Adorable Names For Holiday Babies

It's the most wonderful time of the year! For most, that is — but if you're expecting a little one any day now, you're likely counting down the seconds until your pregnancy is behind you. For all the social media posts that make pregnancy and early parenthood look glamorous, it's not for the faint of heart. Birthing complications, C-section potential, and getting used to your new body (just in time for the holiday season and even more extended family time than usual) are enough to make the most stable among us a little weak in the knees. Add the element of decorating the house, Christmas gifts for your other kids, and somehow trying to cook a holiday meal with an infant in your arms, and you've got a recipe for chaos.

The picture we just described sounds less than ideal, and to be honest, we're here to keep it real. While your first holiday season with your new baby might be one crazy rollercoaster ride, you may not have realized that your baby could get away with an adorable holiday name to keep for the rest of their lives. Just think — little Nicholas or Eve will be sitting by the Christmas tree in the years to come, reveling in both the holiday season and their birthday. So, if you are expecting a little one soon and want to consider a holiday name, these are the most adorable (and slightly unexpected) options to add to your baby name list.

Girl: Holly

We're starting with a classic that will warm the heart of even the world's most determined Scrooge. Holly is an adorable baby name to consider for your holiday-due little one, as it not only works as a great name all year round but is indicative of that lovely Christmas greenery that adorns the mantel every year.

As noted by Nameberry, the name Holly has been a classic holiday favorite since the 1970s and became even more popular when shortened, nickname-like monikers got increasingly common. It, of course, is a favorite among parents who welcome a little girl around Christmas, as the plant, holly, is commonly seen throughout the season. For those having trouble envisioning the greenery in question, holly is the dark, forest-green shrub with little red berries at the center of the leaves. Holly is also December's flower, making it an even better fit for babies welcomed around the holidays.

What's great about the name Holly — in addition to being a perfect holiday name option — is that your little girl won't have a ton of name competition. As reported by the Social Security Administration, the last time the name Holly peaked in popularity was 1983, when it made up about 0.357% of all female births in the United States. With only 668 Holly-named babies born in 2021, your little one will stand out from the pack.

Gender neutral: Jesse

This holiday baby name option is for parents who want a name dedicated to the festive time of year without it being too obvious. Jesse should certainly be on your list of considerations if you're looking for a gender-neutral name with a deeper, holiday-based meaning.

As noted by The Bump, Jesse is a Hebrew name by origin and means "the Lord exists" and "gift." With such Biblical ties and Christmas-related themes (what is more Christmas than gift-giving?) Jesse is a perfect choice for parents looking for a holiday name. Jesse was, as detailed by The Bump, present in the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible as King David's father. He was said to be a shepherd in the most Christmas-based town of all, Bethlehem, and soon became responsible for one of the largest family trees included in the Bible.

But religious or not, Jesse is a great name to consider, and your kiddo will be with the times, too. The Social Security Administration details the popularity of the name Jesse, and as the chart displays, Jesse has been steadily used by parents since the 1980s. In 2021, the name Jesse was given to 1,881 baby boys in the United States, clearly showing that it's commonplace but not super saturated in use.

Girl: Belle

This name suggestion is for Christmas and Disney enthusiasts alike. If you're expecting a baby girl this holiday season and are looking for a name as lyrical as "Silver and Gold," Belle should be on your radar. It's not only a name indicative of a Disney princess but is a great holiday-related name that doesn't aggressively scream "Christmas."

As noted by Baby Names, Belle is of French origin (any "Beauty and the Beast" fan could tell you that) and means "beauty." Do you have the opening number of the Disney hit going through your head? The name has also been tied to the southern states of the U.S., as the "Southern Belle" moniker has transcended generations. Of course, as far as the holiday season is concerned, Belle is reflective of the chorus of instruments that bring the beloved holiday hymns to life. Does the lyric, "Ding, dong, ding, dong, Christmas bells are ringing," ring a bell? (See what we did there?).

As reported by the Social Security Administration, the name Belle peaked in popularity years ago — literally. The last time Belle enjoyed the top of the chart was all the way back in 1900 when it made up about 0.092% of female births in the United States. In 2020 — the last time the name hit the charts as of publication — Belle represented about 0.014% of births, 253 births, so your little girl won't have much in the way of name competition.

Boy: Nicholas

What's the first thing you think of when you ponder Christmas? For a lot of festive holiday enthusiasts, it's Santa Claus. The legend of the jolly old man who brings gifts to the good little boys and girls of the world has been around for centuries, and when he doesn't go by Santa Claus, he's commonly referred to as Saint Nicholas. So, if you're expecting a little boy this holiday season and are looking for a name that is classically Christmas in all the right ways, Nicholas should make it on your list of considerations.

As noted by Verywell Family, Nicholas is Greek in origin and means "victory of the people." While its meaning isn't exactly holiday oriented, your kiddo likely won't suffer from a moniker rooted in victory. Of course, the name can also be shortened, which is good news for expecting parents looking for nickname options — literally. Nick is often the shortened name associated with Nicholas, as is Nico. Both names are great options that allow for the more formal Nicholas to do the bidding on diplomas, birth certificates, and when you're really mad at your teenager.

So, let's turn to the Social Security Administration for more details on the name Nicholas. As reported by the SSA, the name peaked in popularity in 1999, making up about 1.258% of male births in the United States. However, the name has been an ever-present staple on the charts and made up about 0.206% of births in 2021.

Girl: Eve

While the holiday season has its fair share of traditions, some families see Christmas Eve as the night of celebration instead of Christmas Day. Perhaps a tradition in your little squad includes opening one gift the day before Christmas or playing silly games in matching pajamas. Whatever your Christmas Eve consists of, perhaps you should look to the day for baby name inspiration. If you're expecting a little girl this holiday season, why not consider Eve as a name option? Not only is it indicative of a heartwarming day, but its roots are closely tied to the holiday itself.

As noted by Nameberry, the name Eve is of Hebrew origin and means "life." Of course, the name has Biblical ties that correspond nicely to the more traditional roots of the Christmas celebration, but it's quite a pretty name in and of itself. The name gained a bit of traction when actor Clive Owen named his daughter Eve, but if you're looking for a baby name option that isn't super common, Eve might be the name you've been waiting for.

The Social Security Administration reported that the last time Eve peaked in popularity was in 1907. It made up about 0.022% of births — and that was its most common year — which was only about 73 births. So, if you're searching for a holiday baby name but also want your little one to stand out from the elementary school crowd, Eve is the choice for you.

Boy: Gabriel

If you grew up hearing the nativity story every year, the name Gabriel should be burned into your memory. Of course, the baby Jesus in the manger was the show's star, but the angel Gabriel was the celestial being that delivered the news to the Virgin Mary that she was carrying God's child. That's quite a bit of Christmas backstory to tie to your toddler, but if you're looking for such a name, Gabriel is a great option.

According to Baby Center, Gabriel has roots in Hebrew and translates to "a hero of God" or "God is my strength." Not only did the angel Gabriel appear within the nativity story of Christian roots, but he is also an important figure in the Muslim faith. The angel Gabriel appeared before Muhammad and encouraged him to write the Quran. Whatever your religious convictions may be, Gabriel is a great choice for a holiday-related baby name that transcends decades, if not centuries.

With all that said, however, we've got to turn to the Social Security Administration to see how popular the name is and if your kiddo will be one of four Gabriels in his class. The SSA reports that the last time the name peaked in popularity was in 2010, when it made up about 0.627% of male births in the United States. In 2021, Gabriel was given to 7,216 little boys, so chances are your little one will be without name competition.

Girl: Carol

What's the holiday season without music? From the classic "O Holy Night" to the Mariah Carey chart-topper "All I Want For Christmas Is You," it isn't the holiday time of year without a great playlist. While we wouldn't exactly consider Carey's seminal classic to be a Christmas carol, the moniker itself might be the holiday name you've been searching for. Carol, of course, is a classic holiday baby name that is as storied as it is popular. While it's not Christmas related as compared to Nicholas or Eve, it's tied to the season enough that it's a great option for expecting parents.

As detailed by Nameberry, Carol is of English origin and means "free man." It was often used as a shortened name for Caroline but quickly gained popularity as an option for Christmas-due parents. Though it's not a name you likely hear often these days, it's still a lovely option for parents who are a bit more classic and have a penchant for more traditional names.

So, when was the last time the name peaked in popularity in the United States? The Social Security Administration reports that Carol last enjoyed the top of the charts in 1941, when it made up a whopping 1.941% of female births. The name has dropped quite a bit in popularity since then, with the last year registering on the charts being 2006. So, while it may not be as popular as Belle or Eve, Carol should certainly be on your radar.

Boy: Buddy

This may not be the most obvious choice, but the name Buddy is tied to the holiday season in a rather pop culture-based way: Buddy is the name of the beloved character from the beloved Christmas film, "Elf," starring Will Ferrell.

The holiday season isn't complete for many without their favorite films. For some, romantic classics like "The Holiday" or "Love Actually" get them in the holiday mood. For others, Tim Allen's classic "The Santa Clause" or funny film "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" will have them laughing so much they're crying. And if holiday hilarity is your speed, chances are "Elf" has been on your watch list for years. So, why not incorporate the friendly name Buddy onto your baby name option list? It might not be the most obvious Christmas name to choose, but maybe Ferrell will recognize the moniker.

That said, we have to know if Buddy is a popular name option for parents in the United States. Despite the 2003 film's success, the last time the name Buddy hit the top of the Social Security Administration's charts was in 1935. And, the most recent year that Buddy was even recorded was 1988, when it made up only 0.005% of births in the United States — that's only 104 baby boys given the name. So why not jump on this funny man's moniker and name your kiddo for one of the most hilarious films to hit theaters?

Girl: Clara

When we think of holiday traditions, we recall Christmas caroling, light display tours in the town's trolley, decorating the tree, making latkes, lighting the candle for each night of Hanukkah — the list goes on. For many, however, the holiday season wouldn't be complete without snagging tickets for their local ballet company's rendition of "The Nutcracker." The beloved favorite features incredible music from Tchaikovsky, a battle with the Mouse King, a performance from snow angels, and the land of all things sweet. Defending the honor of her beloved nutcracker soldier is Clara, the little girl who is gifted the doll by her mysterious godfather. With such a place in many family holiday traditions, "The Nutcracker" is beloved year after year — why not give the name Clara consideration for your little one?

As noted by Nameberry, the name Clara is of Latin origin and means "bright" or "clear." While its meaning isn't intrinsically tied to the holiday season the way that its popular connection is, Clara should be on your radar.

The last time the name Clara peaked in use, according to the Social Security Administration, was in 1901. While that was certainly a long time ago, the name has stayed on the charts for decades. Recorded as recently as 2021, the name Clara was given to 2,675 little girls in the United States that year. So, what are you waiting for? Bust out that note on your iPhone and add Clara to your options.

Boy: Alfie

Here's a name that will surely get the Santa Claus enthusiasts jumping for joy. If Nicholas is too obvious of a holiday name to consider for your little boy, why not give Alfie its fair chance? It certainly isn't as explicitly tied to Christmas as Nicholas is, and if anything, its meaning is even more holiday-based than good ol' St. Nick himself.

As noted by The Bump, the name Alfie is rooted in Old English, with its original spelling being Aelfraed. And, get this — the name means "elf counsel." We're not kidding. Elves, fairies, and leprechauns were commonly used fixtures in traditional English folklore, and the name Alfie became tied to the "wise" elves in old tales. Of course, we think of elves as the workshop heroes who bring all the toys and gifts into existence for Santa Claus to deliver on Christmas Eve. While we adults might not give too much credence to the tale that used to keep us up at night as kids, naming your little boy Alfie might give your holiday heart that little boost you're looking for.

What's even more incredible about the name Alfie, especially as opposed to a more common option like Nicholas or Jesse, is that it's an increasingly rare name to hear. The Social Security Administration hasn't recorded the name Alfie since 1968, as few baby boys have given it the name for it to register on the charts. So, elf counsel, it is!

Girl: Natalie

The last, but certainly not the least, name on our holiday baby name list is Natalie. Now we know what you're thinking: "In what world is the name Natalie a holiday name?" We're here to tell you that this popular name is more rooted in the Christmas season than you might think — in fact, the name literally means Christmas.

Verywell Family notes that the name — of Latin origin — translates to "Christmas" or "birthday of the Lord." It gets its colloquial roots from the words "natale domini," which means "birth of the Lord." The French and Russian peoples transformed the phrase into a name, and there you have it — we're not sure how much more Christmas-y a name's meaning can get.

Of course, the great thing about the name Natalie is that it's commonplace enough that you won't get sideways glances when you tell friends you're naming your child after the holiday season. The Social Security Administration reports that the name Natalie peaked on the charts in 2008, making up about 0.490% of female births in the United States. The SSA further details that the name Natalie has been consistently used since 1900, with 4,029 little girls being given the name in 2021. This might be the not-so-obvious holiday name you've been looking for!