What are your favorite holiday names?

If you’re expecting a baby anytime during the end-of-year holidays, you can’t help but at least muse on the idea of using a holiday-themed name.

Christmas baby names are the most obvious choices, as familiar among people of all faiths as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Nicholas and Noel, Holly and Ivy and Merry.

Less widely-known are names that connect to other December holidays.   Names that mean light, such as Zohar and Eleora, relate to Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  Kwanzaa names include Nia and Imani.

And New Year’s baby names range from Aurora to January.

There are names that announce the holidays loud and clear: Solstice, say, or Christmas or Holiday.  Or you might prefer names that reference the holiday season more subtly: Hope, for instance, or Balthazar.

Our real question is actually two questions.  Would you give your baby a holiday-themed name?  And whether you would actually use one yourself or not, which holiday names are your favorites?

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53 Responses to “What are your favorite holiday names?”

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KateMP91 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 12:34 am

I would consider Noel as a middle, but only because it would be honoring a family member (but his name is pronounced more like nole).

I would also consider Holiday as a middle for either gender, but I especially love it on a girl. It’s sweet with the nn Holly (also Christmas-y) and it’s a surname, unisex, bold, tough…

AprilRobin Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 12:40 am

I like Noelle/Noel, Holly, and Merry for Holiday names. I like Holiday too but as a middle name

cadeence Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 12:53 am

My favourites are Holly, Natalie and Ivy. Holiday could work as a middle.

EnglishLily Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 1:18 am

My sister’s name is Noelle and she was born on Christmas Eve. I dig Natalie and Holiday, but I think Holiday is more a middle name choice.

doctorjones Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 2:03 am

Christmas would be an interesting middle name. Christian is fairly common, so why not?

SugarPlumFairy Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 6:27 am

I love Noël! Some of my favourites include Eve, Stella, Nicholaus, Lucy, and Neve (“snow”)
Sc. Solstice is pretty interesting.

More ideas:
Christabel
Scarlet
Nova
Estelle
Jasper
Gaspard
Felicity
Winter
Bethlehem

jjayx Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 7:27 am

Two of my absolute favourite names are Nicholas and Ivy. If it wasn’t for a cousin already being a Nicholas then I’d definitely use it. Ivy is a definite possibility when my time comes for having children. Eira, which means ‘snow’ is also one of my favourites. Another great Christmas name is Clara, from in The Nutcracker

sbm602 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 7:43 am

I would totally use a festive name for a holiday baby. I think Merry, Holly, and Holiday are sweet. And Natalie is a subtle nod to the Christmas season. A name I would certainly use this time of year would be Winter.

jessamine13 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 7:48 am

I love Christmas names, and I would use one for a Christmas baby. Names I would use: Eve, Joseph, Josepha, Maria, Lucy, Lucia, Claire, Natalia, and Gloria.
Names I like but probably wouldn’t use: Casper, Jasper, Emmanuel, Jemima, Stella, Holly, Christian, and Christabel. Oh, and Zuzu is adorable.
Good Christmas time middle names: Ivy, Snow, Winter, Christine, Nicole, Eve, Belle, and Marie.

lettucehead Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 8:46 am

Don’t forget Theodore/Theodora meaning ‘Gift from God’. They have a subtle Christmas type vibe.

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 8:54 am

I’ve always loved Noelle, hearing of it first on Andy Williams’ daughter. I recall Claudine Longet quoted as saying (my paraphrase) that they named her Noelle in honor of Christmas (her middle name is Christine), even though she wasn’t born in December, and named their first son Christian because Christians celebrate Christmas. I love Christian, too, or Christopher, and would use any ‘Chris’ name as a Christmas name. Christiana is another possibility. Bing Crosby refers to “Christianas in the snow,” in the White Christmas scene in the train as the foursome is traveling to Vermont. After recent decades of Kristins/Kristens/Kierstens/Christens/Christins/Kirstins/Kirstens (although the Scandinavian variants are still very beautiful to me), I’m ready to return to Christine/Christina.

Other possibilities:

I like names that mean light, too, such as Lucy, Eleanor (Nell/Nelly), Eliora, Eliana, etc. Lucia can be used for Scandinavians celebrating Santa Lucia Day (December 13).

Names referring to St. Nick: Nicholas, Nicole

Angel names are another option: Angelina, Angelica, Angeline, Michael, Michaelina, Michaeline, Gabriel, Gabrielle, Gabriela.

Biblical names associated with the Christmas story or prophecy concerning the coming Messiah: Elizabeth (or variants/foreign versions Isabella, Eliza etc.), Zacharias (Zachary), Mary/Maria (or variants), Anna, Simeon, Joseph, Micah, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.

Natalie/Natalia. I know someone who has a Natalie, Nicole, and a Noelle, which makes a nice threesome.

Holly, Ivy, Merry.

jessamine13 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:03 am

Oh, I really like Christiana!

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:03 am

Also:

Names associated with the four Advent candles: Hope, Love, Peace/Pax/Irene, Joy, or other names with those meanings.

Glory, Alleluia

David, Jesse (the Christ child’s lineage)

Noelle variants: Noel, Noelia, Noella

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:06 am

lettucehead Says:
December 11th, 2013 at 8:46 am

‘Don’t forget Theodore/Theodora meaning ‘Gift from God’. They have a subtle Christmas type vibe.”

Yeah, you’re so right. Also Matthew/Nathan/Nathaniel(ael) have the same meaning.

Thea/Theo

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:07 am

Also, Isaac, as Isaac, offered up in sacrifice as Abraham’s son, is a type of Christ in biblical typology, pointing forward to the Christ dying in our stead. Although, Isaac (Ike) might be better for Easter :).

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:21 am

Hosanna “Save, we pray.” Although more of an Easter name, I think Hosanna makes a nice Christmas name, as well. “Ding, dong, merrily on high, hosanna in excelcis!” Well, why not ‘Merrily,’ too?

Desire. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

Jemima(h) “Dove.” Dove, symbolizing peace, and the Holy Spirit come into the world.

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:24 am

Rose or variants. Lo, how a rose e’re blooming.

Clara. (Nutcracker)

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Forgot Dorothea, Dorothy in the ‘Gift of God’ category.

Forgot Nicola in St. Nicholas group.

larkub101 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:46 am

I am full prepared to use Holiday as a first name, with the nickname Holly. I also like Snow, Evangeline, Noelle, and Natalie. My combo for Holiday is Holiday Evangeline Claire. 🙂

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:52 am

larkub101 Says:
December 11th, 2013 at 9:46 am

‘I am full prepared to use Holiday as a first name, with the nickname Holly. I also like Snow, Evangeline, Noelle, and Natalie. My combo for Holiday is Holiday Evangeline Claire”

Oh, I knew I forgot a category! The “Evangel” (means ‘gospel’ or ‘good news’) names: Evangeline, Evangelina, Evangelica.

holls1630 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 10:41 am

Holly….its my name! I also love Noelle which happens to be my sister’s middle name.

LuMary Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 11:12 am

Oh, I forgot the lovely vintage Nora in the ‘light’ category. Also, Eleonora.

Nature names: Pine, Star (or Stella, Estelle, maybe even Esther whose debatable meaning is ‘star.’)

Names related to John. John wrote about the light, which is Christ, come into the world in his gospel. Therefore: Jane, Jack, and for the Irish, Siobhan, Sinead.

Joseph-related: Josephine, Josepha

Dominic. “Dominic, the Christmas donkey” Okay, it’s a stretch, as are others, but I love the Latinate, Dominic. It reminds me of the Dominicans and incense at midnight Mass as a child.

Rachel, possibly as person of the Christmas story name. King Herod orders the massacre of all boys under 2 after Christ is born, and Matthew applies the passage in Jeremiah about Rachel weeping for her children.

hldevine Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 11:15 am

Natasha and Clara are my favorites

TeacherMA Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

While not technically related, the name, Yul(e) and Yulia (and by extension, Yuliana) has always felt like a holiday name because of the Yuletide.

isolieth Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Bear with me, I only have standard English characters on this keyboard, but I love Noelle (Noel – with diaeresis), Belen (accent on second E, please!), Ivy, and Caterina (from the Christmas song La Pastora Caterina). I also like star/moon names because of the long nights: Seren, Estelle, and Lucine, in particular. I don’t care for most angel names (Angel, Angela, etc) but I think Serephine and Celestine fit the angel/heaven bill nicely.

jacquigirl Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I have a friend born late in December named Emily Noel, which I think is perfect!

lalala__lauren Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I like Nicholas a lot, but I’ve never really thought of it as a holiday name.
I love love love Holiday, even as a first, but can’t imagine my boyf ever going for it. I like Lydia as a replacement.
I like Natalie.
My birthday is on Christmas and my parents avoided naming me CAROLine because they were afraid kids would call me Christmas Carol to make fun of me; I love Caroline since I didn’t get to be named that. I ended up with Lauren, though, which means garland or wreath, so they didn’t completely avoid the holiday connotations ;] I also really like Valentine, but that’s another holiday.
My future nephew (boyfriend’s brother’s son) is named Noel, pronounced like Nole/knoll and I think it works for them, but I like longer names.
Emanuelle is one of my favorites for girls.
I’ve always liked Merry, but I don’t think I’d ever use it.

iwillpraise Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Most of these have been on my short list; they are my favorites!

Female:
Natalia nn Talia (born at Christmas/ gentle dew of heaven)
Nadia (hope)
Clarice (bright, clear)
Angelina (angel)
Noelle (Christmas)

Male:
Gabriel (strong man of God – archangel who spoke to Jesus’ mother Mary)
Nestor (the long-eared Christmas donkey)
Nicholas (ole Saint Nick!)

I’m not expecting, but we have deliberated much over using the names Natalia and Gabriel (as absolutes) for a daughter and son regardless of the time of their birth. I turned to Natalia nn Talia when I didn’t think my husband’s FAVORITE NAME Nadia fit with our very Irish last name – However, my heart has softened towards her, especially at the excitement it causes my husband, and one of our future daughters just may be a Nadia – meaning Hope. Therefore, Christmas time, being filled with HOPE is just as Christmas-y as Natalia (meaning born at Christmas).. Seems like my list is full of Christmas names! Gabriel is a subtle way to honor my husband, Michael (the other archangel). This means, Strong Man of God. Our Christian heritage is reflected in ANY of these!

Clarice {meaning Clear, bright, famous} is the other that is a front runner, more than likely as a middle name, but I’d be all too happy to use it as a first as well. If you remember, this was Rudolph Reindeer’s faithful friend. Also a nod to my late grandpa, Clarence and – I suppose – a Christmas nod to Clarence the angel who earned his wings as George Bailey’s guardian angel. Bailey could also be a nod to It’s a Wonderful Life as well, altho I’m not very fond of it as a given name.

Speaking of Rudolph: Nestor the long-eared Christmas donkey, done in the same stop-motion animation of the classic Rudolph movie, is yet another favorite Christmas story of mine, and makes for a unique name.

Angelina (this is the ONLY Angel variation for me!!) is certainly lovely, and I’ve considered this as a middle until my husband absolutely put a stop to those thoughts bc he said, “There’s no way I’m going to have ppl think of a celebrity when they look at my daughter.” That’s not where I got the name or what I think of, but I can see his point (unfortuntely, I also am quite fond of Jolie/Joelie!) I also like Nicholas, despite it’s popularity and it being my cousin’s name, but hubby doesn’t.

A former student of mine had a girl last December, naming her Noelle Starr, a sister to Jade Elizabeth. I also know several Holly’s personally.

Giinkies Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

What about Belle? Like as a reference to Christmas Bells?

My fave name is Solstice, followed by Holiday.

iwillpraise Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

OH and two I wouldn’t consider using, but I do like:
Always loved **Christiana** (this version only!) – bc of Pilgrim’s Progress.

And **Carole** but only with an ‘e’… yes, as in singing (I love singing – note: my screen name!!)! But I’m not fond of “Carol” and my SIL’s name is Caroline, so I’d never use it! I know a Carole personally. (Thanks, lalala__lauren, for reminding me of this!!)

InsertCleverPseudonym Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

How about Carol? In a story I’m writing, there are twins named Noel and Carol.
I also like Belle, Christmas, Angel or Angelica, and Estelle.

EmilyVA Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I like Mary (a Christmas family choice), Joseph, Elizabeth, John, and Jaspar, from the Christmas story. I also like Clara from the Nutcracker.
If I had a Christmas themed baby, my choice for a boy would be Fritz, after Clara’s brother, even though Rudolph is a family name. For a girl, I like Jeanette Isabella from the old carole.
As for Christmas, as a name itself, it always makes me of Three’s Company: Suzanne Somers’ character was named Christmas “Chrissy” Snowe.

Poppy528 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I’d love to give my baby a Chanukah name! A little Judah or Olive (yes, as in miracle oil that burned for 8 nights) would be quite festive.

peach25 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I didn’t realize before how many of my favorite names have associations with Christmas. Sure, Holly, Noel, Merry, Christopher. But I’ve always liked Nicholas and Nicola, Caroline and Crispin, and I have a new cousin Clara!

jtucker Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

There are a few holiday-themed names that I would use.

Girls
Holly
Ivy
Clara – from the Nutcracker (MY FAVORITE BALLET!)

Boys
Joseph

jtucker Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Oh, forgot to add names that are wintry in feeling (if not linked to a certain holiday). Isolde and Eira have that wintry feel and meaning.

tori101 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

If I was to have a baby born around Christmas, I would defiantly use Christmas inspired names!

I wouldn’t use overly obvious Christmas names like Holly & Noel in the first name slot. But I’d think of choices like Clara or Joseph. Why waste such a golden opportunity to use a gorgeous Christmas related name for your children born around Christmas?!

And this is coming from a girl in an interfaith family…

A_Tate Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

love Noel and Clara
I know a girl who was born on Christmas Eve and they called her Crystal Eve

ashthedreamer Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I don’t know that I would purposely use a Christmas name. I’ve heard of enough Christmas babies who hate the cheesy Christmas ties. But my sister and I both share ties to Christmas in our names (my middle is a form of Mary, and her first means “Christ’s birth”), so I like Christmas names in general in her honor. I like/have used:

Avery (has something to do with elves. I think it’s fun!)
Balthasar/Melchior/Caspar/Gaspard (I would be most likely to use Caspar or Gaspard, followed by Balthasar. Melchior’s cool, but I’m not that brave!)
Shepherd
Joseph
Nicholas
Gabriel

Ivy
Winter
Noelle
Natalie (my sister’s actual name)
Joy
Eve
Lucia (LOVE this so much right now!)

Lately I’ve been thinking of using Lucia Eve as a double-barrel Christmas middle to double-whammy my sister’s and my ties to Christmas in our names. 🙂

TaylorBlueSkye Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I like the middle names Noeline and December.

Also Caspar as first name.

nlane825 Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Ok I have a question about Eleora. Every time I see it I think “wow that is a beautiful name” but I’m wondering how others pronounce it since I have never actually heard it on anyone. Is it el-E-ora, EL-ora, E-lora, or something totally different.

mysoutherncomfortzone Says:

December 11th, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Some Christmassy names that are a few of my favorites are Stella, Noelle, Holly, and Hope! I won’t use Holly, because it’s too similar to my name (Haleigh pr HAL-ee), but I think it’d be nice to have a little Stella Hope some day. Noelle is my middle name, and I love it, and I want to use it as a middle some day too. I love Christmas!

RainbowBright908 Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 12:03 am

Perfect time of year to use a Sun God name for us Heathens– Helios, Apollo, Horus, Sol, Ra, Mithra, and Etain are a few that seem usable. I don’t particularly care for Solstice as a name, but I’m glad to see it on the list. 😉 Also names like Stella, Holly, Soleil, Carol, Juniper, Lucia, that invoke thoughts of the holidays without overtly doing so. I also love many of the diminutives and derivatives of Mary, which would be a meaningful choice for someone of the Christian faith.

Maybe some see it as cheesy to use a winter holiday/ Christmas name, but there are plenty of non-Christmas babies named Holly or Carol, and a name like Clara or Christine doesn’t really scream “Christmas baby!” in the way Noel does for me.

I love the idea of Olive for a Hanukkah baby. Such a meaningful choice! I also love the name Imani. Such a strong, poetic, powerful name.

litysmama Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 2:30 am

My daughter’s name is Felicity Noelle… so it kind of means Merry Christmas and I love that!! 🙂

smiles1979 Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 10:09 am

Great post! 🙂
Noel is my own middle name and it’s on my list for any possible future baby girl to carry on my middle name as well. 🙂

LuMary Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

In addition to Bethlehem, mentioned by another, Judah and Nazareth are other Christmas-story place names. I heard of a child once named Nazareth.

LuMary Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I knew a couple who named their daughter Bailey who was born in December after viewing “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Noelle is the fairest of them all, though, in my opinion, with the ‘Chris/Kris’ names a close second.

mermuse Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Holly or Ivy would be awfully cute…. Natalie or Noel would be okay for a middle name if they were actually born ON Christmas. (In fact, sorry, but I kinda only like those names for Christmas babies!)

LuMary Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Emmanuel/Immanuel “God with us.”

Nera – for a Hanukkah daughter.

LuMary Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Keziah – related to Cassia (cinnamon, a Christmas spice).

Catherine/Katherine – “pure” (He Shall Purify – Handel’s Messiah)

LuMary Says:

December 12th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Adora – “O Come Let Us Adore Him”

LuMary Says:

December 16th, 2013 at 9:23 am

Others:

Musically-related: Melody, Drummond, Piper, Fifer, Harper, Belle (or from which Belle can be derived)

“Light” category: Eilidh, for the Scots

Ebenezer (Christmas story of redemption), Marley

Blessing, Honor

Virginia

KittyMomma246 Says:

December 19th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I would probably not use a holiday-themed name… lol
I may use one unintentionally.

Ivy & Holly are pretty, and I love nature names.
I especially like Ivy as a middle name for a baby girl.

Noel/Noelle is pretty, but the obvious Christmas connection would probably rule it out.

Nicholas/Nick is too overused to me, though it’s a classic.

I could never use Mary… it’s too overused, biblical, and it means “bitter”.
And I would never ever spell it Merry, bc it’s too silly. lol

I couldn’t use Rudolph, bc he would be picked on mercilessly!

Zohar sounds too odd to use, but Eleora is quite unique.
I think she might often be mistaken for Eleanor though, & it’s a little hard to say.

Nia is too short, in my opinion. Imani is okay, but I don’t like the sound all that much.

Aurora is pretty. I like the reference to the Aurora Borealis, but there’s also the Disney princess, aka “Sleeping Beauty”. I don’t think I’d want to name my daughter after a princess that did nothing but sleep for the whole movie! I’d prefer a cooler princess. 😉 lol

January is actually has a pretty nice sound to it, but bc it’s a month name… I couldn’t do it.

Solstice is a very cool word, but… I don’t think I could use it. Just too bizarre-sounding.

Christmas? Holiday? Noooo. Could never use either of those.
I don’t like Christian or Christine either. Holly I’d consider as a middle name, but it’s not high on the list.

Balthazar? Noooo. Way too bizarre & too much of a mouthful.

Hope is okay. I’d consider it for a middle name, but it’s not high on the list either.

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