The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

These suggestions are unashamedly for the Christian festival. I have not tried to cater for "X" - mas, where "X" stands for an unknown quantity, nor for Saturnalia, let alone 'Crimbo' or 'Winterval'.


I have not found a generally accepted Latin version of 'Merry Christmas'. I therefore offer a selection of possibilities. Additions in brackets are optional.

omnia felicia et fausta (tibi sint)

(May you have) everything lucky and auspicious.

felix nativitas (sit)

(May it be) a lucky/happy Nativity/Christmas

(This is very close to the Spanish greeting)

Instead of nativitas you might like to use dies natalis Christi


Rejoice! (singular and plural)

Possibly add: in Nativitate Christi (on Christ's birthday)

or: Christus natus est (Christ has been born)

Caecilius Metellae Nativitatem felicem optat

Caecilius (or any name in the nominative) wishes a happy Christmas to Metella (or any name in the dative, or matri suae, patri suo, parentibus suis. If the name does not decline, add amico suo or amicae suae.)


Gloria in excelsis Deo

et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis

Glory to God in the highest

and on earth peace to men/people of goodwill

(The song of the angels, Luke 2)

Verbum caro factum est

The Word was made flesh

(John 1)

Puer nobis nascitur

Unto us a born is born

(from the carol)

parvulus enim natus est nobis. filius datus est nobis.

For unto us is born a little child. Unto is a son is given.

(Isaiah 9)


Christmas Pages

Latin Christmas Cards