Unexpected Christmas Names for Girls

by appellationmountain on December 14, 2012

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna... Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in the American film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naming a daughter due at Christmastime?

There are obvious choices to consider.  Natalie and Noelle, Holly.  In the James Bond flick The World is Not Enough, Denise Richards played a physicist called Dr. Christmas Jones.  (And yes, there was at least one incredibly bawdy joke as the result of her character’s name, but hey, Bond girl names have been far more outrageous.)

But how about something subtle?  The kind of choice that you might have embraced even if your daughter arrived in the heat of summer or on Halloween?

There’s a long list of possibilities that won’t prompt others to ask, “Were you born in December?” right after “Nice to meet you.”

Amaryllis - A flower associated with Christmas, more wearable than Poinsettia.

Belén – The Spanish form of Bethlehem, making this one a Christmas place name.  Emphasis is on the second syllable.

Belle - As in jingle, though of course that’s not the original of the given name.  Possibly a great middle name choice.

Bianca - I’ll admit, I think Shakespeare before seasonal, but Bianca does mean white.

Cadeau - She’s the French word for gift, an intriguing long form for Cate or Cady, and a gussied-up spelling that should be relatively easy to spell.

Clara – A great vintage name remaining outside the Top 100, Clara is also the little girl in The Nutcracker.

Clarice - One of my favorites – the girl reindeer in Rudolph, the one who likes him just the way he is, red nose and all.  Trouble is that our generation tends to think Silence of the Lambs before stop-motion television holiday special.

Emmanuelle - Names that lead to Emme are stylish, but Emmanuelle – the French feminine form of Emmanuel - is seldom heard in the US.  The Old Testament name for the Messiah, Emmanuel comes from a Hebrew name meaning “God is with us.”

Esther – In at least some accounts, Esther means star.

Holiday - There’s something joyful about Holiday, a name that shortens to Holly and Haddie.  She’s the full name of Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s - though that fact is not mentioned in the movie, only in the novel.  Of course, Holiday works for girls born at many times of year.

Ivy – Sure, Holly is the botanical name we think of first, but the traditional carol is “The Holly and the Ivy.”  It’s an obvious Christmas pick that isn’t too obvious.

Jovie - In holiday film Elf, Buddy falls for the good-hearted Jovie.  It’s a cheerful choice and among the more modern Christmas names.

Merry - Too much of a Christmas name?  Maybe.  But with noun names and virtue choices popular, Merry is as wearable as Mercy or Grace.

Neva, Neve – There are plenty of names that mean snow, and Neva and Neve are two of the more subtle.

Olive – She’s a name on the rise, and one forever connected to the hopeful aspects of the holiday, thanks to Olive, the Other Reindeer.  This makes Olive possibly the only baby name ever boosted by a mondegreen.

Ruby – Ruby red is a Christmas color, but it also used to be the birthstone for December.  In the twentieth century, ruby migrated to July and August and Topaz was assigned to November.

Snow – If Disney princess names and unconventional noun choices are both big categories for girls, why not Snow?  One part White, one part seasonal celebration, Snow makes for an intriguing middle.

Winter - Like Snow, she’s an unconventional noun name on the rise.  Starbaby Harlow Winter Kate put this one on the map, and the success of Summer and Autumn paved the way for another seasonal pick.

Zuzu – Another favorite of mine, Zuzu Bailey is the little girl in It’s a Wonderful Life.  She evolved as a nickname for Zuzana or Zuzanna, Slavic spins on Susanna.  You could use her as a short form for any Sue-name, from Susan to Suzanne to Suzette.

Would you consider any of these Christmas names for a daughter born around the holiday?  In the first spot, or the middle?

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