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20 Holiday Words to Fill Your Scrabble Board With Joy

holiday words on scrabble board

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During every holiday season, people seek out activities to enjoy with friends and family. Playing games is always a popular choice, and Scrabble is a terrific option. Since the holidays are on your mind, you might be inclined to use those winter words as you play. But, are they legal in Scrabble? Not to worry! This list will show you which holiday words are valid and help keep you off the Scrabble naughty list.

Advent

Advent is an event observed in certain Christain denominations. It encompasses the four Sundays before Christmas. Typically, it’s used to countdown the weeks until Christmas Day arrives. 

  • Scrabble score: 10 points

  • Words With Friends score: 12 points

Bough

When discussing an ornate branch of an evergreen tree used for decoration, you’re talking about a bough. They, like Christmas trees, have long been used to celebrate life during the holiday season by bringing the evergreen plants inside one’s home.

  • Scrabble score: 11 points

  • Words With Friends score: 13 points

Caroling

Caroling is what you do when everyone gets together to sing the iconic songs of the Christmas season. Often, caroling includes walking a neighborhood, visiting people at their homes and singing a song or two for the residents before departing.

  • Scrabble score: 11 points

  • Words With Friends score: 15 points

Dreidel

dreidel with definitiondreidel with definition

Holiday words definitely extend beyond Christian traditions too. A dreidel is a traditional tabletop game played by Jewish people, particularly by young children, during Hanukkah. It is also the spinning top used to play said game. 

  • Scrabble score: 9 points

  • Words With Friends score: 10 points

Frankincense

Frankincense is a type of aromatic resin. It is mentioned in the account of the Nativity in the Bible. After the birth of Christ, three wise men came from the East to see the Child. They came with three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  • Scrabble score: 21 points

  • Words With Friends score: 25 points

Fruitcake

Though jokes about it are common, fruitcake is a popular traditional food served at holiday parties and gatherings. The recipes for it can vary, but fruitcake is generally a dense, sweet cake with nuts, fruits and various spices baked into it.

  • Scrabble score: 18 points

  • Words With Friends score: 20 points

Garland

A long chain of evergreen branches that you can use as decorations for the holiday season is called a garland. It serves a similar purpose as a bough by bringing something that represents life into a person’s home. People often make their garland out of pinecones, holly and berries.

  • Scrabble score: 9 points

  • Words With Friends score: 12 points

Hark

Hark definitely doesn’t get used much in modern vocabulary. It is a verb that calls for a person (or a group of people) to carefully focus and listen to the person speaking. Most people are familiar with this Christmas word thanks to the song “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” written by Charles Wesley.

  • Scrabble score: 11 points

  • Words With Friends score: 10 points

Menorah

The possibly most important symbolic item of Hanukkah is the hanukkiyah, a type of menorah. It is a candelabrum with nine branches. The menorah’s eight side branches symbolize the eight days of Hanukkah.

  • Scrabble score: 12 points

  • Words With Friends score: 13 points

Mistletoe

mistletoe with definition and examplemistletoe with definition and example

One of the more amusing holiday decorations, the mistletoe hangs from the ceiling, usually in a doorway or other point where people might cross paths. The tradition for the mistletoe is that whenever two people find themselves standing underneath it, they are meant to kiss.

  • Scrabble score: 11 points

  • Words With Friends score: 13 points

Myrrh

As mentioned earlier, myrrh was one of the three gifts given to Jesus and His family by the three wise men. It’s similar to frankincense by being a type of potent-smelling resin. During the era, resin gifts like these were considered as valuable as the gold given with them.

  • Scrabble score: 13 points

  • Words With Friends score: 12 points

Noel

Noel” is how you say “Christmas” in French. Over the years, the Christmas word worked its way into the English language and now serves additional purposes. One of the most notable examples is its use as a synonym for a Christmas carol.

  • Scrabble score: 4 points

  • Words With Friends score: 6 points

Nutcracker

A nutcracker is a real kitchen utensil used to open hard-shelled nuts. For Christmas, a tradition started where people would craft dolls shaped like soldiers, but with a nutcracker mechanism added in their mouths. People would then use the dolls to crack open nuts during Christmastime, which were and continue to be a popular treat for the season.

  • Scrabble score: 18 points

  • Words With Friends score: 22 points

Ornament

Ornaments are by far the most common decorations for Christmas trees. The most common types of ornaments are glass bulbs with reflective coatings, though many other types exist. Paired with strings of Christmas tree lights, ornaments do a splendid job of illuminating a tree and adding a full spectrum of colors.

  • Scrabble score: 10 points

  • Words With Friends score: 13 points

Poinsettia

Despite being a tropical plant, poinsettias are used by millions of people each year as indoor Christmas decorations. They have small flowers with large leaves. The leaves are green throughout most of the year, but they turn a vibrant red when they are in season. The red leaves with the green stems make them perfectly themed for the holidays.

  • Scrabble score: 12 points

  • Words With Friends score: 14 points

Reindeer

Despite most of the lore surrounding Santa Claus being for fantastical effect, reindeer are very real. The only thing they lack compared to the eight tiny, fictional counterparts is the ability to fly.  These deer live in the arctic regions. Reindeer sport thick fur and large hooves and antlers, all of which help them survive in their harsh natural environments.

  • Scrabble score: 9 points

  • Words With Friends score: 10 points

Snowman

A favorite pastime for kids in the snowy regions of the world is to build a snowman. Though not initially or purposefully synonymous with the season, the snowman’s depiction in Christmas-related media, such as the “Frosty the Snowman” song and the cartoon based on it, has led it to become an iconic holiday symbol.

  • Scrabble score: 12 points

  • Words With Friends score: 15 points

Solstice

During the holiday season, when people speak of the solstice, they are usually referring to the winter solstice. Winter words certainly predate Christianity too. Before Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe, people celebrated the solstice, the shortest day of the year. The Catholic church adopted many of the traditions of that celebration and incorporated them into Christmas.

  • Scrabble score: 10 points

  • Words With Friends score: 12 points

Tinsel

Tinsel is an accompanying decorative piece for the other decorative pieces. It consists of long strips or threads of reflective material, usually silver or gold in color. People will drape them on, or even throw them at, their Christmas trees or wreaths to accent them and give them more color. Holiday words like tinsel are fun and festive.

  • Scrabble score: 6 points

  • Words With Friends score: 8 points

Yuletide

Today, “yuletide” is another way to describe the Christmas season. It often appears in classic Christmas songs, which is where most people know it from. But, before that, it used to refer to a pre-Christian, Germanic holiday, called Yule. Back then, it was the specific holiday that celebrated the winter solstice.

  • Scrabble score: 12 points

  • Words With Friends score: 13 points

Christmas Questions and Answers

These holiday words are proof of how much people love the winter season. The traditions bring a lot of enjoyment to those who celebrate them. That said, it’s safe to say that many people don’t actually know what the traditions’ meanings or origins are. Take the origins of the popular Christmas greetings for example. Do you know why we say them? If not, you can read our guide to learn exactly where they came from and what they mean.


Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.

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