A sign at a German Christmas market

Merry Christmas in German and 10 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 how to say “Merry Christmas” in German, along with 10 other German Christmas phrases and some common German Christmas traditions. 


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.

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. You make Christmas merrier

German: Du machst Weihnachten festlicher 

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

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

Here you can use dir (you), euch, (plural you) or Ihnen (formal you.)

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.

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German Christmas Traditions

  • 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. 
  • Christmas movies — Yes, the Germans watch classic Christmas films around the holidays, too!


There you have it—now you know how to say “Merry Christmas” in German, as well as 10 other 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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