How to Say “Merry Christmas” in Italian - A Guide to Holiday Cheers In Italy

How to Say “Merry Christmas” in Italian - A Guide to Holiday Cheers In Italy

Cards, dinners, and parties, these are some of the things that characterize the Christmas period. While there are standard practices that most people embrace as traditions for this festive season, adding a little flare will go a long way.

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How to Say “Merry Christmas” in Italian


With the holidays approaching, it is time to think about how best to add a touch of uniqueness to how you celebrate. Learning how to add a little Italian into your Christmas is one of the subtle but effective elements for you. Stand out in how you say merry Christmas by wishing people a Buon Natale.

Buon Natale is pronounced [bwˈɔn natale] in the IPA transcription.



How to Translate “Buone Feste”


  • Buone feste – Merry Christmas and a happy new year

This phrase literally means “Happy holidays.” It acknowledges that once the festivities commence for Christmas, they run through to the new year. It is ideal when sending cards to people who you will not be in contact with during the period, such as colleagues.

The phrase is generic, and if you want to direct more wishes to someone, adding e tanti auguri expresses that you wish the very best for them.


Other Ways to Wish Someone Merry Christmas in Italian


  • Ti auguro Buon Natale – I wish you a Merry Christmas 

This is ideal for cards. It is more personalized and can be used for friends and family. It is an informal wish directed to one person. If you want to address a group, use Vi auguro. A formal wish would be Le auguro.


  • Desiderando un gioviale Natale e un allegro anno nuovo – Wishing you a jolly Christmas and a cheerful new year

Although it is quite common for people to string the two holidays together, this phrase is broad. If you wish to specify wishes for Christmas, the right words to use are Ti auguro un sereno Natale which translates as “I wish you a peaceful Christmas.”

 You can add an adjective to your wish, such as dolce for sweet, grande for great, and eccellente for excellent.


  • I migliori auguri a te e ai tuoi cari in questa stagione festiva – Best wishes to you and your loved ones this festive season

When sending out wishes for someone with a family, it is kind to include their loved ones. This phrase is ideal as a complete message or a conclusion.  A brief and precise heading to a card would be a te e ai tuoi, which means “to you and yours.”


  • Spero che questa stagione ti offra il meglio che la vita ha da offrire. – I hope this season brings you the best that life has to offer.

This is ideal for a more personalized message for friends and family. As an expression of best wishes, you can customize the message to portray the exact things you want the holiday to bring to them. This can be armonia for harmony, pace for peace, and amore for love.


  • Mi viene in mente questa stagione festiva, buon natale. – You are on my mind this festive season.

This is only appropriate for personal relationships. It shows familiarity and closeness.


How to Conclude a (Christmas) Card in Italian


The wishes mentioned above are suitable for Christmas cards. Below, you will find several phrases that you can use to conclude a card in Italian. They are good for e-mails and letters as well.


  • Con i migliori auguri – With best wishes
  • Con tanto affeto – With great affection
  • Un abbraccio – (literally) a hug



Useful Christmas-Related Vocabulary


Learning new vocabulary irrespective of the topic helps improve your general fluency. Always try to think of the context it is used in or other related words and phrases.


  • L’abero di Natale – Christmas tree

Whenever you learn a new word, try to use in a sentence. For example, “Let’s decorate” means decoriamo.


  • La vigilia di Natale – Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is celebrated on 24th December. December translates as dicembre. Can you remember the months of the year in Italian?


You can check your answers below:


  1. Gennaio
  2. Febbraio
  3. Marzo
  4. Aprile
  5. Maggio
  6. Giugno
  7. Luglio
  8. Agosto
  9. Settembre
  10. Ottobre
  11. Novembre
  12. Dicembre


  • Il giorno di Natale – Christmas Day

The day is translated as il giorno. La notte means the night. La mattina is morning. Il pomeriggio means afternoon. The evening translates as la sera.


  • Addobbi – decorations

In this case, you can think of the various types of decorations – la pallina (ball), la stella (star), luci (lights).


  • Il regalo – the present

What were your favorite presents when you were a kid? Can you think of their names in Italian?


Learning Useful Italian Vocabulary

Don't forget to look at our unique Italian Frequency Dictionary series if you want to learn practical Italian vocabulary. You will learn to pronounce it correctly as well with the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet. We have carefully selected 10,000 example sentences to help you learn grammatical structures and various phrases naturally.


Sweet Conclusion


What is the most famous Italian Christmas dessert? Of course, it’s the panetonne. By the way, the Italians pronounce it [pa.netˈ] and not [ˌpænəˈtoʊni].

Why is panetonne called panetonne, anyway?

It is related to panetto, which means “a small loaf of bread.” The suffix “-one” changes its meaning to “a big cake.” This dessert is pretty ancient. It was already eaten by the Romans!

Well, if you are counting down the days to Christmas, maybe you can try baking it yourself. Here is a link to an easy recipe. Buon Natale soon!



Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

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