Traditional Christening Gifts
A christening is an important rite of passage for Christian parents and their newborn. Godparents are obligated to present a baby with a gift. Thoughtful guests give gifts as well. Traditionally, parents present godparents with a gift. For those who want to adhere to tradition, there are some traditional christening gifts
Godparents give gifts of enduring value to display their commitment to care for their godchild. Give your godchild a savings bond to symbolize your godchild’s financially stable future. Select from other traditional gifts that will have enduring value, including semi-precious metals such as pewter and silver. You also may give china as a suitable christening gift. Give your godchild a silver baby spoon or a pewter baby mug. If you prefer, present your godchild with an engraved china saucer or cup
What Types of Gifts Are Appropriate?
Traditional Christening gifts are usually those that help either help to memorialize the celebration or those that symbolize Christianity. For example, pewter, silver and china are gifts that memorialize the celebration. Additionally, many times these gifts are personalized or engraved with the child’s name, the date of the ceremony and a maybe even a message of blessing. For those wishing to gift the child a more religious gift, crosses (silver or gold), jewelry (chains, bracelets, charms, etc.), christening plates, mugs and even their first Bible are great gifts for the occasion. Photo albums, scrapbooks, and boys’ cufflinks are also great christening gifts. Objects made out of silver, such as spoons and rattles, are considered particularly lucky.
- Classic jewellery to wear as the child grows, a child’s necklace with a cross pendant, or a cross or crucifix to hang in the baby’s nursery.
- Silver picture frame
- Silver baby cup
- Silver rattle
- Silver spoon
- Sets of Coins minted in the birth year
- Picture frames and photo albums, (you may engrave the frame with the child’s name, christening date, and a short religious or spiritual phrase)
- Personalised Needlepoint Cushions, Quilt and Blankets with baby’s name
- An engraved illustrated children’s Bible
- Sets of Classic Storybooks
- Planting a young tree to develop and grow with the child
When possible, contact other guests to be sure you do not duplicate presents
Christening Gifts for Godparents
A small gift is sometimes given to a child’s godparents at the occasion of the child’s christening.
A small gift is sometimes given to godparents at a christening as a symbol of thanks for their religious guidance, their closeness to the family and the trust placed in them. The gift is not required or expected. It is more traditional for godparents to give their godchild christening gifts.
A personal gift idea is for the child’s parents to write a letter of appreciation to the godparents emphasizing their trust in them, their strength and faith, and the love the parents hold for the godparents. A nice dinner, a small religious-themed gift or a framed photo of the godparent with the child are all thoughtful christening gifts for godparents as well.
With most gift-giving occasions, the giver has a few days after the event to present gifts to parties involved. However, it’s the best etiquette to have a gift ready at the baptismal ceremony or before it. If you must, give the godparents a christening gift up to a week after the christening. Keep in mind that the further you get from the event, the less socially acceptable it is to present a gift.
Take into account the godparents themselves. If they simply would not enjoy gifts with religious significance, or have so many religious items that you could not give them something meaningful, turn to a more personal option for a gift, such as a photo or letter. If they are of a different denomination or religion than the parents, be sure your gift is appropriate in their religious tradition as well.
A christening gift to the godparents is not necessary, although some churches or families talk as though they were. If a gift is not part of your christening planning, take the time to thank the godparents. Be sure they know the expectations for them, both during the baptism ceremony and throughout the child’s life. Many godparents are under the impression their duties end with the child’s baptism, which is not the case.
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