• Thu, Dec 5 - 10:00 am ET

10 Holiday Inspired Baby Names That Make My Skin Crawl

santaI’ve known a few Noelles and Hollys in my day, so the trend of giving your baby a name inspired by the season when it was born—especially a magical season like Christmas—isn’t anything new. And we’ve all heard seasonal names like April, Summer, and Autumn before. (Secret confession: Autumn was my number one, all-time favorite name for a girl, no matter what season she was born in, but now I have two boys!)

But even with baby naming, you can have too much of a good thing.

With my first son, I was in the range of having a Christmas baby had he been born a few weeks earlier. But besides my obsession with the name Autumn for a girl (and my son is named Elliott), I didn’t have any thoughts of sugar plums dancing in my head as I narrowed down my baby name list.

Maybe if my baby had a December 25 due date, I would’ve considered some undeniably festive, holiday inspired baby names. Maybe not. But you better believe these holiday baby name “favorites” wouldn’t have topped my list:

1.    Dancer

On Dasher, on Dancer! Sure, you can name your kid after a reindeer if you want. But with a name like “Dancer,” don’t be surprised if she becomes one later on in life. (KIDDING!)

2.    Merri-lee

This is a real baby name suggestion I found over on Pregnancy.org. The name “Merri-lee” sounds sweet and all, but the ultra-phonetic spelling gets me every time. No thanks.

3.    Pumpkin

This was another legit holiday baby name suggestion on a top baby names list. I’ve always heard “pumpkin” as a term of endearment, but as a legal name on a birth certificate? I think not.

4.    Santa

Yes, “Santa” is a real baby name for parents totally committed to the holiday spirit. But the argument still stands—are you setting your kid up for a lifetime of playground misery with a name like “Santa” (hold the Claus), or are you just a forward-thinking, holiday-loving, hipster parent?

5.    Yule

This is a holiday baby boy name that I know has standing because of famous celebrities like Yule Brenner. But all I can think is of the many ways you can make fun of this name, like, “YULE be sorry! YULE have to try better than that!” Or maybe that’s just me.

6.    Tinsel

Tinsel is a shiny tree trimming, and—bonus—it’s also a holiday baby name! I can’t imagine some poor, unsuspecting kid walking around for the rest of her life with a name like Tinsel, but I can imagine the potential for “yoonique” spellings: Tynsel, Tinsyl, Tyynsle.

7.    Holiday

If you want to be literal and totally unimaginative, just name your kid “Holiday” or “Christmas,” while you’re at it.

8.    Christmas

Oh, wait, “Christmas” is a real holiday baby name that could work for a boy or girl—according to popular baby name website NameBerry.com. You can always get away with calling the baby Chris for short, although I have yet to meet anyone named “Christmas.”

9.    Frost

“Frost” is a festive spinoff of either Jack Frost or frosty winter weather. Even though this holiday name may come off as clever or hip, for some reason, it makes me think of an old man. It’s just hard to imagine a little baby with such a serious name like “Frost.”

10. Balthasar

This is another tough old man name to swallow, but it was the name of one of the Three Kings in the Bible. If you’re looking for a unique, spiritual name, Balthasar may be right up your alley. But I feel sorry for poor little Balthasar learning to write his name in school.

(Image: getty)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • jessica

    I knew a Holly-Day (last name) growing up. Also, though unrelated to the season, a guy named Austin who had a sister named Dallas and a brother named Houston.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Holly-Day, why???? That kills me. Also, those people must love Texas.

    • JLH1986

      I have a friend who named her kids where they were conceived-Bronson (Missouri), Brooklyn, and Cali. The places theme is apparently quite popular.

    • Alicia Kiner

      Isn’t that was the Beckhams did for their boys??

    • JLH1986

      I believe so. I know Ron Howard did it as well (Bryce Dallas and his other daughter is named after the hotel she was conceived in). But until my friend I hadn’t actually known anyone personally. I actually quite like Cali. Bronson isn’t my favorite, but it’s not my kid so it doesn’t need to be!

    • AP

      All I can think of is Bronson Pinchot from “Perfect Strangers” and “Clueless.”

    • candyvines

      Is Bronson named after Branson, MO?

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Holiday was the main character on a short lived 90′s show called Running the Halls that I used to watch after Saved by the Bell when I was a kid. She was blonde and beautiful and all they boys loved her, so I wanted to be named Holiday soooo much when I was young. And was totally planning to name one of my kids Holiday (when I planned it then). It didn’t happen.

    • Bethany Ramos

      If it was after Saved by the Bell, then I must have watched it toooo!

    • Jallun-Keatres

      My aunt went to school with a Kelly Kelley and there was a Brandon Landon at my high school… lol

    • Sis

      LoL I knew a woman named Holly whos married name is Holly Day, and this is the first time I’ve ever put it together. I wonder if she thought about that before she got married.

  • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

    Oh man, I thought you were going to say names like Noel and Holly, which I think are bad enough for Christmas-season babies. But PUMPKIN? DANCER?

    • Alicia Kiner

      Saying those two together is worse. Can you imagine the kid whose name is say, Pumpkin Dancer Smith? ;)

    • Allyson_et_al

      Worst. Stripper. Name. Ever.

  • Lee

    I have a distant cousin named Candace who’s parents called the Candy from birth. The unfortunate part is her last name is Kane. That’s right, Candy Kane.

    • Tea

      I knew a girl in HS who had the same name. Which means either A. Small world, or B. More than one person has done this.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I knew a Candy whose middle name was Cane. Unless you were talking about a middle name, too. In which case we’re about to play the OMG did you go to my HS? game.

    • candi514

      My name is Candis and I get called Candy(I know the spelling is different) but if my last name was Kane or Cain Or any variation I would have been mortified and it would have been changed asap! lol

  • Alicia Kiner

    We knew our daughter was going to be a Christmas-season baby. Along the way, we actually considered, briefly, naming her Winter Noelle. Then my husband came across the Gaelic spelling of Makayla and fell in love, and that was the name I had wanted to name my daughter since Dr Quinn was new on TV (when I was around 13 or so). She ended up being born on December 21st, and I still give tease him that she should have been named Winter. And the girl LOVES the cold. lol.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I honestly really like the name Noelle and considered as a middle name for the girl I never had. And YAY Dr. Quinn!

    • Amber Starr

      I just had my daughter on 11/26 and we ended up naming her Paige Noelle. It just seems to fit her……. And I guess it’s better than any Thanksgiving-inspired names :)

    • Bethany Ramos

      I love it. And CONGRATS!

    • Amber Starr

      Thank you :)

  • jenny

    I knew a sweet, sweet woman named Merrilee. Her niece, my friend, explained the holiday theme to me once, since it’s actually not super obvious. I sort of love it. Also, we lived in the southern US so the accent changed the pronunciation and it didn’t sound like “merrily.” More like Mare-lee.

  • Jem

    I knew a girl in college named Shiny. It really did fit her personality well. Not sure if it was a Christmas inspired name but I could see it.

  • Mystik Spiral

    Re: #5… It’s Yul Brynner, and the name Yul means youthful. It has nothing to do with a holiday log.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Oh no!! I lose on that one. Welp, I think you can still make fun of the name either way. Yule is much worse.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Also, after googling Yul Brynner more, I discovered he’s hawt.

    • Allyson_et_al

      Don’t forget the inevitable “log” jokes a name like Yule will bring up, at least if his friends are as immature as I am.

    • Magrat

      Also he was Russian, so it’s a little unfair to make fun of his name by English standards.

      Yule is totally open for ridicule, though.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Ridic-YULE!!!

  • Spiderpigmom

    I actually like Balthazar (with a Z, unless you’re German). As for learning how to write it, how is it worse than Zachary or Samuel?

  • NicknamesAreDull

    A child in my daughter’s class is Kristmos, pronounced Christmas.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    I always hated Noel…and the five Noels I know all hate the fact their parents were so unimaginative.

  • pixie

    There’s a French girl in my program (like from France, not from Quebec) who’s named Noëlie. I just checked Facebook and her birthday is in February, so I guess it wasn’t inspired by Christmas time.

  • THATwoman

    I taught elementary school for about 8 years here in Louisiana. I once had a male student with the name Tynsell Elyf (first and middle name). For some odd reason, he went by “Ty”. LMAO!! ;)

    • Bethany Ramos

      This is unreal!! I should’ve put Elyf on the list…

    • THATwoman

      HAHA! You should have! ;) You would not believe some of the names I came across while teaching! There was also a “Sparkle La’Diamond”, though I don’t think it was holiday related, lol!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Omg omg there needs to be a whole post on that!

    • Natasha B

      My sister (16) goes to HS with a set of twins named Shimmer and Sparkle. Methinks their mom watched too much My Little Pony. Or she’s a stripper.
      However, I love the name Noelle. Always have :)

    • Bethany Ramos

      NO!! I love Noelle too :)

    • Lee

      Before my cousin was adopted her middle name was Unique-Cham’pange

    • Allyson_et_al

      That’s the kind of naming cruelty that leads kids to kill their parents in their sleep. Poor kid!

  • Patty

    I have totally met someone named Christmas! Bonus, her middle name was Noelle!

  • Kim

    I know a Vixen who was a December baby. It only clicked as I was reading this why she was probably named Vixen. I just assumed her parents were a little odd.

  • doxgukka

    balthasar sounds like a pokemon

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I know two Marilees. Both my age (~24).

  • M -

    It also depends on where these names are being used. Santa is a perfectly normal name for girls in Latvia, where I’m from. I’d find it odd to meet an American named Santa though.

  • Victoria

    How about Holly or Merry?

  • Cecilia

    I was pretty unimaginative with mine. Had a son born on December 21 and named his Nicholas, which would have been good year-round, but seemed especially appropriate for an almost-Christmas baby.

  • Brandi

    Chrissy on Three’s Company’s name was Christmas, but not B-day. The writers thought of it back then. My family has a Christmas baby named Noelle, but Joy is the only other Christmas babies named after that holiday. I know so many people who named or are named after other holidays. Easter, 4th of July, the season. I can’t judge, I’m named after a color, but was teased because of the drink. That is my only concern for kiddos, life long teasing for the unique w/obvious jokes. Otherwise the names people choose is facinating to me.

  • Queenie Kimberly

    I think Balthazar is kind of cool and kick-ass.Kind of like Atticus. Bold and strong. The kid will either be a complete nerd, or a total stud.

  • teresa bilbao

    My due date was December 25, baby came on the 24th, but I couldn’t get my husband to agree to Nicholas. We settled on Michael – not Christmasssy or Holiday-y at all!