December Baby Names: 30 Ideas for Boys and Girls Born at "the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
Carol - A cheerful name that calls to mind traditional Christmas songs, Carol is an abbreviation for Caroline that originally became popular at the turn of the last century. Although it isn't as popular today, it could be the perfect name for a girl born around holiday time. Perhaps the best-known person to bear this name is the legendary comedienne Carol Burnett.
Charity - Another moniker that reached its peak in popularity years ago, Charity is a classic virtue name that seems particularly appropriate for a child born in the season of generosity and gift giving. Today, Charity is perhaps best known as the name of the title character in the musical Sweet Charity. It was also the name of the Hogwarts muggle studies professor Charity Burbage in the Harry Potter series. Finally, Charles Dickens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit, Charity was one of a pair of twin sisters named Charity and Mercy. They bore the rather festive nicknames of Cherry and Merry, the latter of which is also quite appropriate for the holidays.
Eowyn - A literary name invented by J.R.R. Tolkein for his Lord of the Rings series, Eowyn means "horse lover," making it an appropriate choice for a child born under the sign of Sagittarius, which is represented by a centaur, a mythical creature with the lower body of a horse and the upper body of a centaur. In The Lord of the Rings, Eowyn is the heroine who sneaks into battle disguised as a man and slays the Witch King of Angmar. In real life, Eowyn is an uncommon, but not unheard of name. Its most notable bearer is the author Eowyn Ivey.
Holly - A festive name evoking bright red berries and dark green foliage, Holly is a perfect name for a child born around the time of Christmas. Perhaps the most iconic Holly is Audrey Hepburn's character, Holly Golightly, in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Holly is also also the name of actresses Holly Hunter and Holly Marie Combs.
Ivy - Like the previous entry on this list, Ivy is an evergreen plant associated with Christmas. Holly and Ivy even form the title of a popular British Christmas carol, "The Holly and the Ivy." Stylish, yet smart, the name Ivy has seen a recent increase in popularity. It is the name of a diverse array of figures and institutions ranging from Beyonce and Jay-Z's daughter Blue Ivy, to the Batman villain Poison Ivy, to the Ivy League.
Joy - The birth of December baby may give you a new understanding of the phrase "Joy to the World." When you're done counting all twenty of her perfect little fingers and toes, why not give her a name that properly expresses the sense of happiness and wonder that she's brought into your life?
Laila - This beautiful name is Hebrew for "night." It would be a lovely choice for parents looking to commemorate the Hanukkah miracle, in which a tiny quantity of oil kept the Temple's menorah burning for eight whole days and nights instead of one. If your little girl makes her entrance on a December evening, this could be the perfect name for her.
Liora - Another Hanukkah related name, Liora is a Hebrew name meaning "light." Conjure the glow of Hanukkah candles with a name that reflects the light your new daughter brings to your life.
Mary - Perhaps the most obvious Christmas name for girls, Mary was the name of the virgin mother of Christ. It was also the name of Mary Magdalene, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Mark. More recently, Mary was the first name of Lady Mary Crawley on the period drama Downton Abbey. For a different spin on the classic name, you can try Maria, Marie, Mara, Maura, Marianne, Mariana, or Molly.
Nia - A short, but distinctive name, Nia has a special meaning for parents who celebrate Kwanzaa. It is the Swahili name of the principle celebrated on the fifth day of the holiday, "Purpose" or "To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness." Nia is also a diminutive form of the Irish "Niamh," which bears the similar meaning of "resolve or brilliance." It would seem that in every language, Nia is a name for strong women with a sense of purpose and determination.
Noel - Another classic name for girls born in the holiday season, Noel is French for "Christmas." An alternative, very feminine spelling is Noelle. Short, but strong and evocative of the holiday, Noel would also make a beautiful middle name for a child born in December.
Olive - The final Hanukkah related girls' name on this list, Olive can be seen as a reference to the olive oil to light the sacred lamp in the original Hanukkah miracle. Drew Barrymore, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Isla Fisher all have daughters named Olive, and Olive was also the name of the adorably quirky pageant contestant played by Abigail Breslin in the movie Little Miss Sunshine. For a trendier, Latinate take on the name, you may also want to consider Olivia.
Rhiannon - Another name inspired by the astrological sign Sagittarius, Rhiannon was a Celtic goddess strongly associated with horses. The name means "divine queen" and is also the title of a popular song by Fleetwood Mac.
Stella - If you can overlook the iconic moment when Marlon Brando thunders this name in A Streetcar Named Desire, Stella, which means "star" is a gorgeous reference to the star that the three wise men followed to the nativity in Bethlehem. The name originates from Sir Phillip Sidney's epic 1590 love poem "Astrophel and Stella," and has since been given to fashion designer Stella McCartney and prominent acting teacher Stella Adler.
Unity - Another of the seven principles honored in the celebration of Kwanzaa, Unity or "Umoja" is celebrated on the first day. As your family comes together in love for your newborn girl, you may feel inspired to choose this name to welcome her to the world.
What is your favorite December-inspired baby name for girls?
Angel - A popular name among Hispanic parents, Angel calls to mind the heavenly messenger who announced the coming birth of Jesus to Mary. Angel was also the name of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's vampire boyfriend and a likable detective on the TV series Dexter.
Archer - Archer is perfect name for a newborn Sagittarius, which is literally Latin for "archer." Additionally, the sign of Sagittarius is generally represented by a centaur drawing a bow or by an upward pointing arrow. Archer can also be shortened to the adorable nickname Archie.
Chiron - Parents searching for a unique name for their Sagittarius baby may want to consider the Greek Chiron (pronounced KY-RON). Considered the best, wisest, and most just of the centaurs, Chiron was the foster child of Apollo and teacher of Achilles. He was also a famed archer and is often associated with the constellation Sagittarius.
Cole - If you're looking for some less-than-obvious December name inspiration, you might turn to well-known holiday crooners like Nat King Cole, whose "Christmas Song" is still a staple of holiday radio. Cole also evokes images of warm and cozy fires-- or even the lumps of coal that Santa leaves in the stockings of naughty children.
Douglas - One of the most common Christmas trees is the Douglas fir. As a bonus, Douglass was also the surname that the abolitionist Frederick Douglass chose for himself after escaping to freedom. Slaves across the United States achieved freedom with the passage of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865, giving this name another December connection (albeit indirect).
Emmanuel - The name given to the promised Messiah in the Book of Isaiah, Emmanuel means "God is with us" and is an appropriate name for a child who shares a birth month with Jesus. Variations include the Spanish Manuel, the German Immanuel, and the short form Manny.
Gabriel - Bearing a Hebrew name meaning "God is my strength," Gabriel was the biblical archangel who heralded the birth of Christ. In some many religious traditions, he is depicted blowing a trumpet to announce the Lord's return to earth.
Israel - To celebrate a Hanukkah baby, consider naming him Israel to celebrate the Jewish people's resistance to assimilation by the Seleucid Empire. Famous Israels include the Revolutionary War leader Israel Putnam, the composer Israel Baline (better known as Irving Berlin), and of course, the biblical Jacob, who was given the name Israel (meaning "he who struggles with God") after wrestling with an angel.
Jack - A friendly, likable everyman name, Jack isn't only the name of the Old Man Winter figure Jack Frost. This alternate form of John is borne by figures ranging from Jack Nicholson to Jackie Chan, from Jack Dawson to Jack Sparrow, and-- perhaps most amusingly-- from Jack Black to Jack White.
Joseph - The name of Mary's husband and Jesus' foster father, Joseph is a perfect name for a child born around the time of the nativity. Joseph means "Jehovah increases," and it appears in both the New Testament and the Old. In the latter, it was the name of Jacob and Rachel's favorite son, whose life is also the subject of Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Judah - Jewish parents may want to consider the name of the warrior Judah Maccabee for a boy born around the time of Hanukkah. The name means "praised" and offers a number of variations and nicknaming possibilities, including Jude (like Jude Law) and Judd (like Judd Apatow).
Nicholas - What better name for a December baby than that of Jolly Old St. Nick himself? Nicholas is a classic name meaning "people of victory." It is the name of the Catholic patron saint of schoolchildren and scholars, and it has been borne by four popes, numerous czars, and fictional characters ranging from Nicholas Nickleby to Nick Fury.
Philip - The last suggestion for Sagittarius babies on this list, Philip is a Greek name meaning "horse lover." It has been the name of French and Spanish kings, as well as Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip. Less regal bearers include the novelists Philip Roth and Philip K. Dick, the musician Phil Collins, and even one of Jesus' twelve apostles. Nickname choices range from the classic Phil to the Dickensian Pip and quirky Flip.
Rudolph - Although the name may call to mind a certain red-nosed reindeer, Rudolph is a German name meaning "famous wolf." It was also the name of silent movie heartthrob Rudolph Valentino and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Uriah - A Hebrew name meaning "God is my light," Uriah would be an appropriate choice for parents looking to honor the Hanukkah miracle. In the Bible, Uriah the Hittite was one of King David's Mighty Warriors, and priests named Uriah appear in the Books of Isaiah and Ezra.