Christmas is just around the corner and that means it’s time to put up the tree, decorate the house, and most importantly, brush up on your Italian Christmas greetings! 😉
Perhaps you want to be able to say a few phrases when you call or write to your Italian relatives, or maybe you’re just curious to pick up some new expressions. No matter your motivation, this article will point you in the right direction!
How to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Italian
The most common way to say Merry Christmas (or Happy Christmas if you live in Britain) is Buon Natale.
Ti auguro un Buon Natale!
I wish you a Merry Christmas!
A more neutral alternative to Buon Natale that corresponds to the English expression Happy Holidays is Buone Feste. Sometimes the two are used together in the same sentence.
Buon Natale e Buone Feste!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Some people may shorten the entire sentence to just auguri on its own or tanti auguri. (Auguri literally means wishes or greetings and can be used for birthdays and anniversaries as well.)
Auguri, Marta! – Auguri anche a te!
Merry Christmas, Marta! – And to you!
If you are writing someone a Christmas card, you may prefer to choose a more formal greeting. Below are a few phrases that are commonly used:
- Auguri per un Natale sereno. = Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas.
- Auguro a te e alla tua famiglia un sereno Natale. = Wishing you and your family a peaceful Christmas.
- Ti auguro un Natale pieno di amore e felicità. = I wish you a Christmas full of love and happiness.
- I miei migliori auguri per un Natale pieno di gioia. = My very best wishes for a Christmas full of joy.
Important: In Italian, the informal ti / te are used when you know someone well. Lei / le are used when addressing someone formally, whereas the plural voi / vi are for groups of people.
– Ti auguro un Buon Natale. = I wish you (informal) a Merry Christmas.
– Le auguro un Buon Natale. = I wish you (formal) a Merry Christmas.
– Vi auguro un Buon Natale. = I wish you (all) a Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year in Italian is Felice Anno Nuovo, so the full translation for Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year would be:
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
A more informal way of wishing someone a Happy New Year is to say Buon Anno (literally good year)!
Buon anno, ragazzi! Auguri per un felice 2021!
Happy New Year, guys! Best wishes for a happy 2021!
Italian Christmas Vocabulary
If your aim is to improve your Italian Christmas vocabulary, put these words down on some flashcards and get practising before the big day arrives!
- addobbo / addobbi = decoration / decorations
- albero / alberi di Natale = Christmas tree / trees
- angelo / angeli = angel / angels
- Babbo Natale = Santa Claus
- la Befana = the Befana Christmas witch
- calza / calze = stocking / stockings
- camino / camini = chimney / chimneys
- campanella / campanelle = bell / bells
- candela / candele = candle / candles
- canto natalizio / canti natalizi = Christmas carol / carols
- carta da regalo = wrapping paper
- chiesa / chiese = church / churches
- elfo / elfi = elf / elves
- festeggiare = to celebrate
- Gesù Bambino = Baby Jesus
- il giorno di Natale = Christmas Day
- il giorno di Santo Stefano = Boxing Day
- Giuseppe = Joseph
- inverno = winter
- luce / luci = light / lights
- stella / stelle = star / stars
- Maria = Mary
- mercatino / mercatini di Natale = Christmas market / markets
- la messa di Mezzanotte = midnight mass
- Natale = Christmas
- neve = snow
- pallina / palline = ball / balls
- pandoro = a traditional Italian cake for the Christmas season
- panettone = an traditional Italian cake for the Christmas season
- pranzo di Natale = Christmas lunch
- pregare = to pray
- presepe / presepi = Nativity scene / scenes
- pupazzo / pupazzi di neve = snowman / snowmen
- regalo / regali = gift / gifts
- renna / renne = reindeer / reindeers
- San Nicola = St. Nicholas
- slitta / slitte = sleigh / sleighs
- i Tre Re Magi = the Three Kings
- la vigilia di Natale = Christmas Eve
- vin brulè = mulled wine
Italian Christmas Word Search
Brush up on your Italian Christmas vocabulary by downloading the word search below!