How to Say “Merry Christmas” in French?

Ho, ho, ho, Christmas decorations are appearing in the streets of France, people are in a festive mood and Christmas shopping is in fully swing.

But how do you say merry Christmas in French?

That’s what this article will teach you!

Joyeux noël

Literally merry Christmas, Joyeux noël is the most common way to say merry Christmas in French.

You will find it on most cartes de voeux (greeting cards) and can use it with everyone.

Joyeuses fêtes/bonnes fêtes

French people often wish a merry Christmas and a happy new year at the same time and joyeuses fêtes (literally merry holidays) is the perfect phrase for that.

You can also use it to wish happy holidays to people who don’t celebrate Christmas if you want to be more inclusive.

Meilleurs voeux

Meilleurs voeux is a true chameleon. While it means best wishes for most of the year, it turns into seasons greetings in December and early January as people celebrate Christmas and the New Year.

Meilleurs voeux pour la nouvelle année (best wishes for the New Year)

Meilleurs voeux pour l’année 2018 (best wishes for the year 2018)

Meilleurs voeux de bonheur (best wishes of joy)

Je vous souhaite d’excellentes fêtes de fin d’année

Literally “I wish you excellent end of year celebrations”.

This greeting is a more formal way to wish a merry Christmas and happy new year.

You could use it at work or with people you don’t know well.

Voilà, you now know how to wish a merry Christmas and happy new year in French. Stay tuned for an article teaching you about French Christmas traditions next week!

Have you ever celebrated Christmas in France? What was it like?

Benjamin Houy
Benjamin Houy

Benjamin Houy is a native French speaker and tea drinker with a BA degree in Applied Foreign Languages and a passion for languages. After teaching French and English in South Korea for 7 months as part of a French government program, he created French Together to help English speakers learn the 20% of French that truly matters. You will also find him giving blogging advice on Grow With Less.

5 thoughts on “How to Say “Merry Christmas” in French?”

  1. Hello,
    Traditions of Christmas around the world will tell you that Santa Claus is known by many names. What is the French name for Santa Claus?

    Reply
  2. Hello,
    Traditions of Christmas around the world will tell you that Santa Claus is known by many names. What is the French name for Santa Claus?

    Reply

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