In Dr. Who, one of my favorite moments is when we learn the backstory of Riversong. She was originally named Melody Pond. But when a friendly soldier embroiders a small doily for her as a baby in the soldiers native language, there's a translation issue. There are only rivers on her planet (she had no concept of what a pond was) and the closest they have to the word melody is "song." Hence, Riversong. This is the name she takes later in life.
Why am I telling you this? Because I have been thinking a ton about my baby as she is experiencing this first Christmas. And her name has a ton to do with it.
Picking out Reagan's name was more difficult than picking out my prom dress (and if you don't know how hard that was, ask my mother. I drug her around to stores all over the state for six months before I decided on something). Having worked in children's ministry (and teaching jobs in general) I've come across a ton of names in my life. So I knew that I didn't want to go with a common name or a name that everyone else was choosing. But it also couldn't be the name of a kid that was one of my main troublemakers! Jared and I would basically take any name we heard that we liked and wasn't popular and look up the meanings. We would go back and forth and finally settled on Reagan Noel.
Reagan means "little ruler." I really liked this meaning because if you know me, one of the key parts of my relationship with God is knowing that I am a daughter of the King. We as Christians are adopted into his family and I frequently wonder, "why would He adopt someone like me??" It only adds to my awe and love for Him.
Noel is a little trickier in the meaning. If you go to the dictionary, it says "Christmas, especially in refrain in carols and on Christmas cards." Another definition says that it's specifically a song sung at Christmas. Some history says that English speakers borrowed the word "noel" from the French or even the Latin "natalis," which can mean "birthday" or "of or relating to birth." But when it was first used in the 1400's it was talking about a song and has been used to refer to music for most of history.
So if you do a little connecting the dots with me, we can come to understand that the word "noel" is used to name songs. Songs specifically celebrating the birth of Christ. We sing noels because we are expectant...hopeful. Because we know that with the birth of the Savior, it was the beginning of the story of our salvation.
So Reagan Noel, my "Little-Ruler-Christ-Song." On this first Christmas you are celebrating the birth of our Savior soon after your own birth. You are at the beginning of your own story. I am expectant for your life, hopeful, that someday you will join this story, by accepting Jesus into your life and continuing to sing about Him for the rest of your days.
Your Daddy and I love you very much. Merry Christmas little one.