Il Natale è alle porte is a very common expression used when Christmas is only days away. It literally translates as “Christmas is at the doors” and equates to the English expressions:
- Christmas is just around the corner.
- Christmas is upon us.
- Christmas is drawing near.
Il Natale è alle porte.
Christmas is just around the corner.
The use of the definite article il (the) is optional. You can refer to Natale without it, so the variation Natale è alle porte works just as well.
Essere alle porte (lit. to be at the doors) is an idiom used to describe something that is nearby, getting closer, or looming large. It is made up of the verb essere (to be), alle (the combination of the preposition a “to” and definite article le “the“) and porte (the plural of porta “door“).
In addition to Natale, it is also commonly used with seasons, months, and important events throughout the year:
- primavera / estate / autunno / inverno = spring / summer / fall / winter
- gennaio / febbraio / marzo / ecc. = January / February / March / etc.
- le vacanze = the holidays
- gli esami = the exams
- le elezioni = the elections
- i Mondiali = the World Cup
Gli esami sono alle porte e non ho ancora aperto un libro!
The exams are looming and I haven’t even opened a book!
Another phrase you can use, which is closer to the English rendition, is Il Natale è dietro l’angolo (lit. Christmas is just around the corner).
Il Natale è dietro l’angolo. Che bello! Non vedo l’ora!
Christmas is just around the corner. How wonderful! I can’t wait!