Popular Christmas Words From A-Z

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list of five Christmas words from the article
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The Christmas season is a special time of year for many people in the world. The holiday has so many traditions and symbols that aren’t limited to one day on the calendar. If you’re looking for the perfect way to describe this wonderful holiday, take a look at these popular Christmas words listed from A to Z.

Christmas Words A-C

Angels on the tree, cookies baking in the oven, chestnuts roasting — it must be Christmas! Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious occasion, a secular holiday, or just part of the winter season, these Christmas words that start with “A,” “B,” and “C” appeal to all of your senses.

Word

Part of Speech

Definition

Advent

proper noun

a period that consists of the four weeks leading up to Christmas, commemorating the coming of Christ

Advent calendar

noun

a calendar that includes small colored flaps that are opened each day of Advent, typically revealing a treat, trinket, or picture

angel

noun

a spiritual being acting as an attendant or messenger of God; a person of immense virtue, beauty, or good

baking

verb (or gerund)

to cook food via dry heat without direct exposure to flame (particularly with sugar cookies and gingerbread this time of year); the process of cooking in this way

belief

noun

trust, faith, or confidence in something or someone; acceptance that something is true or existent

bells

noun

hollow instruments that are usually shaped like an inverted cup and make a clear musical note when struck

Bethlehem

proper noun

the biblical birthplace of Jesus located in the central West Bank of Palestine

birth

noun

the act or instance of being born

blessing

noun

a special favor, benefit, or mercy; a favor or gift bestowed by God

Blitzen

proper noun

one of Santa’s reindeer; from the Dutch word for lightning

boot

noun

a type of footwear that covers the entire foot, ankles, and sometimes the part of the leg just below the knee

bow

noun

a knot featuring two loops and two loose ends, particularly used when tying decorative ribbons

box

noun

a usually rectangular container with a lid or removable cover

Boxing Day

proper noun

(in Britain) the first weekday after Christmas Day

bûche de Noël

noun

a traditional Christmas cake that consists of sponge cake and frosting rolled and decorated to look like a log

candle

noun

a piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick that is burned for light

candlelight

noun

the light of a candle

candy cane

noun

a hard candy shaped with a hook or curve in one end, usually peppermint flavored with red and white stripes

card

noun

a piece of thin paper or cardboard with a message of sentiment or holiday greeting

carol

noun

a joyful song; a Christmas song or hymn

caroling

verb or gerund

to sing Christmas songs, especially as a group traveling house to house.

ceremonious

adjective

formally or elaborately polite

charity

noun

generous actions or donations to aid people in need

cheer

noun

cheerfulness, optimism; a shout of joy or encouragement

cheerful

adjective

openly happy and optimistic

chestnut

noun

a glossy brown nut that is typically roasted and eaten

chimney

noun

a vertical pipe or channel that transports smoke and other gases (or Santa!) from a fireplace out of the home

chocolate

noun

a (usually sweet) food made from roasted and ground cacao seeds

Christmas Eve

proper noun

December 24th, the day or evening before Christmas

Christmas Day

proper noun

December 25th

Christmas tree

noun

an evergreen tree decorated with ornaments and lights to celebrate Christmas

Christmastide

proper noun

the festival season from Christmas to after New Year’s Day; in England, the period from Christmas Eve to Epiphany

church

noun

a building for public worship in Christianity

cider

noun

juice pressed from fruit (usually apples) used for drinking

coal

noun

a black or dark brown rock mainly consisting of carbonized plant material, often burned as fuel

cookies

noun

small, sweet cakes that are usually flat and round in shape with a crispy or chewy texture

Comet

proper noun

the name of Santa’s fifth reindeer

cranberries

noun

small, red, acidic berries used in cooking

Festive Fact: If you’re wondering what bûche de Noël is, you’re in for a treat! It’s the French name for a yule log, which is a flourless chocolate cake in the shape of a log. Try it out this year if you’re looking for something new to serve at your next holiday party.

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Christmas Words D-I

In December, many people exchange gifts and decorate with garland —  but don’t forget the figgy pudding! See how many of these D-I words to describe Christmas should be on your list.

Word

Part of Speech

Definition

Dancer

proper noun

the name of Santa’s second reindeer

December

proper noun

the 12th month in the standard Gregorian calendar

decorations

noun

things serving as ornaments

Donner

proper noun

the name of Santa’s seventh reindeer

eggnog

noun

a Christmas drink made from beaten eggs, cream, spices, and often alcohol

elf

noun

a supernatural creature often represented as small with pointed ears and magic powers; Santa’s helpers at the North Pole

Emmanuel

proper noun

another name for Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew

epiphany

noun

the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi

evergreen

noun

any plant that maintains green leaves all year

exchange

noun

the act of giving one thing and receiving another

faith

noun

complete trust, confidence, or belief in something or someone

Father Christmas

proper noun

the traditional English name for a personification of Christmas; now synonymous with Santa Claus

festive

adjective

cheerful and happily celebratory

figgy pudding

noun

a traditional dessert made of flour, suet, and dried fruit

fir

noun

a type of evergreen tree featuring flat needle-shaped leaves and upright cones

fireplace

noun

a structure designed for fire, usually at the base of a chimney

frankincense

noun

an aromatic gum resin taken from an African tree and burned as incense

Frosty

proper noun

a snowman who comes to life with the help of a magic hat

fruitcake

noun

a cake containing fruit and nuts

garland

noun

a wreath of flowers and leaves hung as a decoration or worn on the head

generosity

noun

the quality of being kind and giving

gingerbread

noun

a cake made with molasses and ginger

gingerbread house

noun

a decorative miniature house made from gingerbread and other sweets

glad tidings

noun

good news

Gloria

noun

Latin for “glory”; shortened form of the hymn “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”

goodwill

noun

feelings or attitudes involving friendliness, help, or cooperation

grace

noun

courteous goodwill

greetings

noun

polite words, signs of recognition or welcome

Grinch

noun

a person who is mean-spirited, unfriendly

holiday

noun

a day of celebration or recreation where no work is done.

holly

noun

a shrub featuring red berries, white flowers, and dark green leaves

hot chocolate

noun

a warm beverage made with chocolate and milk or water

hymn

noun

a religious song or poem praising a god

ice skating

verb or gerund

the sport of skating on ice

icicle

noun

a hanging piece of ice that forms when dripping water freezes

Festive Fact: When someone wishes you a "Feliz Navidad," they’re wishing you "Merry Christmas" in Spanish. Don’t be a Grinch — wish it right back! It’s a great way to spread glad tidings to your fellow human.

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Christmas Words J-O

It may be the little drummer boy in Jerusalem, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, or mistletoe hanging in the doorway. No matter what you love about Christmas, these words that start with “J,” “K,” “L,” “M,” “N,” and “O” will put you in the holiday mood.

Word

Part of Speech

Definition

Jack Frost

proper noun

the name for the personification of frost or winter

Jerusalem

proper noun

the capital of Israel and a holy city in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

Jesus

proper noun

Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, the source of Christian religion

jingle bells

noun

an alternate name for sleigh bells; (capitalized) title of the Christmas song “Jingle Bells”

jolly

adjective

happy and cheerful

King Wenceslas

proper noun

Duke of Bohemia, patron saint of the Czech state, and subject of the carol “Good King Wenceslas”

Krampus

proper noun

(in Alpine folklore) name of a horned, anthropomorphic creature who comes out during the Christmas season to scare and sometimes punish children who have misbehaved

Kris Kringle

proper noun

name synonymous with Christkind, a personification of baby Jesus and Santa Claus

Little Drummer Boy

proper noun

Christmas carol originally titled “Carol of the Drum,” written by Katherine Kennicott Davis

manger

noun

a long trough or open box for horses and cattle to feed

Mary

proper noun

the mother of Jesus

miracle

noun

an improbable or extraordinary event or accomplishment that brings welcome consequences

mistletoe

noun

a parasitic plant that bears white glutinous berries in the winter; tradition dictates that two lovers standing under mistletoe must kiss

mitten

noun

a glove with one section for the thumb and one section for the other four fingers

myrrh

noun

a fragrant resin obtained from trees and used in medicines, perfumes, and incense

Nativity

proper noun

the birth of Jesus Christ

naughty

adjective

disobedient or badly behaved

nice

adjective

pleasant, agreeable, or well behaved

Noel

proper noun

Christmas, often used in Christmas cards and carols

North Pole

proper noun

the northernmost point on Earth and the location of Santa’s home and workshop

nutcracker

noun

a device used for cracking open nuts

ornaments

noun

accessories or articles used to improve the physical appearance of something

Festive Fact: You may have heard of Kris Kringle, but have you heard of Krampus? According to folklore from Central Europe, Krampus is a horned creature who punishes children who have been naughty. Unlike Kris Kingle, Krampus doesn’t reward the nice list.

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Christmas Words P-S

Season’s greetings! After you see Santa Claus in the Christmas parade, get that Christmas sweater and presents ready for the party. These Christmas words that start with P-S may make you want to create snow angels outside your door!

Word

Part of Speech

Definition

package

noun

an object wrapped in paper or packed in a box

pageant

noun

a public event celebrating Christmas, usually involving a parade, Nativity play, or performance

parade

noun

a public procession, usually in celebration of an event or special day

partridge

noun

a short-tailed game bird

peppermint

noun

the aromatic leaves from the plants of the mint family, used as a flavoring; candy flavored using peppermint oil

pine

noun

an evergreen tree featuring long, needle-shaped leaves

poinsettia

noun

a small shrub native to Mexico and Central America characterized by large red bracts surrounding small yellow flowers

popcorn

noun

any varietal of corn whose kernels pop open and puff out when exposed to dry heat

Prancer

proper noun

Santa’s third reindeer

proclaim

verb

to announce publicly or officially

receive

verb

to be paid, given, or presented with something

reindeer

noun

a deer indigenous to the tundra and subarctic regions of North America and Eurasia, often domesticated and used for pulling sleds

rejoice

verb

to feel or show great joy or delight

ribbon

noun

a strip of fabric used for tying something or decorating

Rudolph

proper noun

Santa’s ninth reindeer with a characteristic red nose that glows

Saint Nicholas

proper noun

a 4th century bishop, patron saint of Russia, and precursor to Santa Claus

Santa Claus

proper noun

a benevolent, legendary figure who brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve

savior

noun

a person who saves or rescues

Scrooge

proper noun

Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; generally, a miserly person

Secret Santa

noun

a Western Christmas tradition wherein people within a group are randomly and secretly assigned a person to whom they give a gift

shepherd

noun

a person who takes care of sheep

sled

noun

a vehicle for conveying goods or people over ice and snow, usually pulled by dogs, horses, or a motor vehicle

sleigh bells

noun

tinkling bells attached to the harness of a horse pulling a sleigh

snow angel

noun

a snow design made by lying on your back and moving your arms up and down and your legs side to side, creating the shape of an angel

snowman

noun

a representation of a human made using compacted snow

stocking

noun

a long sock or similar receptacle hung by families on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill with gifts

sugarplum

noun

a round candy made from boiled sugar

sweater

noun

a knit top with long sleeves

symbol

noun

a mark or object used as a representation of a separate object

Festive Fact: Ebeneezer Scrooge, the main character from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, has become a symbol of hard-heartedness and frugality during the holiday season. Scrooge’s selfish ways are challenged when he discovers the true spirit of Christmas with journeys to the past, present, and future.

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Christmas Words T-Z

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition? Is it enjoying some wassail, hanging tinsel in the tree, or unwrapping all the toys? Even if your favorite part of the holiday season is being on vacation, these Christmas words from T-Z are sure to bring you tidings of joy.

Word

Part of Speech

Definition

Tannenbaum

noun

a Christmas tree

Three Kings Day

proper noun

January 6th, a holiday celebrating the biblical tale of the Three Wise Men visiting baby Jesus

tidings

noun

news or information

tinsel

noun

thin strips of shiny metal foil used as decoration

Tiny Tim

proper noun

Timothy “Tiny Tim” Cratchit, a character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; appears as a disabled boy who leads Scrooge to change his ways

toys

noun

objects for kids to play with

tradition

noun

a custom or belief that has been passed on from generation to generation

trimming

verb

to decorate something

vacation

noun

an extended period of rest and leisure

Vixen

proper noun

Santa’s fourth reindeer

wassail

noun

a beverage of spiced ale or mulled wine

Winter Wonderland

song title

a song written by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith in 1934, often considered a Christmas song

wise men

noun

biblical Magi who are said to have visited baby Jesus, presenting gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts

worship

noun

an expression of reverence or adoration for a god

workshop

noun

a room or building where goods are manufactured or repaired

wrapping paper

noun

decorative paper used for wrapping packages or presents

wreath

noun

a combination of flowers, stems, and leaves arranged in a ring for decoration

Xmas

proper noun

shortened form of “Christmas”

yule log

noun

a large piece of wood burned in the fireplace on Christmas Eve; an alternate name for bûche de Noël

yuletide

noun

the Christmas season

Festive Fact: Three Kings Day, also known as El Dia del los Reyes or the Feast of the Epiphany, is celebrated in the Catholic faith in Spain and Latin America on January 6th. The holiday commemorates the Three Kings visiting baby Jesus and marks the last day of the Christmas season.

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Christmas Phrases for the Holiday Season

Along with the words above, Christmas phrases give you some great options for greeting others or writing out your next holiday card. Whether you go with Merry Christmas or Joyeux Noel, you’ll always have the right Christmas phrase for any occasion.

Phrase

Definition

Bah, humbug!

expression used when someone disapproves or does not enjoy something other people enjoy, like Christmas; popularized by Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol

Eat, drink, and be merry

shortened form of “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die,” essentially encouraging enjoying life while you can

Feliz Navidad

Spanish for “Merry Christmas”

Frohe Weihnachten

German for “Merry Christmas”

Happy Christmas

popular greeting said during Christmas (more common in the U.K.)

Happy Holidays

general, nondenominational greeting for winter holidays

Ho ho ho!

Santa Claus’ main catchphrase, signifying his jolly laugh

Joyeux Noel

French for “Merry Christmas”

Merry Christmas

popular greeting said during Christmas

Season’s greetings

a general greeting for the winter holiday season

‘Tis the season

“it’s the season”; usually an exclamation to acknowledge that it’s the winter holiday season

Printable Christmas Vocabulary Word List

There are so many great Christmas words, it's hard to choose a few to use. Download and print this fun list of over 20 Christmas words for the classroom or at home.

list of more than twenty Christmas words from the article with matching illustrations

Popular words christmas season

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Get in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas has many words to describe it, but there’s nothing like being in the Christmas season itself. After you’ve put up your decorations and wrapped the gifts, it’s time for some games and laughs!