Beyond Feliz Navidad: Conversational Christmas Spanish for chatting with native speakers

The holiday season is here and if your Christmas vocabulary is a little lacking, this article is going to help you change  that so you can join in on all the holiday talk with your Spanish speaking amigos and amigas.

Let’s jump right into it.

To start with, the Christmas holidays are known as las fiestas navideñas.

Now let’s get the traditional Christmas greetings out of the way.

Feliz navidad
Merry Christmas

Qué pases bien la navidad
Have a merry Christmas

Felices fiestas
Happy holidays

And surely you’ll want to talk about Christmas trees.   Let’s face it, besides the gifts, the tree is the big attraction.

The tree itself is called an árbol de navidad, often just referred to as an árbol for short.  You’ll also very likely hear árbolito (the diminutive of árbol), and maybe even pino.    Pino means pine tree by the way.

We’re going to take a look at the Spanish you need to talk about Christmas trees based on this wonderful picture.

Use the verb poner to talk about putting the tree up, and quitar for taking it down.

¿Ya pusiste tu árbol de navidad?
Did put up your Christmas tree?

¿Ya quitaste tu árbol de navidad?
Did you take down your Christmas tree?

By the way, you may also hear the verb armar used talk about putting the tree up.

Vamos a armar el árbol de navidad
We’re going to put up the Christmas tree

Let’s get a little more detailed about putting up that tree.

Use the verb decorar (to decorate) or adornar (to adorn) to talk about decorating your árbol de navidad.

¿Ya decoraste tu árbol de navidad?
Did you decorate your Christmas tree?

I guess we better talk about the decoraciones (decorations) we’re going to decorar our árbolito with.

An esfera de navidad is a Christmas ornament.   You can just say esfera if the context is clear.

Some people also refer to them as bolas or bolitas.

And the red ribbon wrapped around the tree is called a cinta, or ribbon in English.

 

Christmas lights are luces de navidad.  And just like in English, you can call them luces for short.

You colocar or poner your esferas and luces on the tree.

 

 

Mi hija le encanta colocar las esferas de navidad en el árbol
My daughter loves to put the Christmas ornaments on the tree

Siempre ponemos los luces en el árbol primero
We always put the lights on the tree first

Now it’s time to talk about the gifts that go under the tree.

But before we can do that, we need talk about something else.  Yep, you guessed it, your Christmas shopping list, or should I say your lista de compras navideñas.

Todavía tengo que hacer mi lista de compras navideñas
I still have to make my Christmas shopping list

¿Ya hiciste tu lista de compras navideñas?
Did you make your Christmas shopping list?

To say that you actually want to go Christmas shopping is irse de compras navideñas

Me encanta irme de compras navideñas
I love going Christmas shopping

Nos vamos de compras navideñas este fin de semana
We’re going Christmas shopping this weekend

Now we can get back to those wonderful gifts you bought using your lista de compras navideñas.

A Christmas gift is called a regalo de navidad.   Or just a regalo if everyone knows you’re talking about a Christmas gift.  But para que sepas (just so you know) the word regalo refers to any kind of gift.

Los niños siempre reciben muchos regalos
The kids always get a lot of presents (gifts)

Now, you maybe tempted to use the verb dar to talk about giving a gift to someone, and that would be ok.  But if you want to sound more native, I recommend you use the verb regalar, because it specifically means to give something as a gift, and it’s what many, if not most, Spanish speakers use.

¿Qué me vas a regalar para la navidad?
What are you going to give me for Christmas?

Voy a regalar mi esposa una collar para la navidad
I’m going to give my wife a necklace for Christmas

¿Que te regaló tu esposa para la navidad?
What did your wife give you for Christmas?

¿Qué regalaste a tus hijos?
What did you give your kids?

This article is getting a little long, so let’s close things out with a couple of more Christmas vocabulary words.

Christmas eve is called nochebuena and Christmas day is día de navidad.   A Christmas carol is called a villancico and to sing Christmas carols is cantar villancicos navideños.

And a Christmas card is a tarjeta de Navidad.

Whew!  That was quite a bit of information.   If there’s something else you’d like me to talk about or have some phrases or vocabulary you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below.

Now it’s time to wrap things up.   But before I do that, there’s just one more thing I need to say.

 

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