Year-Round Christmas Names: Jasper, Jesse and Joy
(#12—there were 13,834 Baby Matthews born in 2012, most of them not Christmas babies). The story of the birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, with Matthew's including the story of the Christmas Star and the Visitation of the Magi. Matthew has been a Top 10 name since 1972, becoming the second most popular boys’ name in 1995. It’s now attached to several silver-screen heartthrobs.
- Baby Matthews born in 2012, most of them not Christmas babies). The story of the birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, with Matthew's including the story of the Christmas Star and the Visitation of the Magi. Matthew has been a Top 10 name since 1972, becoming the second most popular boys’ name in 1995. It’s now attached to several silver-screen heartthrobs." >
- Lord,” Natalie is probably more tied to Christmas and given to Yuletide babies than the others. Though it’s been on the Social Security list from its 19th century beginnings, Natalie has never ranked as high as it has in the past five years. Once closely tied to Natalie (born Natalia) Wood, she’s now represented by Natalies Cole, Portman, Merchant, Imbroglia and Maines." >
- Joseph, the name of the carpenter husband of the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ, as well as of an important figure in the Old Testament, is an eternal classic, consistently in the Top 20, whereas Mary, which was the number one name for girls for four centuries, has slipped to Number 123—though thanks to TV shows like Downton Abbey, she is showing signs of a comeback.." >
- Luke was a first-century Greek physician, evangelist, artist, and friend of Saint Paul, who authored the third Gospel, establishing the manger part of the story. The name Luke, which has a far more relaxed and casual feel than most biblical appellations, entered the Top 40 for the first time in 2011." >
- Bishop in what is now Turkey, the future St. Nicholas was known for helping the poor and giving generous gifts to the needy. Centuries later, Dutch settlers in America brought with them the old stories of St. Nicholas—in their language Sinterklaas--which became Santa Claus. If this comes too close to Christmas for you, consider Nicholas offshoot Colin." >
- Stella Maris, or star of the sea, is one of the many ancient epithets of the Virgin Mary, signifying her role as a guiding star. While Stella is the more popular option of the two components, Maris is a more distinctive possibility, having never made it into the Top 1000." >
- Jesse Tree is a depiction in tree form of the ancestors of Christ, rising from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of King David; it’s kind of a combination family tree and advent calendar. Jesse—a primarily masculine spelling—was a cool cowboyish name of the 1980s, reaching Number 37 in 1981." >
- Holly and the Ivy” is a traditional English Christmas carol, celebrating the greenery used to decorate churches from at least the fifteenth century. But over the years Holly has been much more associated with Xmas, so that Ivy would be a far subtler suggestion. The quirky, energetic Ivy, which symbolizes fidelity, is very much on the rise." >
- Christmas Carol with the names Ebenezer and Tiny Tim, but there’s also one usable surname—and I don’t mean Scrooge or Cratchet. Marley, the last name of Scrooge’s deceased partner—and currently that of a recurring Glee character-- has been zooming up the girls’ chart since the nineties, in tandem with cousin Harley." >
- Jesus, three wise men from the East—known as the Magi—saw a star signifying the birth of the king of the Jews, followed it to Bethlehem, and offered gifts to the child. One of those men was called Jasper (or Caspar). Long considered stylish in England, Jasper has finally found his footing here, especially after a prominent role in the Twilight saga." >
- Olive, the Other Reindeer. With Olivia a mega-popular Top 4 name, an increasing number of parents—including Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen, and Drew Barrymore (who voiced the character of Olive in the animated version)—are turning to the less frilly, botanical Olive for their daughters." >
- Joy to the world! This gleeful single-syllable name, which peaked at Number 109 in 1974, is beginning to see a bit of a return as a middle name, along with such other period possibilities as June and Jane. Some parents are also considering the Italian version, Gioia." >
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on December 20th, 2013 at 3:45 am
Yay… Sinterklaas.. Peter is a name closely related to the Dutch tradition.
on December 20th, 2013 at 9:49 am
I love Gioia but I worry about pronunciation here.
on December 20th, 2013 at 2:12 pm
I love the name Joy even though people seem to think it’s “old”. I love Gioia too but it could be confusing around here.
I’ve known plenty of Natalies in my day and none of them were actually “born in December” like the meaning says. I think it’s a name like Valentina or April. Strictly in one month–but that’s just me.
Matthew is one of my favorite traditional names but I’m in love with Matteo. So I’d use Matteo.
Jesse was the first name of my favorite teacher. He was a “gift” to my life as well!
Christopher was always a Christmas name to me because my grandpa Christopher was born on Christmas. Christopher probably has nothing to do with Christmas haha.
I knew a girl whose sister’s name is Maris but I like Marisa/Marissa better.
I detest Stella and Ivy. Idk why.
I like Luca better than Luke.
on December 20th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
I personally think that any Christ- beginning name (Christopher, Christian, Christina, etc.) could be associated with December/Christmas time.
on December 20th, 2013 at 6:02 pm
I love Joy as a name regardless of the time of year. I read Gioia as Gloria first. While I can’t speak for other Christian denominations, “Gloria in excelsis Deo” (Latin for Glory to God in the Highest) is a common Christmas hymn in the Catholic church.
on December 21st, 2013 at 12:53 am
I totally forgot Marley was from a Christmas Carol!
I keep thinking of Bob or the dog.
on December 21st, 2013 at 4:13 am
Love this 🙂
on December 21st, 2013 at 4:58 am
Nice names 🙂 Some of my favourite Christmas names are Noelle (for a girl), Maria, Gabriel, Donna (like Donner the reindeer), and Dash, Blitzen and Comet or Cupid would be a cool sibset haha!
on December 21st, 2013 at 4:55 pm
I Love the name Jesse as a Christmas name! I have a cousin Jesse who’s name was inspired by the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree has always been a huge part of our family Christmas for the kids. I also remember how our second grade class had a part in the Christmas play portraying the Jesse Tree! I also love Natalie and Noelle’s association with Christmas! They are so beautiful and remind me of the Christmas Star when I hear them.
on December 22nd, 2013 at 7:33 am
I like Jasper, Stella, Matthew, and Ivy… I’d add…
Eben- Ebenezer Scrooge
George- George Bailey
Bailey- George Bailey
Clarence- The angel
Timothy- Tiny Tim
Robert- (Bob) Tiny Tim’s father
Charles- Charles Dickens
Nova- a kind of star
Bethlehem- this could be a cool middle name
Aubrey- “elf ruler”
Avery- “elf counsel”
Alfred- “elf counsel”
Alvin- “elf friend”
Myrrh- this could be a cool mn
Oliver- “elf army”
Olivia/ Alivia- “elf army”
Berger (and maybe Barker)- “shepherd”
MacGregor- “son of a shepherd”
Pan- god of shepherds and flocks
Orianna/ Oriana- “golden”
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