Notable Names for December Babies: Winter, Holly and Bodhi
December welcomes in the winter season, holiday celebrations, and a great medley of names. There’s plenty of name inspiration this month, from holidays, to seasonal names, to notable birthdays. The weather outside might be frightful, but these names for December babies are so delightful!
Lucia – December 13th is Saint Lucia’s day. One of Sweden’s biggest celebrations, Saint Lucia’s day (or Saint Lucy’s Day) once coincided with the Winter Solstice and has since been nicknamed the festival of light. Fittingly, Lucia is an Italian name meaning light. Lucia is currently the Number 1 name in Spain and has several pronunciation options.
Rudyard –Rudyard Kipling, best known for writing the Jungle Book, was born on December 30, 1865. Born James Rudyard Kipling, Rudyard is a name still tightly associated with the author. Kipling’s parents were so inspired by Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire that they used it when naming him. Rudyard is an English name meaning red enclosure.
Winter – The coldest season of the year, Winter begins on December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter is a crisp, cool seasonal name that is on the rise, most popular last year at Number 556. Princess Winter is a character in the best-selling novels, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Although it sounds modern, Winter has actually been used as a first name since the seventeenth century.
Diego – Artist Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886. Rivera’s large works in fresco were influential in establishing the Mexican Mural Movement. Diego is a Spanish form of the name James meaning supplanter and may also be a diminutive of the name Santiago. A Top 10 name in Mexico, Chile, and Spain, Diego is currently Number 129 in the United States.
Claudia – First Lady Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson was born on December 22, 1912. The wife of the 36th U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson, she is remembered for her advocacy in beautifying cities and highways. Currently Number 724 in popularity, Claudia was first used by noble Romans: it’s a feminine form of Claudius meaning lame.
Bodhi – Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday held on December 8th to celebrate the day Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment. Bodhi is a Sanskrit name meaning enlightenment and awakening. Bodhi was one of the fastest rising names last year and is currently Number 615 in popularity. The alternative spellings Bode and Bodie are also on the rise. Bodhi is a big celebrity fave, used by, among others, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, Amy Brenneman and Oliver Hudson.
Holly – “Deck the halls with boughs of Holly.” Often used in holiday decor, Holly . a shrub with glossy green leaves and bunches of small red berries that ripen in winter—is a quintessential Christmas name. Holly is currently Number 449 in popularity in the US, 21 in Ireland, 24 in Scotland and 39th in England.
Giacomo – Italian composer Giacomo Puccini was born December 22, 1958. Widely considered the greatest composer of Italian opera, he is best known for his works Madama Butterfly and La Boheme. Giacomo is an Italian variation of James. Rarely used in the United States, only 31 boys were given the first name Giacomo last year.
Clara – Nurse and philanthropist Clarissa “Clara” Hawlowe Barton was born December 25, 1821. A pioneer in nursing during the American Civil War, Barton founded the American Red Cross. Clara is a Latin name meaning bright and clear. Clara is also the name of the main character in the popular Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. It’s now at Number 108, its highest ranking since the 1940s.
What would you name your December baby?
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on December 1st, 2015 at 4:21 am
Great list! Lucia is one of my favorites but with three different pronunciations it’d get frustrating to constanly correct people.
Also love Holly & Clara (my g-grandma’s name).
on December 1st, 2015 at 12:40 pm
Any name meaning ‘light’ is great for December. Jesus is the ‘Light of the World’ and Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. Nora, Lucy, Eleanor, Helen are all examples.
on December 1st, 2015 at 4:42 pm
I’d love to use Lucia as a middle name to honor my Swedish heritage. I have the fondest memories with my sisters doing the Santa Lucia pageant for my grandma’s Swedish club every year.
Love, love, love Giacomo! It will probably always just be a GP as it’s so Italian and we have no Italian heritage. But I love it so much, I might forgo tradition.
on January 1st, 2019 at 12:07 am
Not sure I’d name a December baby any differently than a June baby, but maybe.
If so, I like Holly and Ivy.
And for males, December, Bedford, Clarence, Yule, January, Winter, Squall, Gale. I love wintry names for boys.
on January 1st, 2019 at 5:32 pm
I’d think I’d read about Rudyard Kipling’s views on race before using either his given or last name. I’m disappointed it’s always on Nameberry’s blogs.
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