By Sophie Kihm
Would you ever consider giving a December-born baby the name of a timeless holiday singer? I like the idea–it makes a subtle connection between the name and time of year–much less conspicuous than something like Holiday or Yule.
Bing– Bing Crosby has one of the most classic Christmas albums of all time–after seventy years it’s still on heavy rotation. Bing is a swanky old-fashioned nickname with a lot of potential. Kate Hudson used it as a nickname for her son Bingham.
Crosby– If Bing isn’t your thing, you might want to consider Crosby. He’s an lively Irish surname with some serious style. Some people might associate Crosby with the character from Parenthood, but it’s more likely they’ll think of Bing.
Carey– Mariah Carey is the modern Christmas song queen, but her first name feels past its peak. Carey, on the other hand, feels unexpectedly fresh–on a boy. Carrie and Cari are girls of the past, but Cary, Carey, and Kerry could be ready for revival.
Dean– Dean Martin is credited with popularizing the hit Christmas song “Marshmallow World” more than ten years after its debut. Martin was actually born Dino, which makes a livelier alternative. As a name, Dean is rising in popularity in the U.S. and was at #221 last year.
Ella– Ella is one of those name that are so popular, most associations are just a wash. However, many a parent (and celebrity) have cited Ella Fitzgerald as the inspiration for their daughter’s name. Her Christmas album is one of my very favorites–I play it all season long. Fitzgerald– Ella‘s surname is much more distinctive and Fitz is a cute nickname, though Fritz, Gerry, and Gerald are also options.
Frank– Frank Sinatra is about as classic as it gets. It’s no surprise that his Christmas songs are still heard on radio stations all over the country (and he even has a spot on my eclectic holiday playlist). His first name, Frank, has the same sort of sophisticated vintage feel to it–yet has been falling in popularity for as long as the data’s been kept.
Garland– Garland is a rare double-Christmas-connection name. Not only is it what we drape around Christmas trees and fireplace mantels, it’s also the surname of Christmas singer extraordinaire, Judy Garland. Her most famous holiday song is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Gene– Gene Autry sang many of today’s favorite Christmas songs, and even penned one himself, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” He also had big hits with “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” That makes the clunky-cool Gene a Christmas hero name of sorts—as does the cowboy-feel Autry.
McCartney– Lennon and Harrison are fair game, so how about McCartney? Irish surnames are certainly popular right now, so I don’t think it’d be too far-out a choice, especially because of Paul. This Beatle wrote “Wonderful Christmastime” in 1979, and it’s been a favorite ever since.
Nat– Nat (born Nathaniel) King Cole‘s Christmas songs are a cherished tradition in many households, his most famous is his rendition of “The Christmas Song.” All three of his names are worthy of consideration for a 2015-born child, but Nat is the simplest and most unexpected.
Presley– Who could forget Elvis Presley‘s wonderful collection of Christmas tunes? It wouldn’t be the holidays without “Blue Christmas” (or in my house–“Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me”). His first name is too strongly tied to the singer, but America has embraced Presley–especially for a girl, for whom it’s Number 189 on the list.