Spanish Christmas Vocabulary: Words and expressions for the holiday season

Spanish Christmas vocabulary: It's Santa Claus!

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Learning the most common Spanish Christmas vocabulary is essential to enjoying the holidays en español, be it in a Spanish speaking country or in your home country with a couple of close amigos.

In this post we’ll cover the essential Spanish Christmas vocabulary, followed by a bunch of Christmas expressions in Spanish that you can use throughout the holiday season.

A lot of Spanish Christmas vocabulary is pretty straightforward, so a simple translation and sample sentence will do, while for others we’ll give some additional explanations. We’ll wrap up with a list of common Spanish Christmas expressions, and end with the full list of Spanish Christmas vocabulary we’ve introduced in the post.

Once you’re well-versed on your Christmas vocabulary, why not read about the family traditions of BaseLang teacher Estefany in her guest post: A Very Venezuelan Christmas.

!Deseamos un feliz navidad y un prospero año nuevo! – We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

1. Christmas Tree – Árbol de Navidad

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - christmas tree

  • The Christmas tree is gigantic. – El árbol de navidad es gigante.

2. Christmas Décor – Decoración Navideña

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - christmas decoration

  • This year, the Christmas décor is beautiful. – Este año, la decoración navideña es hermosa.

3. Christmas Lights –  Luces Navideñas

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - christmas lights

  • We must buy new Christmas lights. – Debemos comprar nuevas luces navideñas.

4. Ornaments – Adornos

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - organments

  • This Christmas tree has so many ornaments. – Este árbol de navidad tiene muchos adornos.

5. Bells – Campanas

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  • The garland has some silver bells. – La guirnalda tiene unas campanas plateadas.

6. Tinsel – Oropel, Espumillón

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  • My cousin decorated the Christmas tree with ornaments and tinsel. – Mi prima decoró el arbolito de navidad con adornos y espumillón.

7. Candles – Velas

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  • Carolina likes vanilla candles. – A Carolina le gustan las velas de vainilla.

8. Garland, Wreath – Guirnalda

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary garland

  • There is a wreath on the door of my house. – Hay una guirnalda en la puerta de mi casa.

In Spanish, las guirnaldas refer to strings of festive pine boughs used as holiday decoration, regardless of the shape.

9. Holly –  Acebo

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  • There’s a lot of holly on the table. – Hay muchos acebos en la mesa

10. Mistletoe – Muérdago

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  • It is said that mistletoe has mystical powers which bring good luck on Christmas. – Se dice que el muérdago tiene poderes místicos y atrae la buena suerte en Navidad.

11. Snow – Nieve

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  • During Christmas, there is a lot of snow on the streets. – Durante la Navidad hay mucha nieve en las calles.

12. Snowman – Muñeco de Nieve

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  • My kids love to make snowmen. – A mis hijos les encanta hacer muñecos de nieve.

13. Santa Claus – San Nicolás, Papá Noel

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  • The children still believe in Santa Claus. – Los niños aún creen en San Nicolás.

There are a couple of ways to say Santa Claus in Spanish. You have similar options in English with Saint Nick and Father Christmas!

14. The North Pole – El Polo Norte

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - North pole

  • Santa Claus lives in the North Pole. – San Nicolás vive en el Polo Norte.

Recommended: How to Learn Spanish Fast in 2024

15. Elves – Duendes

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  • Elves help Santa Claus. – Los duendes ayudan a Santa Claus.

16. Sleigh – Trineo

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  • Santa Claus has a sleigh with reindeer. –  San Nicolás tiene un trineo con renos.

17. Reindeer – Reno

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  • Santa’s favorite reindeer is Rudolph. – El reno favorito de San Nicolás es Rodolfo.

18. Presents – Regalos, Obsequios

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  • I have some presents for the children. – Tengo algunos regalos para los niños.

19. Toys – Juguetes

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  • The children have many toys. – Los niños tienen muchos juguetes.

20. Advent Calendar – Calendario de Adviento

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  • I’m ready for Christmas! I’ve got my Christmas tree, and my advent calendar. – ¡Estoy listo para la Navidad! Tengo mi arbolito navideño, y mi calendario de adviento.

21. Christmas Card – Tarjeta de Navidad

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - Christmas Card

  • Santiago gave us a Christmas card. – Santiago nos dio una tarjeta de navidad.

22. Christmas Sweater, Christmas Jumper – Suéter de Navidad

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  • Cristina bought a new Christmas sweater last month. She just loves this holiday! – Cristina compró un suéter navideño el mes pasado. ¡Ella simplemente le encanta esta época!

23. Christmas Carols – Villancicos, Aguinaldos

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  • They always sing Christmas carols in December. –  Ellos siempre cantan villancicos en diciembre.

Villancicos are very popular throughout Latin America. In some countries such as Venezuela and Aruba, these carols are often called aguinaldos.

24. Christmas Dinner – Cena de Navidad

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary

  • Sofía invited me to Christmas dinner with her family. – Sofía me invitó a la cena de navidad con su familia.

25. Turkey – Pavo

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  • My family always cooks turkey for Christmas dinner. – Mi familia siempre cocina pavo para la cena navideña.

26. Eggnog – Ponche

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary

  • Do you want some eggnog? It’s very tasty. – ¿Quieres un poco de ponche? Está muy rico.

In many Spanish-speaking countries eggnog is also called ponche de navidad, or literally Christmas punch. This beverage is normally served cold, and represents a very common tradition on every Latin American dining table. For this reason you should prepare enough, and always have it ready to offer it your guests! Its main ingredients are egg yolks, rum, water, and condensed milk.

27. Cookies – Galletas

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  • Cristina baked some Christmas cookies. – Cristina horneó algunas galletas de navidad.

28. Nougat – Turrón

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - nougat

  • Raquel really likes the nougat. – A Raquel le gusta mucho el turrón.

In Spain, you can find so many varieties of turrón. It’s a very popular Christmas gift!

29. A Toast – Un Brindis

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - toast

  • I want us to make a toast. – Quiero que hagamos un brindis.

30. Baby Jesus – El niño Jesús

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  • Baby Jesus was born in December. – El niño Jesús nació en diciembre.

31. The Three Wise Men – Los Tres Reyes Magos

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  • The three wise men follow the star of Bethlehem. – Los tres reyes magos siguen la estrella de Belén.

32. The Spirit of Christmas – El Espíritu de la Navidad

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  • On the 21st of December, we celebrate the Spirit of Christmas. – El 21 de diciembre celebramos el espíritu de la navidad.

In many Spanish-speaking countries, the espíritu de la navidad is one of the important characters of the season.

33. The Star of Bethlehem – La estrella de Belén

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  • The Star of Bethlehem is the brightest one. – La estrella de Belén es la más brillante.

34. Nativity Scene – Pesebre, Belén, Nacimiento

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - nativity

  • At Bianca’s house there is a huge nativity scene. – En la casa de Bianca hay un pesebre enorme.

Nativity scenes are very popular in Spanish speaking countries over the holidays. Depending on the region, it might be called un pesebre, un Belén, or un nacimiento.

35. Donkey – Burro

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  • There is always a donkey and an ox in every Nativity Scene. – Siempre hay un burro y un buey en cada pesebre.

36. April Fool’s Day – Día de los Santos Inocentes

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  • April Fool’s Day is a very funny day. – El dia de los santos inocentes es un día muy divertido.

The reason we included this here is because, in most Latin American countries and Spain, the equivalent of April Fool’s Day takes place on the 28th of December. Once you fool someone, it’s common practice to reveal your prank by shouting: “¡Caiste por Inocente!” meaning “You fell for Innocent!” to the unfortunate victims, similarly to in English cultures where you tell them “April Fool’s!”

37. New Year’s Eve – Noche vieja

Spanish Christmas vocab - New Year's Eve

  • Tonight is New Year’s Eve! – ¡Esta noche es noche vieja!

Depending on the country, December 31st is also known as víspera de año nuevo, fin de año, or simply año viejo.

38. The New Year – El Año Nuevo

  • ¡We wish you a happy new year! – ¡Te deseamos un feliz año nuevo!

39. New Year’s Resolution – Propósito de Año Nuevo

Spanish Christmas Vocabulary - new years resolution

  • This time I’ll fulfill my new year’s resolutions. – Esta vez cumpliré mis propósitos de año nuevo.

(PS, this is where you follow through on that promise to learn Spanish!)

Spanish Christmas Expressions

Now that you know the most common Spanish Christmas vocabulary, it’s also a good idea to memorize some common Spanish Christmas expressions that you can use during the holidays.

  1. Merry Christmas! – ¡Feliz Navidad!
  2. Happy Holidays! – ¡Felices Fiestas!
  3. Happy New Year! – ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
  4. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! – ¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!
  5. Peace and love in these holidays! – ¡Paz y amor en estas fiestas!
  6. May peace reign in every home this new year. – Que la paz reine en cada hogar en el nuevo año.
  7. My best wishes for you and your family on Christmas. – Mis mejores deseos en esta Navidad para ti y tu familia.
  8. God bless you this new year! – ¡Que Dios te bendiga este nuevo año!
  9. I hope all your dreams come true! – ¡Que se cumplan todos tus sueños!
  10. Have a blast during these holidays! – ¡Que lo pases de lo mejor en estas fiestas!
  11. Christmas is just around the corner. – La Navidad está a la vuelta de la esquina.
  12. It smells like Christmas! – ¡Se respira ambiente Navideño!
  13. I hope you haven’t been too naughty this year. – Espero no te hayas portado mal este año.
  14. What did Santa Claus / Baby Jesus bring you? – ¿Qué te trajo Papá Noel / el Niño Jesús?
  15. What did … get you? – ¿Que te regalaron …?
  16. I toast to … – Brindo por …
  17. Cheers! – ¡Salud!

Conclusion: Spanish Christmas Vocabulary

We hope you enjoyed this fun post as much as we enjoyed putting it together with all this festive holiday imagery. In closing, we’ll just leave you with the list of Christmas vocabulary in Spanish that we covered through the post.

¡Que lo pases de lo mejor en estas fiestas! – Have a blast during these holidays!

1 Christmas tree Árbol de navidad
2 Christmas décor Decoración navideña
3 Christmas lights Luces navideñas
4 Ornaments Adornos
5 Bells Campanas
6 Tinsel Oropel, Espumillón
7 Candles Velas
8 Garland, Wreath Guirnalda
9 Holly Acebo
10 Mistletoe Muérdago
11 Snow Nieve
12 Snowman Muñeco de nieve
13 Santa Claus San Nicolás, Papá Noel
14 The North Pole El Polo Norte
15 Elves Duendes
16 Sleigh Trineo
17 Reindeer Reno
18 Presents Regalos, Obsequios
19 Toys Juguetes
20 Advent calendar Calendario de adviento
21 Christmas card Tarjeta de navidad
22 Christmas sweater, Christmas jumper Suéter de navidad
23 Christmas carols Villancicos, Aguinaldos
24 Christmas dinner Cena de navidad
25 Turkey Pavo
26 Eggnog Ponche
27 Cookies Galletas
28 Nougat Turrón
29 Toast Brindis
30 Baby Jesus El niño Jesús
31 Three wise men Lost tres reyes magos
32 The Spirit of Christmas El espíritu de la navidad
33 The Star of Bethlehem La estrella de Belén
34 Nativity scene Pesebre, Belén, Nacimiento
35 Donkey Burro
36 April Fool’s Day Día de los Santos Inocentes
37 New Year’s Eve Noche vieja, Víspera de año nuevo, Fin de año
38 The New year El año nuevo
39 New year’s resolution Propósito de año nuevo

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