Nov. ’12 CCC: What’s In a Name?

Hello, dear YNS fans!  Long time, no me.  I know, I know… my Carole’s Creative Commotion (CCC) posts are supposed be monthly and on the 18th.  How are you supposed to schedule your lives around them when I’ve been in absentia since April, and now I’m posting on the 29th?!  It’s enough to make one’s head explode, is it not?  For those of you out there who are muttering that I’m ‘flakey,’ please note that I prefer to be described as ‘unpredictable’ or ‘capricious.’

Truth be told, the recovery from Carter’s surgery (as I mentioned in my April CCC) was very involved and kept me out of my craft room for many months.  It also practically killed my stamping mojo.  The good news is: the surgery went well and Carter is taking steps independently once more.  He’s still not ambulating on his own full-time, but with lots of hard work, he’s getting there.  His gait is straighter and he stands so much taller than before.  As for me, over the past month or so, I’ve had the pleasure of re-discovering the fun of stamping; this is a good thing, considering the not-so-small fortune of supplies I’ve been acquiring the past several years.  All of this is to say: I’m b-a-a-ack!

One of the things about taking a break from stamping is that you miss a lot of new releases.  Then, when you comb through your favorite stamp designers’ and/or stamp companies’ blogs, you see all of these beautiful images and dies and think to yourself, “I’ve never seen that – when did that come out?  Where’d they get that paper?  Oooh… look at that die…” As impossible as it seems, the stamping world continued to spin, despite the fact that you stepped away for a short period.  (It’s actually a little insulting – you mean, new rubber can be pressed and people can still get them inky without moi?! Inconceivable!) When that time comes, you have two choices:

  1. You can get overwhelmed by the plethora of new products, throw in the towel, and determine that you’re too hopelessly behind the times and/or rusty to create again, or
  2. You can do a little shopping, wait with bated breath for the mailman and/or UPS, and keep the faith that new goodies will inspire you once again, as they have so many times in the past.

Y’all know that I’m no quitter, so when I hit that particular fork in the road, I opted for route #2.  Thus, I perused all the lovely new rubber Karen and YNS SOMEHOW managed to issue during my months in the wilderness, and I spied this set:

Did you see the name of it?  Mmm-hmm… that’s right: Christmas CAROL Circle Stamps.  In addition to being a darling and very versatile set, it got me thinking about how the holiday season – particularly those weeks between the U.S.’s Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas day – are the only time of the year when I really like my name.

I was born in September of 1969.  Very few girls when I was growing up were named ‘Carole’ or any variation thereof.  Girls my age had names like Julie, Laura, Kristi, Stephanie, and Amy.  You know who was named ‘Carol’?  The mothers of girls my age (see: Carol Brady).  Not cool.  Not cool at all.  The only character of my generation to be named Carol on a sitcom was Carol Seaver on Growing Pains.

Enough said.

I can’t tell you how many times I wished for a name like ‘Kelly’ or ‘Melissa,’ or – best name of all -‘Farrah,’ like my childhood idol, Farrah Fawcett-Majors (this was before she divorced the Six Million Dollar Man, btw).  But alas, I was named after my father, Carroll.  Talk about a bummer of a name.  Fortunately for him, though, his middle name was Alton, so he went by ‘Al.’  Still, I’m sure once roll was called in the classrooms of his youth, he was tormented more than his fair share.  ‘Carol’ isn’t the kind of name that’s going to make you want to crawl under the desk when you hear it called out, but it also doesn’t connote anything that positive, either.

‘Carol’ is almost as plain as ‘Jane’ but without the ability to be transformed into a cute nickname like ‘Janie.’  I can recall moving across country with my mom when I was about to go into sixth grade and as we drove across the state line of California, I told her that I wished I had a nickname.  This would be the time to employ the name of my choosing, after all, when I was the brand-new kid on the block.
“Well, what about Carrie?”

“No, that makes me think of ‘Carrie’ the horse at Woodlawn…” (Woodlawn Stables was where I took riding lessons in Alexandria, VA.  Believe me, there were no such stables at the place where we were moving, though: Barstow, CA in the middle of the Mojave Desert, half-way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Good thing I didn’t know that at the time…)

“How about Kitty?  Your initials are C.A.T., after all.”

“Mom.  Kitty? Really? You know I’m a dog person.” (Insert tweenage eyeroll here.)

For the lack of a better idea, I stuck with my given name and have never seriously considered changing it since.  It is what it is.  And at least I have that ‘e’ at the end of it, which gives it a bit of flair, and for which I am very grateful, even if my name is constantly misspelled.  I am very attached to that ‘e,’ I’ll have you know.  If a stranger misspells it, I let it slide.  But when a good friend, who should know better, misspells it, I definitely point it out, usually to the tune of “It’s Carole with an E, like Liza with a Z.  Learn it, live it, love it.”  In other words, I insist upon my ‘e.’

Still, I was looking through baby name books when I was pregnant with my oldest son (who happens to love his name — Truman — as he should), and I came across a passage which said something to the effect of “Some names cycle in  and out of fashion, such as Lily, Rose, and Ava.  There are others conjure up images of ’50’s ranch style houses and beehive hairdos.  The following names are has beens, never to shine again…”  And then there was an alphabetized list of names such as Gladys, Betty, Josephine and – you guessed it – Carol.

Ouch.  That stung.  I consider myself fairly critical of my moniker, but to liken it to Gladys?! (No offense, Gladys.  I’m fond of that name, myself, as it was the name of my husband’s sainted grandmother, who died last January at the age of 101.) That’s harsh.  Besides, there is one time of year when ‘Carol’ does shine, and that’s Christmas.

I’ve read various definitions of what ‘Carol’ means, but the one I like best and therefore claim is that it means ‘song of joy.’  (That’s way better than being merely a feminine form of Charles, a farmer, or a free man, don’t you think?) When I think about it that way, I’m actually kind of glad to have a name like Carole.  And, if you’d known my mom, you know it could be A LOT worse.  Family lore has it that she was the one who came up with the name for one of my cousins: LAWATHA.
From Millan.Net
Here’s a little something I made with the Christmas Carol Circles set:

Don’t you love that patterned paper?  It’s from Doodlebug Designs – Karen carries lots of Doodlebug products in the YNS store.  She also carries those fabulous YNS Glittered Skittles embellishing the upper right hand corner.
How would you like to win a set of Christmas Carol Circles and an assortment of YNS Glittered Skittles for absolutely F-R-E-E?  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me two things:
  1. Your first name, and how you feel about it.
  2. The name of your favorite Christmas carol.

That gives me an idea!  Wouldn’t it be fun to create a Christmas playlist from all of our favorites?  I’ll go first.  I love so many Christmas carols, but the one I have to stop and listen to each and every time I hear it is ‘Christmas Canon’ by Trans-Siberian Orchestra; it’s absolutely enchanting.

Leave your comment by midnight EST on Thursday, December 6th, and Karen will randomly select a winner to be announced on Friday the 7th.

Happy Holidays!

xo ~ Carole

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22 Comments

  1. 1

    That is one of my very favorites too…but I also LOVE O Holy Night and Mary Did You Know.

  2. 2
    Mary-Anne V says:

    My first name is Mary-Anne and I like it because it includes the names of my maternal and paternal grandmothers. My fav. Christmas carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Thanks for the chance to win.

  3. 3
    Marsha says:

    I usually don’t read such long posts but yours just kept me going. Names, ah, yes. A subject that brings much emotion. My name is Marsha and I have never liked it. I still hear, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” or “Marsha, John. Marsha John.” Why do adults feel they have to make comments about your name? Then there were annoying kids that would call me marshmallow. Doesn’t help to know that my name means from Mars. My last name is Drain. Can you imagine the comments about that? On to happier thoughts – one of my favorite Christmas carols is an old German one – “Lo, how a Rose “

  4. 4
    Olivia says:

    My first name is Olivia…I personally love it and yes I was named after Olivia Newton John (my Daddy’s favorite singer). I am surprise how popular my name has become recently since I have meet many little Olivias (I have four in my daughter’s girl scout troop). My favorite Christmas Carol…that is a toughy cause I love so many…I would say Silent Night and the more recent version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan. I love the song you chose too. Thanks for the chance to win.

  5. 5
    Shanan says:

    1. Shanan, as a child I hated it – nothing was ever spelled correctly for all that cool personalized stuff you could buy at the store. I was called Sharon a million times by possibly every new substitute I ever had. My Mom once told me, “your name is not Shan-NON it’s Shan-AN!” and that was the end of that. As an adult, I love it. After all…. it’s me! 2. Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

  6. 6

    Yes… The name game… Jennifer was a popular one when I was growing up, but I am a Deborah. Deb, Debbie (as my family likes to call me) and then there was the infamous porn movie that came out during the time the hit show Dallas was going on… Debbie does Dallas… I know this because it was a great teaser from all those boys who only wished thier girl friends were named Debbie and taunted me instead. LOL! Oh well… I was a Debbie and those boys were jealous. : ) Anyway, I wished I was a Jennifer but my name, as old and biblical as it is, suits me- Hebrew for Bee. And I am busier than a bee!!

    1. Deborah
    2. Always love Karen Carpenters version of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire)

  7. 7
    Jenny says:

    When I was born in 1979, top name was probably Jennifer. Well, my mom and dad named me Jenny, right in the midst of all those Jennifers (I was named after a prostitute in an old western movie my dad watched when my mom was pregnant!)…..People always assume my name is Jennifer and my whole life I’ve been saying ‘Just Jenny’…..I should almost have had it changed to Just Jenny 😉 And for the record, I like Carole with an E!

  8. 8

    Love your name story. My first name is Teresa… I am neutral to it. Never really had any bad feelings about it. Though when I was a kid you would always see it spelled with a “h” (Theresa). So I never had that personalized bicycle name plate. My Great Grandmother didn’t like the spelling and proceeded sound out my name differently. Many people just call me Tee these days. As for a favorite Christmas Carole…LOL I love Rockn’ around the Christmas Tree.

  9. 9
    JoAnn says:

    Well first of all I know how you feel about the name. I was named after my uncle, and yes I’m a girl but he could not have any children and my mother named me Jo Annette after him and his name was Joe. Through my school years I hated this name and I just got to where I used Annette. As I got older my husband new I wasn’t a big fan of Jo so he started calling me JoAnn and that has stuck since. My family of course still call me Jo and my aunt’s and uncles call me Little Jo, you see my uncle was big Joe. I have learn to be fine with it and really like the name Jo, but I hate when someone puts an E on my name because that is how a boy spells Joe a girl is spelled Jo. So i understand about the e.
    As for my favorite Christmas Carol…”Mary, Did You Know”, we used this in a play one year at church and I love it.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win a stamp set!!!!

  10. 10
    Heidi says:

    Great entertaining post!

    My name is Heidi and I am pretty neutral at this point in my life. I was named after the movie of course, no one had my name so that was good but I have always had to listen to people who wanted to make comments about yodelling and Heidi HO…. I always wanted to be Candy when I played school as a young girl. LOL!

    My favorite Christmas song is Garth Brooke’s version of the Gift. It is just beautiful!

    This stamp set is AWESOME because I love the circular stamps.

  11. 11
    Oma says:

    My name is Anna and I was named after my maternal grandmother. It was/is a tradition in Holland where I was born that the eldest son was named after the paternal grandfather and the 2nd son was named after the maternal grandfather. It was also traditional to name the eldest daughter after the paternal grandmother. By the time my older sister was born, my parents had 4 boys. My mom was afraid that she would not have another daughter so my older sister was named after both grandmothers. Lo and behold, 3 years later I came along and so I was named after both grandmothers as well. My older sister and I are Tina Anna and Anna Tina and the only 2 of the seven children my parents had who have a middle name. Yes, you read that right, as 5 years after I was born, my mother had another baby girl, Alice who was named after my dad’s eldest sister. The only thing that irks me about my name is when people leave off the a at the end of my name and then pronounce it with an American twangy accent – Ann (I do not mean to offend any Americans with that remark). BTW Carole, my hubby had a friend whose last name was Carroll who married a woman by the name of Carol. That poor woman had quite a time of it when telling people her name. What’s your 1st name – Carol – what’s your last name – Carroll – no, what’s your last name? She would then need to explain that her last name really was Carroll but spelled with 2 r’s and 2 l’s. I think I would have kept my maiden name if I had been her.

    My favourite Christmas Carol is Silent Night. I used to sing it with my Mom – she sang alto and I sang soprano. I also love Oh Holy Night.

    Love the card you made and I also love this set of stamps. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. 12
    H. says:

    I’m Cynthia… NOT Cindy. Alas, I still get Cindy a lot. Sorry, I am not a carol person but I do enjoy your posts!

  13. 13
    Sue D says:

    Hi Carole!
    My first name is Susan and most people call me Sue now. Growing up my name was very popular so I was always called Susan in school because the other girls wanted to be Sue or Susie. I was Susie at home so the only people who call me Susie are relatives.
    My favorite carol is Silent Night.

  14. 14
    Kelli Hull says:

    OMG! I HAVE MISSED YOU!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lemme first start off with… I can NOT help but feel you were pointing your finger at me about the misspelling… ONE TIME…. sheesh!!! I’m ALWAYS SO meticulous about names being spelled correctly as I HATE mine to be spelled with a Y… It’s a freaking I DAMN IT! lol Secondly… you wanted to be called Kelly?? Really?? Oh I HATED being named Kelli, as I always got stuck BEING Kelly when we played Charlies Angeles… Ummm, hello… I’m a BLONDE (or used to be)…. I should be Chris…. UGH!
    My sister has gone to the TSO concert every year in Portland, OR for the last 4 years now!!! They are FABULOUS…. I really wanna go see them, thinking my Dr Dre headphones ROCK but not like being IRL! 😉

    My favorite Christmas Carol is “Do you Hear what I hear?” I remember sitting in church listening to my Mom belt that song out, she had a BEAUTIFUL voice that I loved to listen to… when she was in the Choir, not necessarily in the car ALL THE TIME…. I was SO proud of my Mom that day… She sang all the time but that day REALLY sticks out in my mind!!!! 🙂

    PS: Christmas Carol is also called a Noel, so THAT would have been an AWESOME knick name to have….

    WELCOME HOME!!!!! And God Bless the USPS/UPS MAN!!!!

  15. 15

    Merry Christmas Carole! I love your posts, they always make me think, make me laugh, and make me smile.

    My first name is Kelly. It was okay growing up, except I used to get mail delivered to Mr. and that bugged me to have a gender neutral name. Now I adore it as I have embraced my Irish heritage with gusto! And just for the record, I have a church friend who is, ahem, our age, and her name is Bertha. Carole is a nice name!

    My favorite Christmas carol is “O Holy Night”.

  16. 16
    Janet Zeppa says:

    So nice to have you back Carole!
    My name is Janet and I’ve never disliked it. It’s funny that it never got shortened to Jan until my husbands family started calling me that.
    Singing in the church choir I have many favourite songs but I will have to say the Hallelujah Chorus.

  17. 17
    Elise says:

    My name has always been a double edged sword for me – both a blessing and a curse. While I love having an uncommon name (I think I’ve only ever met 3 or 4 other people named Elise. Of course there was Elyse Keaton on Family Ties but it was spelled different), I also hate having a name people can’t manage to say correctly. My whole life I’ve been called “Elsie”. Yes, Elsie, like the Borden Cow. Yah, that was fun as a child!

    Without a doubt my favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night.

  18. 18
    Anonymous says:

    I have the opposite challenge with my name all my friends were also named JUDY, it was a JUDY GARLAND era and we all got stuck. Some were more fortunate to have Judith which I think sounds more grown-up. Just think about this “Gramma Judy”. Oh well I’ve survived. Also love that song guess I’ll play it again.

  19. 19
    Wanda Cullen says:

    Oh, wow, I can sooo identify with wishing I had a different first name! The dorkiest characters on TV are named Wanda! I asked my mom one time why she picked the name and it was because we had such a common last name that she wanted an uncommon first name AND she thought it was a pretty name. 🙁 But, I’ve embraced it and figure it could have been worse. There are so many beautiful Christmas songs, but O Holy Night is probably my fave! Merry Christmas to you – Carole with an “E”!

  20. 20
    Ree Donnelly says:

    My name is Marie…another of those names which will probably never have a comeback! In 1958, though, it was semi popular, I guess. But, funny story about my name… Right on my birth certificate it states my name “Carol Jean”, typewritten. That was then X’d out with the typewriter, and “Edith Marie” is typed in above it. They had decided to name me after my Aunt Edie, who would be my Godmother. My sister (bless her) was 13 at the time and said “you CAN’T name her EDITH!!!!” so they decided on “Marie Edith”! They just crossed it out with a pen & hand wrote it in!!! And I want you to know I had always wished they had named me Carol!! 🙂
    I absolutely ADORE Christmas music, so it’s nearly impossible to choose. I love them all! “Away In a Manger” is up there in the top ten… 🙂

  21. 21
    Andrea says:

    What a funny post! Loved reading it. My name is Andrea pronounced like Alexandria NOT Un-dreah or an-DRE-ah. I answer to all varieties but ugh, it’s frustrating.
    I was to be named Julie but after my sweet mother delivered me she decided she hated that name. The nurses told her I couldn’t leave the hospital without a name so my poor mom was so stressed out she didnt sleep at all and named me Girl. What’s worse is my name was Wolf….yes, I went home Girl Wolf. Pitiful I know.

    I love Christmas music but I don’t really have a favorite. Joy To The World has to be pretty high on my list 🙂

  22. 22

    Well I sure have missed you for sure!! On to my first name – Bonnie – you can guess how many nicknames I’ve been called over the years and still get called by people. Some of them I don’t mind (especially from close friends), a lot of them I don’t care for. Growing up in school I really had issues when you put the first letter of my first and last name together which then is BS. Don’t start with me! I got enough during school.

    Favorite Christmas song has to be “Do you hear what I hear” since my mom used to play it on the organ and sing it all of the time before she died. 2nd favorite is Manheim Steamroller’s Silent Night.

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