Do You Give Christening Gifts?
Gift giving etiquette is a tough one to get your head around. Should you turn up with a gift if you’re invited to someone’s house, party, birthday, wedding or christening? How much should you spend on the gift? When if ever is it acceptable not to give a gift?
It seems there are lots of questions and no hard and fast answers, especially as we live in a time when society is changing rapidly and past traditions are being quickly replaced.
So do you give a gift if you have been invited to a Christening?
What are Christening gifts?
A Christening is a welcoming of a child into their (parents) chosen faith. It’s a memorable occasion marking the start of their relationship with God. Godparents are usually chosen (traditionally two of the same sex and one of the opposite sex) who promise to help guide the child through their religious and spiritual development.
It is traditional that after christening a godparent would give the child a gift they can keep for a long time or a monetary gift to start off their savings. Silver gifts have traditionally been popular gifts and gifts such as whiskey or wine that are to be drunk when the child reaches 18 or savings accounts are becoming more popular in modern times.
Godparents are carefully chosen and will hopefully have a special and close relationship with the child throughout their lives. For this reason, many non-religious couples have started to appoint godparents even if they do not have their child baptised.
Beyond the godparents there is no expectation that gifts would be given at a Christening although it is certainly a lovely gesture to want to mark such a memorable occasion. GIfts should be given after the baptism at the reception, and there’s no need for gifts to be so long-lasting meaning toys that will be enjoyed by the baby instantly are just as good as gifts to keep.
Being as baptism is religious, spiritual or religious gifts are also popular. A special bible or prayer book may be given or a book of bible stories or jewellery featuring the cross.
As fewer people are having their children baptised naming ceremonies and parties have seen a big increase in popularity. This can be seen as a way to introduce your baby and their name as well as being a great time to honour pseudo Godparents.
Being a relatively new phenomenon it’s harder to determine the etiquette but we would suggest that treating it in a similar way to a christening would be a good place to start.
If you have been asked to be a godparent mark the occasion with a gift the child can keep. It doesn’t need to be expensive but it would be nice for both parents and child if it was something they’d still have in 10 or even 20 years time.
If you are just a regular guest gift if you feel you would like to. Check out some ideas for good christening gifts here. And if not just take a card to mark the occasion.