Baby names inspired by the winter holidays of the world
A baby’s name can just as easily be a representation of any number of things: the time of year they were born, a particular family member after whom they were named, or a personal passion of the parents reflected in a moniker. Whatever the impetus behind their name may be, a baby’s name is something that carries meaning and history based on what inspired it forever.
When it comes to exploring the meaning of certain popular names, there are often trends that arise grouping certain kinds of names together. Winter holidays comprise one such trend: Many names for boys and girls have especially close ties to the holiday season. Some names, like Nicholas (from St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children), may be rooted in religious history. Other names, like Rudolph, may be rooted in a less secular (and slightly jauntier) tradition or symbol. More names still, like Noel or Noelle (the French word for “Christmas”), might be far more literal in their relation to the holidays.
But what all of these holiday-inspired names have in common is their demonstration of a kind of naming tradition; a theme around which certain naming trends evolve. These names can be equally ideal for babies born during the holiday season or those born to parents with a particular love for the holiday season.
Stacker used various sources to compile a list of 30 baby names inspired by winter holidays, alternating between 15 boy names and 15 girl names loosely ranked by how popular they are within all boys' or girls' names, respectively. Baby name popularity ranks are available through Social Security Administration 2018 data.
Read on to learn about some of the most notable names that embody the essence of the holiday season.
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- 2018 popularity rank: #5,737 for boys (15 babies named)
Eron is a variation of the Hebrew name Aaron, which means “exalted” or “enlightened.” In Judaism, Aaron is the name of the high priest who lit the first menorah during the Israelites’ travels. It was later Aaron’s descendants who lit the menorah on what has since become celebrated as Hanukkah.
- 2018 popularity rank: #8,546 for girls (12 babies named)
Sira is a name that means “the joining of friends.” This makes the moniker one that is closely tied to the first principle celebrated during the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa: unity. On day one of Kwanzaa, those celebrating like to focus on coming together as a family or community and celebrating the unity of being together.
- 2018 popularity rank: #3,281 for boys (34 babies named)
Rudolph is a name of German origin meaning “famous wolf.” However, the name has earned most of its recognition less so for its association with a famous wolf and more so for its association with a famous reindeer. As the Christmas song—“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”—goes, Rudolph is a reindeer with a red, glowing nose bright enough to light the way for Santa and the other reindeer on Christmas night when the sky gets too foggy.
- 2018 popularity rank: #6,487 for girls (18 babies named)
The name Epiphany is rooted in Greek and is used to describe the sensation of having a sudden realization. In Christianity, the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated 12 days after Christmas, on January 6, and is meant to celebrate the three wise men—also known as the Magi, or the three kings—who visited Jesus upon his birth and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- 2018 popularity rank: #2,826 for boys (42 babies named)
Klaus is a name of German origin, and is simply short for Nicholas, who was the patron saint of children and the inspiration for the Christmas figure we now know as Santa Claus. As far as how the name Santa Claus came to be, the moniker actually stems from the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas—Sint Nikolaas—which they shortened to Sinter Klass. Upon settling in New York in the late 18th century, Dutch traditions around the festival celebrating Saint Nicholas began to gain popularity amongst the English, who soon adopted many of the Dutch holiday traditions—including their name for Saint Nicholas.
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- 2018 popularity rank: #5,423 for girls (23 babies named)
Candelaria is the Spanish name for Candlemas, a post-Christmas feast on February 2 that commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem 40 days after his birth. This presentation of Jesus was based on the ancient Jewish practice of presenting one’s first-born child to God. The name of the holiday—which also goes by the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord or the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary—came to be known as Candlemas thanks to the feast’s relation to lights. Specifically, when Jesus was first presented at the temple, he was met by an old, holy man by the name of Simeon. This man had been told by God that he would meet the Savior. Upon meeting Mary, Joseph, and Jesus at the baby’s presentation at temple, Simeon declared that Jesus would be a source of light for people. Thus, it became a tradition to light and bless candles in the church every year on February 2.
- 2018 popularity rank: #1,999 for boys (72 babies named)
Kris can be a shortened version of the name Kristoffer, which is a Scandinavian—specifically Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian—variation of the name Christopher, meaning “follower of Christ.” Of course, while the name may be connected to Christmas in a religious sense due to its affiliation with Jesus and Christianity, the name has a slightly less secular association with the holiday too: Kris Kringle is another name for the one and only Santa Claus.
- 2018 popularity rank: #4,114 for girls (34 babies named)
The name Lumi comes from Finnish origins and means “snow.” Naturally, with snow being such a central component of the winter, it has come to be a symbol of many a winter holiday, as well—especially Christmas, where carols like “Frosty the Snowman” really double down on the snow symbolism.
- 2018 popularity rank: #1,999 for boys (72 babies named)
Pax comes from the Latin word meaning “peace.” Of course, peace is a central theme in many of the winter holidays; they are a time of celebration, family, and, for many, faith. It’s also a recurring theme in a lot of traditional songs of the season, such as the Christmas carol “O Holy Night,” for example.
- 2018 popularity rank: #2,854 for girls (58 babies named)
Eira––which is pronounced like the male Ira––is a name of Welsh origin that translates to “snow.” Like in the case of Lumi, snow is a pretty common symbol of December and the holiday season, so it’s natural that the name would feel tied to winter holidays. Not to mention the prominence of snow as a theme in many a Christmas carol, including “Let It Snow” and “White Christmas.”
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