You Can't Call It "It"!, treats us to a festival of names for Christmas babies. - baby names"/>
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How To Name Your Christmas Baby

Christmas Baby Names

Guest blogger Elisabeth Wilborn, of the wonderful name blog You Can’t Call It “It”!, treats us to a festival of names for Christmas babies.

Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

Balthasar, Balthazar- One of the Magi

Casper, Gaspard, Jasper- While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men

Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) – Followers of Christ

Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl

Epiphany- For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi

Estelle, Estella, Esther, Seren, Stella- All have meaning related to “star”

Eve- For the night before

Jesus

Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)

Yeshua- Other versions of the name Jesus

Maria, Mary- The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name

Melchior- The third king to visit Jesus

Natalia, Natalie- Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia

North- After the guiding North Star?

Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy- “Gift of God”

Virginia- There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Names connoting light:

Claire

Clara- Also the little girl in the Nutcracker, who in some versions is referred to as Mary or Maria; her brother is Fritz

Eleanor, Eleanora, Leonor, Lenora, Nora

Helen

Lucia, Lucian, Lucius, Lucy, Lux

The Angelic:

Angel, Angela, Angelica, Angelika, Angelina

Gabriel- Angel who broke the news to Mary that she was pregnant; Gabriella, Gabrielle

Hermione- “The messenger”

Malachi- “My messenger” or “my angel” in Hebrew

Michael- Another of the seven archangels, and a good choice if your loved one is away in battle, as he is patron saint of soldiers

Serafina, Seraphine- From the highest order of angels, the seraphim, and with the slightly ironic meaning “fiery”

Names that recall the spirit of the season:

Faith, Fidelity

Felicia, Felicity and Felix

Gloria, Glory

Hope

Joy

Merrily, Merry

Pax

Meaning “dove”, the symbol of peace:

Colombe

Columba

Dove

Jemima

Paloma

Greenery:

Berry

Cedar

Celyn- Welsh for “holly”

Elm

Holly

Ivy

Juniper

Pine

(Mistletoe and Poinsettia are other possibilities, though I can’t get behind either one)

Related to the season, as it is in the northern hemisphere:

Bianca, Blanca- “White” in Italian, Spanish

Blanche- French for “white”

Eira- Welsh for “snow”

Lumi- Finnish for “snow”

Neige- “Snow” in French

Nevada- “Snow-capped” in Spanish

Nieves- “Snow” in Spanish

Robin

Snow

Solstice

Winter

Yuki, Yukiko- Japanese, “happiness + snow”, and “happiness + snow + child”

Yule- Winter festival

For Posterity:

Bell, Belle

Carol

Christmas

Claus, Nicholas, Nicola, Nicole- For jolly old St. Nick

December

Noel, Noelia, Noelle

Rudolf ;-)

I wish you all the best if you are naming your little one this Christmas. A great name is one of the best gifts you can bestow. It’s a start, anyway. Happy Holidays!

Elisabeth Wilborn is an artist and writer who lives with her young family in Brooklyn, New York.  To help quench your baby name thirst, check out her blog exclusively devoted to names, youcantcallitit.com.

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