It’s Christmas and as Santa’s sleigh bells fade into the night, pitiful yelps come from downstairs and there under the tree is a little ball of fluff with a pink tongue! “Commere, girl!” you cry in delight—but before she thinks “Commere” is her name, why not come up with a name in keeping with the season?
Here are a few names inspired by our five favorite holiday movies—
One of, if not the, most treasured of all is the 1945 classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Stewart’s character is GEORGE BAILEY, a man whose dreams are thwarted until CLARENCE, his specially assigned guardian angel, helps him realize that he’s been realizing his dreams all along with a loving family, in the town in which he grew up, and just making ends meet most of the time. The Scrooge-like villain, played by the great LIONEL Barrymore, is Henry POTTER, the richest man in town moneywise, but the poorest when the measure of wealth is happiness.
The Bishop’s Wife, an equally endearing holiday film, came out a year later, in 1946 and starred CARY Grant as DUDLEY, the angel sent to steer sent from On High to steer a wayward cleric, Bishop HENRY Brougham played by David NIVEN, onto the right path. However, Dudley begins to develop human feelings for his wife, JULIA, and leaves before Heaven and Earth collide. The great character actor James Gleason plays the tough-skinned, soft-hearted taxi cab driver, SYLVESTER, the amazing ELSA Lanchester is the maid MATILDA, and the formidable MONTY WOOLLEY, the PROFESSOR.
Nothing surpasses the greatest Christmas musical of all, IRVING Berlin’s Holiday Inn, which came out in 1942 when a war-torn America needed it most. Jim HARDY, an entertainer who decides to Leave It All behind and embrace the country life is played by BING CROSBY, and his former partner and romantic foil, TED Hanover, is played by FRED Astaire, two of the greatest performers of the silver screen. Marjorie Reynolds is LINDA Mason, the girl that goes from Bing’s arms to Ted’s and back to Bing’s. It is at HOLIDAY Inn that the most popular song of the season is first sung, White CHRISTMAS. The song would inspire the 1954 film of the same name, this time with Bing as BOB Wallace, half of a performing duo; the other half is the hilarious DANNY Kaye, who plays PHIL Davis. Their love interests are ROSEMARY Clooney (yes, George’s aunt) as BETTY Haynes and Vera-Ellen as her sister JUDY.
There have been so many versions of the Charles DICKENS classic, A Christmas Carol. My two favorites are the 1951 version with ALASTAIR Sim as EBENEZER SCROOGE and the 1984 made-for-television movie starring George C. Scott. Dickens’s Christmas story—the greatest ever told but one—is replete with a plethora of marvelous names: Bob CRACHIT, TINY TIM, Scrooge’s late, lamented, ghostly partner, Jacob MARLEY, and Scrooge’s housekeeper, Mrs. DILBER, Scrooge’s sister FANNY who died giving birth to his only relation, FRED, the young Scrooge’s fiancé, BELLE, and of course, his first employer, the JOLLY, generous Mr. FEZZIWIG.
One word, however. Remember, the gift of a dog, especially at Christmas, is the most memorable you could give because it is a gift of love that lasts the lifetime of the dog. It also comes with a nonrefundable guarantee of responsibility. Be sure the dog will have a safe, loving, caring, responsible and happy home. If you want a purebred, go to the American Kennel Club website, akc.org, for a list of qualified breeders. And don’t forget one of the most unique breeds of all, and certainly the most precious to give at Christmas: adopt a mutt from your local animal shelter. That’s a gift unto itself. Merry Christmas!
Written by Laurie Bogart Wiles,
author of The Giant Book of Dog Names, available now online and in bookstores everywhere. Published by Simon & Schuster.