merry christmas in german

Merry Christmas in German and 17 More Festive Phrases

Christmas is, without a doubt, one of the most enchanting times of year, and Germany is one of the most enchanting places to celebrate it.

Countless Christmas traditions originate from Germany, so it only makes sense that we learn how to talk about the holiday in German.

This post will show you 18 German Christmas phrases as well as some common German Christmas traditions. 


How to Say Merry Christmas in German


Let’s start with some typical Christmas greetings:

1. Merry Christmas

German: Frohe/Fröhliche Weihnachten

The most common holiday greeting of them all, you will likely hear this every other sentence when you get close to the end of the year!

2. Happy holidays

German: Ein Frohes Fest!/Schöne Feiertage

Another common greeting, this is a more general way to wish someone joy during the holidays.

This is definitely a much more inclusive greeting. 

3. Best wishes for the new year

German: Alles Gute zum Neuen Jahr

Once again, you’d use this just as you would in English.

Other Holiday Phrases


4. Peace on Earth

German: Frieden auf Erden

While you’ll probably hear this one more in a song, it’s still pretty common. 

5. Christmas is a time to remember

German: Weihnachtszeit ist Erinnerungszeit 

Christmas is always full of memories and joy, and this phrase points out just that.

6. May all your wishes come true

German: Mögen sich all deine Wünsche erfüllen 

Of course we always want all of someone’s Christmas wishes to come true, and now you can tell them that!

7. I wish to give you a loving Nicholas greeting

German: Ich möchte dir einen lieben Nikolausgrüß überreichen 

While this may sound a little funky in English, it’s essentially saying that you would give someone a greeting as warm as if you were Saint Nicholas!

8. What do you want for Christmas?

German: Was wünschst dir zu Weihnachten?

This will help you figure out what you need to buy your loved ones.

9. I want… for Christmas

German: Ich wünsche mir zu Weihnachten…

This phrase allows you to tell your loved ones what they should get you!

10. I have a gift for you

German: Ich habe ein Geschenk für dich

Use this when you’ve bought a gift you need to give someone.

11. Thank you for the gift

German: Danke für das Geschenk

You can use this to express your gratitude for any gifts you receive during the holidays.

12. You make Christmas merrier

German: Du machst Weihnachten festlicher 

This is perfect for letting someone know just how much you appreciate them!

13. Kissing under the mistletoe

German: Küssen sich unter dem Mistelzweig 

Maybe you’re trying to be romantic or maybe you’re teasing some lovebirds, but everyone knows the implications of this statement. 

14. Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and bless what you have bestowed

German: Komm, Herr Jesu; sei du unser Gast; und segne, was du uns beschert hast 

This is a common table prayer that you will most likely hear for most meals this season.

There are several variations of this prayer, but those can differ on an individual basis.

15. Cheers

German: Prost

This is a common drinking toast used in many contexts, whether you’re sipping wine at a warm and reflective Christmas gathering or partying hard.

It’s almost mandatory for any kind of social drinking, so you’ll be hearing plenty of this if you’re invited to a holiday party supplied with drinks.

16. Coziness/comfort

German: Gemütlichkeit 

One of the best things about the winter holidays is the sense of warmth and happiness you feel when you’re indoors, surrounded by good company and fun.

This is the perfect word to describe that feeling.

17. Anticipation is the greatest joy

German: Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude  

A saying that can perfectly describe holiday sentiment, whether you’re waiting eagerly for Christmas presents or preparing for the incoming year.

Nothing really beats that swell of emotion as the cold weather hits and the festive mood takes over.

18. I wish you a well-behaved Christ child

German: Ich wünsche dir/euch/Ihnen ein braves Christkind. 

This may sound a little strange to an English speaker’s ears, but to wish someone a “well-behaved Christ child” is to wish good fortune and gifts for another’s Christmas.

Alternatively, a bad-behaved Christ child would bring about a pretty sour December 25th.

More Christmas Vocabulary


Here are some extra words that you’re likely to encounter in a German-speaking country during Christmas time:

das Christkindl — the Christ child (this is where Kris Kringle comes from)

der Christbaum/Tannenbaum/Weihnachtsbaum — Christmas tree

der Heiligabend — Christmas Eve

der Kranz — wreath

das Weihnachtslied — Christmas carol

der Weihnachtsmann — Santa

die Weisen — Three wise men

To see how these phrases and words are actually used by natives, check out FluentU.

FluentU uses authentic videos like movie clips, music videos and more to demonstrate how natives actually speak the language. 

You can also access the interactive subtitles, flashcards and quizzes on the iOS or Android app. 

German Christmas Traditions

merry christmas in german

  • Christkindlesmarkt — This is the Christmas market, a very important tradition in all of Germany, but you can find the biggest market in Nuremberg. The Christmas markets tend to be very cheerful and full of gifts, festive foods and warm drinks for you to buy!
  • Sankt Nikolaus Tag — Also known as Saint Nicholas Day, this celebration takes place December 6 and features Saint Nikolaus giving out candy and small gifts to the kids. The night before, kids put their shoes outside their door to receive their treats. 
  • Krampus — This is the creepy figure that accompanies Saint Nickolaus as he passes out gifts and scares the children with the threat of a spanking or kidnapping if they’ve been naughty. 
  • Gift Exchange — Germans complete their gift exchange on Christmas Eve, rather than on Christmas Day.
  • Christmas Eve — Celebrations on Christmas Eve often include a holiday dinner, decorating the Christmas tree and attending Mass.
  • Christmas Cards — Sending Christmas cards is a common practice in Germany.
  • Das Christkind — This is the angel that drops off presents near the Christmas tree on December 24th. 


There you have it, 18 phrases (and some extra goodies) that will help you enjoy a German Christmas!

Enjoy the season and we wish you ein Frohes Fest (a happy holiday)!

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