PDF copy of this list. 

à Noëlat Christmas
la veille de NoëlChristmas eve
le jour de NoëlChristmas day
la Fête de NoëlChristmas holiday
le vingt-cinq décembreDecember 25
un cadeau de NoëlChristmas present
une carte de NoëlChristmas card
une carte de vœuxgreeting card
une bûche de NoëlYule Log
le sapin de NoëlChristmas tree
le repas de NoëlChristmas lunch, Christmas dinner
les décorations de NoëlChristmas decorations
offrirto give (as a present)
le jour de NoëlChristmas Day
la veille de NoëlChristmas Eve
un chant de NoëlChristmas carol
la Fête des RoisEpiphany, Twelfth Night
chanter des chants de noëlto sing Christmas carols
chanter des cantiques de noëlto sing Christmas hymns
un angeangel
un calendrier de l'Aventadvent calendar
une cheminée (conduit de)chimney
l' églisechurch
les illuminationsChristmas lights
les fêtes (de fin d’année)Holiday season
le guimistletoe
la crècheNativity scene
le père NoëlSanta Claus
la musique de NoëlChristmas music
une chanson de NoëlChristmas song
un rennereindeer
le marché de NoëlChristmas market
réveillonnerto celebrate Christmas
décorer le sapindecorate the tree
un jouet, un joujoutoy
un rubanribbon
un bergershepherd
un traîneausleigh
la neigesnow
une boule de neigesnow ball
un bonhomme de neigesnowman
Noël sous la neigewhite Christmas
un bonhomme de pain d'épicegingerbread man
Meilleurs vœuxSeasons greetings! Best wishes!
la Saint-SylvestreNew Year's Eve
le jour de l'anNew Year’s Day
La messe de minuitmidnight mass
qu'est-ce que tu veux pour Noël?what do you want for Christmas?
qu'est-ce que tu as reçu comme cadeaux de Noël?what did you get for Christmas?
mettre des cadeaux sous l'arbreto put presents under the tree
organiser une fête de Noëlto have a Christmas party

But wait--- that’s not all. Here is also a list of best wishes and greetings you can use this joyous season:

  • Joyeux Noël ! Merry Christmas!
  • Bonnes Fêtes ! Happy Holidays
  • Joyeuses Fêtes ! Happy Holidays
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année ! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  • Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année de la part de…  Season's greetings from…
  • Bonne Année !  Happy New Year!
  • Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année ! Happy Holidays!

And there you go, your French holiday words. For more useful French words and expressions sent to your inbox, subscribe to the Talk in French newsletter. You’ll also get loads of free resources when you do.

Have a happy holiday season!  Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année !

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Holiday Season Vocabulary

About the author 

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

  • Thanks for the vocabulary words! It would also be fun and helpful if someone could put these words in context – say, in a paragraph or a dialogue.

    Great work, I learn a lot via your site 😀


    – Andrew

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