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Joyeux Noël .. and other French phrases for Christmas

Have you ever wondered why Noël is used to describe Christmas?  The word comes from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” meaning “good news”. This is a reference to the gospel.

Now we’ve cleared that up .. here are some more phrases to get through the festive season in French ..

  • Merry Christmas: Joyeux Noël
  • Christmas Eve: La veille de Noël
  • Christmas Day: Le jour de Noël
  • Midnight mass:  La Messe de Minuit
  • Santa is coming: Le Père Noël va passer
  • Bring joy & happiness: Apporte joie et bonheur
  • What do you want for Christmas?  Tu veux quoi pour Noël?
  • Christmas present: Un cadeau de Noël
  • Christmas card:La carte de Noël
  • Christmas stocking:Une chaussette de Noël
  • Best wishes: Meilleurs vœoeux!
  • Christmas stocking: Un soulier de Noël(literally a Christmas shoe)
  • Fairy lights:  Une guirlande électrique (or ‘lumineuse’)
  • Good health: Bonne santé
  • What are you doing for the holidays:Tu fais quoi pour les fêtes?
  • A hangover:Gueule de bois – Literally a wooden mouth which is sometimes that rough, dry feeling you get after a big night out!
  • A new year’s gift of money to someone like the mailman or cleaner:Les étrennes
  • Happy New Year: Bonne année

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