Q&A: Can you name a baby after a holiday?
Is it cheesy for us to name our child in honor of a holiday, like Christmas or Valentine's Day?
Not unless you name your daughter Brie or your son Edam! (By the way, Brie cheese is named after a province in France and Edam is a city in Holland—and we think locations, truly, do make great names.)
As long as the name you choose for your baby feels like a celebration for his or her arrival, go ahead and tap your favorite holiday—each offers copious options for monikers. Natalie, Natalia, and Natasha all mean “born on Christmas Day.” Noel and Noelle and Navidad simply mean “Christmas.” Many December babies have been named Nicholas (after St. Nick), Claus (after Santa), or Kris (after Mr. Kringle). Other festive names: Joy, Holly, and Yule.
True story: Little did Mary Young of Utah know that she would become an instant celebrity when she married Brian Christmas two years ago. “Last year I was on the news a lot. It really took me by surprise,” she says. But her fame is shared: “There are 89 Mary Christmases in the United States,” says the stay-at-home mom.
And while her name is a big hit during the holidays, she does encounter her share of doubting Thomases: “I’ve had to show people my license a couple of times.” When her name shows up on the caller ID or on a package, some folks think it’s a prank. Still, it’s hard to find fault with a name that brings people so much joy and happiness. “People think it’s fun,” she says. “It’s positive. It’s a conversation piece.” And as her husband likes to point out, he has Mary Christmas all year long, not just in December.
She’s not alone: Gainesville, Georgia, is home to the Christmas clan whose members—no joke—include Cathy Holiday, Carol Christmas, Mary Christmas, and Jeane Christmas White.
For more seasonal and less religious naming options, try Winter or North. Neve means “snow” in Latin (it’s Neves in Portuguese). Nevada—yup, the state name–means “covered in snow” in Spanish. In Japanese, Yuki is a girl’s name meaning “snow.”
A child born later in spring might be named Pascal (meaning born at Passover or Easter). But if Valentine’s Day is your preferred holiday (and why shouldn’t it be, as the feast day of two Roman martyrs and saints named Valentine, and now the number-two card-giving day of the year), your child’s name could have amorous connotations. Back in 1909, Love was a many splendored name for boys; it was also not uncommon to find fellows called Valentine (as 24 actress Mary Lynn Rajskub named her son in 2008) or girls called Lovie (and now there’s Lovie Smith, head coach of the Chicago Bears, and not a girl at all). In 2008 Ricky Martin named his newborn twins Valentino and Matteo. Salma Hayek had daughter Valentina in 2007.