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French Christmas Vocabulary (70+ Words for Noël With Audio)

French Christmas Vocabulary (70+ Words for Noël With Audio)

The most important Christmas vocabulary words are Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas), le père Noël (Santa Claus) and le sapin de Noël (Christmas tree). This page offers a list of 70+ French Christmas terms covering greetings, decorations, foods and much more. Merci et Joyeux Noël !

vocabulaire de Noël

Christmas vocabulary

French Christmas Vocabulary

Holiday Season

In French, Christmas eve is le réveillon de Noël. The réveillon is the eve or night before the holiday. New years eve is le réveillon du Jour de l’An. The most common word for Santa Claus is Père Noël, which means to Father Christmas. Other common names are Papa Noël and Saint Nicolas.

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas in French is joyeux Noël. Joyeux, pronounced jwah-yuh, means both joyous and happy. Another common greeting for the holiday season is joyeuses fêtes which translates to joyous holidays. The greeting meilleurs voeux listed below means best wishes and is commonly used on Christmas cards.

Christmas Tree

Christmas tree in French is le sapin de Noël. The word sapin translates to pine tree or fir tree. There are several words for Christmas stockings. The French use the term une chaussette de Noël while the French-Canadians use the term un bas de Noël.

Christmas Decorations

A snowman in French is bonhomme de neige, which translates literally to a gentleman of snow. The term bonhomme also applies to gingerbread man: bonhomme de pain d’épice. In France, a candy cane is bâton de sucre d’orge, which translates literally to a stick of barley sugar.

Christmas Dinner

Many French families enjoy a sumptuous feast on Christmas eve. This festive meal is called le repas de Noël, or the Christmas meal. The French enjoy eating luxury foods during this meal. Common foods include le fois gras, le saumon fumé (smoked salmon) and a chocolate cake called une bûche de Noël or Yule log.

Historical & Religious Vocabulary

The French often go to church on Christmas for a midnight mass. The church is called l’église and the midnight mass is la messe de minuit.

Christmas Songs

Singing Christmas songs in French is one of the most fun ways to learn the language. A Christmas carol in French is un chant de Noël. This page on our site contains five fun Christmas songs in French with French lyrics translated into English.

  • Christmas song un chant de Noël
  • Jingle Bells Vive le Vent
  • Silent Night Douce Nuit
  • Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree Mon Beau Sapin
  • I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas Noël Blanc
  • He is Born, The Divine Child Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant
  • March of the Kings La Marche Des Rois
  • Angels We Have Heard On High Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes
  • Little Father Christmas Petit Papa Noël

Christmas Verbs

  • croire au Père Noël to believe in Santa Claus
  • fêter Noël to celebrate Christmas
  • échanger les cadeaux to exchange gifts
  • déballer un cadeau to unwrap a gift
  • partager un repas to share a meal
  • jouer avec les jouets to play with the toys
  • aller à l’église to go to church

Related lessons:

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French Christmas Vocabulary List

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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