I’ve spent 34 Christmases in Ireland. For my family, and many others, the saying of Irish Christmas Blessings takes place throughout the ‘big day’.
Ranging from funny and lighthearted to meaningful and poignant, there are plenty of Irish Christmas blessings to choose from.
Below, you’ll find our favourites and there’s a mix of religious and non-religious ones to browse.
Our favourite Irish Christmas blessings
Before you flick down to the Irish Christmas wishes, I’d like to wish you a merry Christmas from all of us here at The Irish Road trip. Right – let’s dive on in!
1. Saying Happy Christmas in Irish
So, this isn’t exactly an Irish Christmas blessing, but learning how to say ‘Happy Christmas’ in Irish is worth the 2 minutes it’ll take.
To say it to one person, it’s ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’, which is pronounced ‘Null-eg hunna gheev’.
To say it to more than one person, it’s ‘Nollaig shona dhuit’, which is pronounced ‘Null-eg hunna ghwitch’.
2. To peace and plenty
The first of our real Irish Christmas blessings is short, sweet and packed with meaning.
It’s an easy one to read aloud but it’d be just as effective if written in a card or as part of a text message.
“May peace and plenty be the first
To lift the latch at your door
And happiness be guided to your home
By the candle of Christmas.
God’s blessings and peace be yours throughout
This New Year.”
3. Bless the hearth
Those of you on the lookout for more religious Irish Christmas blessings should be fond of this next one.
It’s nicely formatted with the verse prompting the blessing of the listeners/readers home.
“God bless the corners of your house and all the lintels blessed.
Bless the hearth and bless the board and bless each place of rest.
Bless each door that opens wide to strangers as to kin.
Bless each crystal window pane that lets the starlight in.
Bless the rooftop overhead and every sturdy wall.
The peace of man. The peace of God. With peace and love for all.”
4. As the sun rises gold
If you’re looking for Irish Christmas prayers that have a notable dash of ‘Irishness’ to them, this one is worth considering.
It’s a religious verse but it also mentions the ‘Emerald Isle’, which is rare in Irish Christmas wishes. It goes:
“As the sun rises gold, Over the Emerald Isle.
May your oat’s hot steam, Nourish your Irish smile.
And may you be thankful, to Him who fills your bowl,
warms your heart, and soothes your soul.”
5. Drinks beside the fire
This verse paints a picture of a cosy room with a real fire ablaze while family and friends sit around sipping and laughing.
“This Christmas may you have…
Walls for the wind,
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.”
6. The Wexford Carol
Although this arguably should be part of a guide to Irish prayers and blessings, the Wexford Carol is more a blessing than many of the ones above and below.
It dates back to the 15th/16th century and it tells the story of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Hit play above for a listen. It’s opening verse goes:
“Good people all, this Christmas time, Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done, In sending His beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray, To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn, There was a blessed Messiah born.”
7. The warmth of a home
Our next Irish Christmas prayer is packed full of well wishes, from ‘the light of a Christmas star” to ‘the joy of a thousand angels’.
As is the case with many of the best Irish Christmas blessings, there’s a lovely bit of imagery to go with this one.
“The light of the Christmas star to you, The warmth of a home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you, The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you, The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.”
8. The magic of Christmas
Next up is a more formal Irish Christmas prayer that’s delivered quickly over two short lines.
This is a nice short verse that’ll work well on the inside of a card.
“May you never forget what is worth remembering, or remember what is best forgotten.
The magic of Christmas lingers on, though childhood days have passed, upon the common round of life, a holy spell is cast.”
9. Walls for the winds
This is one of my favourite Irish Christmas prayers due to the end of the first sentence and the mention of ‘rain and tea beside the fire’.
Upon reading or hearing this one, your mind is immediately cast to a cosy room, a warm drink and rain and wind battering the windows.
“May you have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain and tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.
May joy and peace surround you, Contentment latch your door, And happiness be with you now, And bless you evermore. ”
10. Peace and prosperity
If you’re looking for a short Irish Christmas prayer, this next one should be right up your street.
This is one of the more religious Irish Christmas wishes in this article and it’ll suit a person of few words.
“May peace and prosperity be the first to lift the latch on your door
And the Christ Child be guided to your home by the light of the Christmas candle.”
11. The best to you and yours
The last of our old fashioned Irish Christmas blessings is one that you’ll regularly see on the front of Christmas cards.
It’s one of the longer Irish Christmas wishes in this article, so if you’re reading it aloud over dinner it’s worth practicing it.
“May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world, with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons, bring the best to you and yours!”
What Irish Christmas prayers have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some old fashioned Irish Christmas blessings from the guide above.
If you have any Irish Christmas greetings that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about Irish Christmas greetings
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What’s an appropriate Irish Christmas toast?’ to ‘What’s a short festive greeting?”.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What is the best Irish Christmas blessing?
There is no singular Irish Christmas blessing. If you’re looking for a festive Gaelic greeting, ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ (‘Null-eg hunna gheev’) is ‘Happy Christmas’ in Irish.
What is the Irish Christmas blessing prayer?
There are many, such as, “As the sun rises gold, Over the Emerald Isle, May your oat’s hot steam, Nourish your Irish smile. And may you be thankful, to Him who fills your bowl, warms your heart, and soothes your soul.”
What do the Irish say at Christmas?
The most notable of the Irish Christmas wishes is ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ (pronounced ‘Null-eg hunna gheev’) which means ‘Happy Christmas’ in Irish.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.