Celebrate with names

Dec 22nd 2005

For some families, the biggest gift of this holiday season will come wrapped in a receiving blanket.

Babies arrive 365 days a year. As you open presents or toast the new year, someone somewhere is laboring to deliver a child. The confluence of birthday and holiday can inspire parents to memorialize the occasion in a name.

In the United States, several familiar names have strong Christmas connotations. Common choices for yuletide babies:

Natalie/Natalia: from the Latin for birthday. (Think also of the words nativity, pre-natal, etc.) A natural choice to commemorate a birthdate shared with baby Jesus.

Noel/Noelle: The French name for Christmas, from the same root as Natalia.

Nicholas/Nick/Nicole/Nicola: In honor of St. Nick. (The name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch form of Nicholas.)

And some other possibilities:

Jasper/Casper/Gaspar: By tradition, one of the three Magi. (Adventurous parents could also consider Balthazar or Melchior.)

Kris: The Santa moniker Kris Kringle is believed to come from the German Christkindl, "Christ child"

Merry, Joy: From familiar Christmas salutations

Natasha: Russian pet form of Natalia

But Christmas isn't the only holiday that has inspired namesakes. In Jewish tradition, for instance, you can find names linked to days throughout the calendar. During Hanukah, popular contemporary choices include names meaning light such as Leora, Orly and Uri. Judah/Yehuda is also chosen in honor of Judah Maccabee.

Looking ahead to the Spring, a baby born during Passover might be named Eliahu for the prophet Elijah, or simply Pesach ("Passover"). Pesach is also the source of the word paschal ("pertaining to Passover or Easter"), which gave root to the popular Christian names Pascal/Pascual/Pasquale for babies born around Easter. And Easter itself used to be a modestly common English girl's name--during the heyday of Esther, a Purim name.

A New Year's celebration is an especially apt time to welcome a new life's beginning. The New Year starts on different dates in different cultures: Chinese, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim New Years are scattered across the calendar. But for all, some names suggesting fresh new beginnings:

Aurora (Roman goddess of dawn)
Genesis (from Greek for "origin")
Nova (from Latin for "new")
Newcombe/Newman (English surnames meaning new arrivals)
Renata/Renatus/Renee/Rene (from Latin for "reborn")
Sabah (from Arabic for "morning")
Usha (from Sanskrit for "dawn")
Walid (from Arabic for "newborn")

And finally, the date which looms largest on the naming calendar: February 1. The deadline for submitting your predictions to the Baby Name Pool. But no worries, you've already filled out your entry...right?

Thanks for reading, everyone! Wishing you all love, peace and joy.



By Anonymous (not verified)
December 23, 2005 3:37 PM

I think a great Christmas name left off your list is Holly! Or what about the Spanish name, Jesus?

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 23, 2005 7:35 PM

...or Immanuel, Rudolph, Clause or Alfred.

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 23, 2005 10:14 PM

And Ivy!

By ~**Dawn**~ (not verified)
December 24, 2005 3:09 AM

i used to do daycare & one of my babies was born on December 24th--i thought their choice of Eve as her middle name was a really good idea. =)

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 25, 2005 4:45 AM

How about these Hispanic names which all have a Christian theme. Paz, which means peace, or Paloma which means Dove. Another one, Esperanza which is hope.

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 27, 2005 2:10 AM

I remember a book I read in junior high in which the protagonist's little sister was born on Christmas and was named Star.--Kristen

By Antoinette (not verified)
December 27, 2005 3:02 PM

My sister is born on December 21st and named Holly. I also like Gabriel and GLoria for christmas babies.

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 28, 2005 9:00 PM

My daughter was born on Thanksgiving and her middle name is Grace.Of course, we picked that when her due date was a week before Thanksgiving...

By Becky (not verified)
December 29, 2005 1:08 AM

March 17! Patrick or Patricia!

By Lonnie (not verified)
December 30, 2005 3:05 PM

I have a writers group, and we have recent posted a "Given Name" Database online. It lets you search not only for a name, but by country, nationality, or attribute! (Yep, try searching for "Wild"... lol)It is at: http://www.14to40.com/search.phpTake care,Lonnie

By Melissa (not verified)
January 3, 2006 5:57 PM

My mother and all her sisters were born right near Christmas. Their names? Carolyn, Donna, Christine, and Holly. Also one of my cousins was born near Christmas... my aunt Holly named him Nicholas. Can you believe that I never noticed the holiday connotations until I read this blog entry?

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 3, 2006 10:16 PM

Other Christmasy names for girl babies: Beth, for Bethlehem, and Ivy, as in "the Holly & the Ivy". Someone mentioned Carolyn, I would include Carol and Caroline as other possibilities.

By Kristie (not verified)
February 19, 2006 4:05 PM

My baby was due right after Christmas, but Dr.s kept saying he would come early - so we picked Gabriel, the angel who fortold Christ's coming . . .his birthday is actually the 28th of December.

By Lynzie (not verified)
December 27, 2006 7:16 PM

I have five children. Four boys and one girl. I tried to give them each a unique name. Brent Douglas, Cole Mackenzie, Jordan Tyler, Kaleb Parker, and my daughter Kynnedi (Kennedy) Elizabeth.

By Johenson (not verified)
October 30, 2007 11:03 AM

i have expected a baby boy on december 14 2007. I am the father Exuper with the family Mariki.
do this name become intertested?

By Jessica (not verified)
November 16, 2007 11:26 AM

I think a terrific name for Christmas is Natalie. Natalie means born on Christmas Day in Latin.

By kris (not verified)
January 4, 2008 4:57 AM


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