Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late.

Some may have bigger, or smaller, things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name.

There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

  • Balthasar, Balthazar—One of the Magi
  • Casper, Gaspard, Jasper—While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men
  • Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy)—Followers of Christ
  • Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl
  • Epiphany—For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi
  • Estelle, Estella, Esther, Seren, Stella—All have meaning related to “star”
  • Eve—For the night before
  • Jesus
  • Joseph, Josepha, Josephine—(also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)
  • Yeshua—Other versions of the name Jesus
  • Maria, Mary—The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name
  • Melchior—The third king to visit Jesus
  • Natalia, Natalie—Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia
  • North—After the guiding North Star?
  • Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy—“Gift of God”
  • Virginia—There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Names connoting light:

  • Claire
  • Clara—Also the little girl in the Nutcracker, who in some versions is referred to as Mary or Maria; her brother is Fritz
  • Eleanor, Eleanora, Leonor, Lenora, Nora
  • Helen
  • Lucia, Lucian, Lucius, Lucy, Lux

The Angelic:

  • Angel, Angela, Angelica, Angelika, Angelina
  • Gabriel—Angel who broke the news to Mary that she was pregnant; Gabriella, Gabrielle
  • Hermione—“The messenger”
  • Malachi—“My messenger” or “my angel” in Hebrew
  • Michael—Another of the seven archangels, and a good choice if your loved one is away in battle, as he is patron saint of soldiers
  • Serafina, Seraphine—From the highest order of angels, the seraphim, and with the slightly ironic meaning “fiery”

Names that recall the spirit of the season:

  • Faith, Fidelity
  • Felicia, Felicity and Felix
  • Gloria, Glory
  • Hope
  • Joy
  • Merrily, Merry
  • Pax

Meaning “dove”, the symbol of peace:

  • Colombe
  • Columba
  • Dove
  • Jemima
  • Paloma


  • Berry
  • Cedar
  • Celyn—Welsh for “holly”
  • Elm
  • Holly
  • Ivy
  • Juniper
  • Pine
  • (Mistletoe and Poinsettia are other possibilities, though I can’t get behind either one)

Related to the season, as it is in the northern hemisphere:

  • Bianca, Blanca—“White” in Italian, Spanish
  • Blanche—French for “white”
  • Eira—Welsh for “snow”
  • Lumi—Finnish for “snow”
  • Neige—“Snow” in French
  • Nevada—“Snow-capped” in Spanish
  • Nieves—“Snow” in Spanish
  • Robin
  • Snow
  • Solstice
  • Winter
  • Yuki, Yukiko– Japanese, “happiness + snow”, and “happiness + snow + child”
  • Yule– Winter festival

For Posterity:

  • Bell, Belle
  • Carol
  • Christmas
  • Claus, Nicholas, Nicola, Nicole—For jolly old St. Nick
  • December
  • Noel, Noelia, Noelle
  • Rudolf ?

I wish you all the best if you are naming your little one this Christmas. A great name is one of the best gifts you can bestow. It’s a start, anyway. Happy Holidays!

Originally posted on Nameberry by Elisabeth Wilborn.