Is this the most ‘most joyful’ festive-inspired baby name of 2023?

The name is perfect for all year round while still honouring the Christmas season

festive baby names
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A new mum has revealed her festive-inspired baby name and it's arguably the ‘most joyful’ Christmas baby name of 2023.

Naming a new arrival is one of the first and biggest challenges as a parent. Do you go for something short and trendy considering that nicknames’ were 2023’s biggest baby name trend? Or do you take a risk and go for one of the top baby name predictions for 2024 that are inspired by musicians?

If you're baby is set to be born in the Winter months, you've already got some inspiration around you in the form of the Christmas holidays. There's plenty of Christmas baby names but one new mum has hit the nail on the head when it comes to incorporating a bit of festive cheer into her daughter's name.

Image of a baby in a red and white Christmas hat

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When Morgana McCabe Allan gave birth on 8 December 2018, she immediately knew that she wanted to give her newborn girl a festive-inspired baby name, despite settling on a different name before going into labour. 

"Originally we thought she would be called either Philippa or Aurora because those were the names we had picked when we were expecting," she told The Mirror. "And then she was 10 days late. When she was born, she just wasn't a Philippa or an Aurora. We went through a long list of names, and we were tearing out hair out a bit."

Allan had always loved Christmas and the magic of a newborn tied in with the magic of the festive period was too perfect not to honour. But they took their time picking the name, leaving their baby girl nameless for three days while they settled on the perfect choice. In the end, they created their own unique name by mixing the festive words merry and bell to name their child Meribelle.

Portrait of laughing baby boy lying on blanket

(Image credit: Westend61 via Getty)

"Holly was obviously there but it wasn't the right one. Suddenly, Meribelle just kind of came to us. We looked it up, and it turns out it's a real name, and it means 'star of the sea'. It also makes me think of the star at Christmas. We both sail, so it just had all these different meanings to us. And it's just such a gorgeous, Christmassy name.

"We just thought, that's the one. She actually is the most happy, joyful, lovely little kid. We call her Merrie for short."

But while the festive name is the perfect one for a Christmas baby, it's also a wonderful joy-inducing baby name all year round. Allan added, "It's always felt like the most joyful name. There's nothing more joyful than your child having a name that literally evokes joy. I think that definitely brings out a joy in her as well."

If you're struggling to land on the perfect baby name for your little bundle of joy, why not check out our lists of unique baby names, baby names inspired by nature, or our list of list of top 10 baby names predictions for 2024 inspired by feminists.

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.