15 Great Nature Names for a Christmas Babe!
by Linda Rosenkrantz
Yes, there’s the exchanging of presents and family reunions, turkey and tinsel—but there is also a significant part for nature to play in the Christmas festivities. There’s the tree, of course, and the wreaths, but also the floral décor and the herbs that spice up Christmas dinner. Here are 15 of the very best nature names for a Christmas baby.
AMARYLLIS—Bright red Amaryllis is one of the most popular flowering plants for Christmas. The name is among the more exotic floral names now being considered. A Greek name with the festive meaning ‘to sparkle’ it was often heard in ancient Greek pastoral poetry and was found in the families of Virginia Woolf, Richard Branson and the Kennedys. It’s now #258 on Nameberry.
ARTEMISIA is a silvery plant often incorporated into holiday wreaths. An elaboration of Artemis, Greek mythological goddess of the moon, it was most famously borne by the esteemed Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
BERRY—Berries strung on the tree, glistening cranberry sauce on the table—what could be a more Christmassy name than Berry? Until around 1970, Berry was a not uncommon boy name—as in Motown founder Berry Gordy. Now, with the growing interest in fruit names like Plum and Clementine, Berry would probably be seen more as a possibility for girls.
CYPRESS—Another Christmas tree favorite in the Leyland Cypress, with its soft, grayish-green needles. Cypress is an interesting recent entrant into the tree name category, with the friendly nickname Cy.
FRASER– The shape and structure of Fraser firs makes them popular for decorating at Christmas. They have natural conical shapes and a wonderful scent that lingers. Though TV’s Frasier publicized that version, Fraser is the original Scottish spelling, and that’s where it still ranks at #64.
GARLAND—Swaths of greenery garlands are another attractive element of holiday décor. Garland was a surprising Top 250 boy name at the turn of the last century, but these days it could equally be a sweetly evocative name for a girl, conjuring up images of Dorothy in Oz.
HOLLY—Deck the halls with boughs of! Though barely over the 500 position in the US, Holly is way up at #23 in Ireland and 32 in Scotland. Most Christmassy character name ever: Holly Holiday played by Gwyneth Paltrow on Glee.
IVY—The ivy in those garlands has some religious symbolic meaning as well: the prickly leaves represent Jesus’s crown of thorns and the berries the drops of blood he shed. Ivy is a wonderful name that packs a lot of vibrant personality into its three letters. It’s currently enjoying a big bounce in popularity—especially since Beyoncé and Jay-Z named their daughter Blue Ivy. Ivy is now #86 in the US, 18 on Nameberry and 14 in England.
LAVENDER—Christmastime relevance: It is believed that Mary washed Jesus’s swaddling clothes in this fragrant herb. A purple-hued name following Violet, Lilac and Mauve, Lavender came into the spotlight via Harry Potter character Lavender Brown. It’s loved on NB, now in the Top 500.
NOBLE—The Noble Fir, aka Christmastree is tall and narrow, with bluish-green needles and is beautifully symmetrical. Noble is one of the newly admired virtue names for boys, though it has a long and storied history—it was as high as 312 in 1901.
ROSEMARY—Live rosemary plants are often used to make mini Christmas trees. And it’s said that rosemary bloomed and bore fruit (out of season) on the night Jesus was born. Sweet Rosemary, a Top 100 name in the 1940s, is making a comeback, now at #454, 373 on NB.
SAGE—In addition to being an ingredient in many a stuffing recipe, Sage has another Christmas connection. Legend has it that Mary and baby Jesus hid in a large blooming sage bush when King Herod was searching for them. Fragrant name Sage became a unisex option in the 1990s, but is heard more for girls, now at #307 and 176 on NB. Toni Collette, Jack Huston and Brian Grazer all have daughters named Sage.
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on December 20th, 2019 at 9:22 am
I love Juniper and Noble – especially if you want a seasonal name that’s a bit more subtle than Ivy or Noel. I’ve heard Amaryllis before, but it’s never really struck me as usable until now. I think it’s growing on me!
I think Leyland [cypress], Douglas [fir], Blue [spruce], and Canaan [fir] all deserve some love in the tree-inspired subset of these names.
on December 20th, 2019 at 2:15 pm
I love Artemisia for a girl and Cypress for a boy. Artemisia was also a brilliant Persian general.
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