This arises from the question by @brianpck about the meaning of ‘noe’ in the context of Christmas, which he ended with a speculation about noel/nowell being shortened from the Hebrew emmanuel (God is with us) — which I had heard before and am inclined to favour.
I am well aware that dictionaries give an etymology based on nascor, nasci, (g)natus and/or the adjectives natalis or natalicius Even allowing for a variant nael postulated by Etymonline I don't find this convincing, especially as the dictionaries that I have looked at all seem (lazily?) to use very nearly the same form of words. I wonder if someone is able to explain just how such an origin can be supported: I can’t for the life of me see how some part of nascor, etc, could turn into words for Christmas that have only the letter 'n' in common. I confess to much ignorance about vowel shifts and so on, but this seems to be stretching things a bit too far.