Origin: Latin, Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Well Born"
Pronunciation: yoo-JEEN-ee-ah, yoo-JEEN-yah
Other Forms: Eugeneia,  Eugénie, Yevgeniya, Eukene, Uxía; Eugene, Eugenios, Owen, Eugen

Our Holiday names come to a close with the name of a Saint whose Feast is on Christmas day.

Eugenia of Rome, according to the popular rendition of her story, was the daughter of Philip, a Duke of Alexandria and Governor of Egypt. She left her father's home, dressed as a man, and was baptized by Helenus, a Bishop of Heliopolis, and later became an Abbot, still under her disguise. Eugenia would later cure a woman of her illness, and when the woman made sexual advances towards her, which she declined. That woman, incensed and embarrassed, made a public accusation, that would bring her before the court. She declared Eugenia an adulterer, and came before the judge, her father, still as a man. When it was revealed she was not only a woman but his very daughter, she was instantly exonerated. Her father himself converted to the faith, becoming Bishop of Alexandria, only to be killed for it by the Emperor. 

Eugenia went on to convert many others. On September 11th of 258, Christ appeared to her in a dream, telling her that she would killed on the Feast of the Nativity. On December 25th of the same year, Eugenia, along with Saints Hyacinth and Protus, was beheaded.

The name Eugenia is the feminine form of Eugene, which is the Latin form of the Greek Eugenios, meaning "Well Born". Though occasionally used in the Middle Ages, Eugenia didn't come into popularity until the 19th century, but is not used often today. A beautiful, romantic girls name with lots of history and a lovely sound - I think Eugenia is ripe for revival.


Origin: English, French and Italian
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "A Braid"
Pronunciation: GARR-lend
Other Forms: N/A

Sorry for missing yesterday's post! Christmas Eve just got away from me, so I will be posting the last name tomorrow for Boxing Day!

This is a guilty pleasure of mine that I could really see working. For girls, it has the vintage glam of Judy Garland, for boys it is a coveted unisex nature name, and absolutely perfect for a Christmas baby.

The word garland comes from the French guirlande, which itself came from the Italian ghirlanda, which meant "a braid". Garlands are a typical decoration for a celebration, from Christmas' tinsel and popcorn garlands, to the traditional Hawaiian lei, which is often given at graduations and weddings. In India, flower garlands are popular for any sort of festival, and are often bestowed on the effigies of their Gods, the most common flowers being jasmine.

In the 16th century, both northern and eastern Europeans began to really popularize the Christmas tree tradition (with Germans being credited with the original "Christmas tree") and would cut the trees into a uniform shape or size. Instead of simply tossing the limbs, they were woven into a garland and used to give their homes an even more festive look. Eventually, they were associated with the perfection of the divine and eternity because of the circular shape. The rest, is history!


Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Snow"
Pronunciation: KYE-oh-nee, kye-OH-nee
Other Forms: Khione; Chion

Today's name is that of a lesser known Greek Goddess or nymph, one who I, even Greek mythology nut that I am, didn't even know of!

Chione, according to which tale you ascribe to, is either the daughter of an Athenian Princess named Orithyia and Boreas, the God of the North Wind or calls the naiad Callirrhoe and the God of the Nile River, Neilus, her parents. It is said that Zeus had Hermes turn her into a snow cloud, and that is where Chione gets its meaning. Later, Chione would become pregnant with a son of Poseidon, named Eumolpus, which she tossed into the waters in fear of the father. He was rescued by Poseidon, and came to rule as a King of Thracia.

Though most likely unusable for a modern child, I can't help but be entranced by this name. Maybe it's best left to the myths, or perhaps, a cat.


Art by Simon Claude

Origin: Hebrew
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Light for Me"
Pronunciation: lee-OR
Other Forms: Liora, Liorit

A favorite of mine ever since Christina Aguilera used it as a middle name for her son, Lior would make an excellent choice for a baby born during Hanukkah, or as it's sometimes know, The Festival of Lights.

Lior, which means "Light for Me", could easily represent the lighting of the Menorah. The Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum, with eight candles that are lit each night of the celebration, with the ninth candle being used to light the others. To those who are kosher, the shamash (which means "helper" or "assistant"), or the ninth candle, must be placed either lower or higher than the other candles. Hanukkah itself is a celebration of the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in 164 BCE. To put it very simply, the Jewish, led by the Maccabees, a group of five brothers, revolted against the Greek and the growing Hellenization of Judea. Afterwards they cleansed the temple and burned a lamp that only had one day's worth of oil left, yet it miraculously burned for eight days. Now, menorahs are lit and put into windows so others can see, and remember, the miracle of Hanukkah.


"The Shortening Winter's Day is Near a Close" by Joseph Farquharson

Origin: Latin
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Sun Standing Still"
Pronunciation: SOL-stis
Other Forms: N/A

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! This name has recently become a guilty pleasure of mine, and I think it would just be fabulous, especially in the middle spot, for a baby born around the solstice! It is certainly hippy-dippy, but that's half of the charm.

A solstice is an event in which the sun appears to reach either its most northerly or southerly arc, also known as the sun's path. It occurs twice a year, once on June 21st and later on December 21st. During the summer solstice we receive the most sunlight and in the winter solstice we receive the least, which in turn leads to the longest night of the year. Culturally, both solstices were of great import, as with most astronomical events, and could be considered in the mating of animals and the sowing of crops. In Sweden, the summer solstice is celebrated during the holiday of Midsummer, one of their largest, with shops closing and festivities to rival Christmas. Sun Gods were thought to be "born" or "reborn" during the winter Solstice, and the themes of life, death, and rebirth were extremely popular. Some cultures even saw it as the day the year is reborn. 

The Pagan festival of Yule, or Yultide, starts on the winter sosltice and ends on January 1st. "Hogamany", the Scotch celebration of the last day of the year, was thought to originally occur on December 21st, as well. It includes a tradition of "first-footing", starting directly after midnight, where people try to be the first person over a threshold, usually at a friend's or neighbor's house. They would then give a symbolic gift, with popular choices being salt, coal, shortbread or even whisky, all with different luck bringing abilities. The first foot themselves are said to set the luck for the rest of the year, with tall, dark-haired men being preferable.

Solstice itself comes from the Latin sol, meaning "sun", and sistere, "to stand still", referring to how the sun appears to stand still during its decline. 


"Tannenwald (Pine Forest)" by Gustav Klimt

Origin: English
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: From the Name of the Tree; "Resin"
Pronunciation: PYNE
Other Forms: N/A

Happy Holidays to all of my readers! I hope you are having a good one and your family is staying healthy, despite the hard times we're all going through. In celebration I've decided to post a Holiday related name everyday for the next five days!

Amongst the ever popular Frasier Firs, Blue Spruces, Douglas Firs, and Balsam Firs, lurks the equally beautiful Scotch and White Pines as some of the best choices for Christmas Trees. The Christmas tree tradition has roots dating back all the way to the Medieval era, where "Trees of Paradise" were common motifs in mystery plays, usually performed on the 24th of December, Adam and Eve's common name and commemoration day in Europe. A tree would be decorated with apples and wafers to represent the Eucharist. Similarly, in Livonia (which is now Estonia and Latvia), there was talk of trees in guildhalls decorated with sweets to be eaten by the apprentices and children. This also occurred in Bremen, Germany, where a guild chronicle states a tree was decorated with "apples, nuts, date, pretzels, and paper flowers".

But the Christmas tree we know today came about thanks to the Germans, becoming popular during the Renaissance, which is sometimes attributed to Martin Luther who was claimed to have placed lighted candles on an evergreen tree. After the Protestant Reformation, many upper class Germans started putting up Christmas trees in counterpart to the popular Catholic motif of the Christmas crib. It wasn't until Queen Victoria married the German-born Prince Albert that it became popular among the upper classes of Britain, just like Hessian soldiers would later introduce them to North America.

Pine comes from the Latin pinus, which is thought to have some relation to Indo-European base pīt, meaning "resin". Before the 19th century pines were usually referred to as firs. Pines are the largest and the oldest conifer family, with some having dated back all the way to 206 million years ago. In China, the pine tree is a common motif in art and literature. Because it retains its beautiful green needles all through the year it is often associated with longevity and steadfastness. The pine, the plum, and bamboo are called the "Three Friends of Winter" and are a common art theme.

All in all I think Pine is a great unisex nature choice, especially so for a baby born in the winter!

On My Mind: 12-13-20

Rhiannon Ashlee, Delilah, and husband Doug

I've recently been getting more into Youtube, and one thing I really enjoy is vlogs, especially ones of families. As someone who has always loved children and babies, I find them fascinating. And, of course, I love finding out their names! Today's On My Mind will be all about children of Youtubers.

Rook - Ashley at "Embers and Ash" is all about motherhood, minimalism and intentional living. I love her style and so I wasn't surprised to learn she had chosen something really spectacular for her baby! She has a little boy named Rook which I think is a great choice for someone looking for a strong and masculine nature name. A Rook is a bird that is part of the Crow family that ranges all the way from Scandinavia and eastern Siberia to Western Europe. It is very intelligent, as all members of the Crow family are, and are known to be able to solve simple problems. It would also be a great choice for a Chess lover!

Delilah - Another favorite of mine is Rhiannon Ashlee. I adore her style, her simple and fun way of living, and her soft-voiced narration of her videos! She has a lovely little girl named Delilah, a name I'm starting to really warm up to. Delilah is Hebrew and means "Delicate", and of course is most famous for the Biblical character who betrayed Samson by cutting off his hair, his source of power. Despite that Delilah has been in use as a name for a very long time and was often used by Puritans.

Cove, called Coco - Though I haven't watched many of her videos I've been aware of Aspyn Ovard for quite some time. Not too long ago she gave birth to her first child, a little girl, who she called Cove and nicknamed Coco! Cove is a great example of a truly unisex nature name, and I love that it has such a cute and girly nickname option.

RawBeautyKristi Gives Birth!

One of my favorite beauty youtubers is RawBeautyKristi. She is so much more than just makeup - she is funny, has a big heart, and incredibly thoughtful. Kristi has struggled with infertility for years, and had finally resigned herself to the fact that she probably wouldn't be a mother. And then she got pregnant. I couldn't believe, I was so excited for her and equally excited for the name she would choose! In an Instagram post she revealed the name of her baby boy and the reasoning behind it:

"Alder Kelly 🌲
December 1st, 2020
6lbs 9.6oz - 20” long
This boy is the absolute light of our lives, I could have never imagined a love this could even exist. The word love isn’t strong enough to describe this feeling
• His name came to me in a dream. It was so vividly clear too, clear as day - my sons name is Alder.
I woke up, remembered it, wrote it down and when I woke up - told Zack. He loved it (and up until this point we could not agree on a name)
I texted my sister and told her and she said.. “OMG I LOVE IT.. and this is so weird.. but dad came over and gave me a potted tree this morning randomly, and it was an Alder tree” - also, the majority of the trees on our new land are Alders - it just felt so right.
His middle name is Kelly after my sweet momma."

Romee Strijd Welcomes Baby Girl!

Romee and Laurens

Dutch model Romee Strijd has given birth to her first child, a girl, with husband Laurens van Leeuwen. They have named her Mint van Leeuwen.