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Understanding Baptism Gift Etiquette

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Most people have heard the expression born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth; however, many people do not realize that this saying stems from the traditional baptism gift – a silver spoon. In addition to this traditional baptism gift, other silver items are perfect christening gifts. Emily Post recommended giving engraved silver eating utensils, cups and porridge bowls (also known as porringers) or even a simple keepsake silver rattle. Typically, the engravings included the baby’s name as well as the gift giver’s name.

When Should You Give a Baptism Gift?

Attending the baptism will vary from church to church. Some may only allow immediate family, Godparents and the church congregation to attend while others will allow extended family and friends to attend. You should always contact the parents to determine if you are allowed to attend the ceremony. Typically, a reception will follow that can be attended by friends and extended family members who were unable to attend the baptism. If you have given a gift at a baby shower, you are under no obligation to bring a gift to the reception; however, a nice card is especially appreciated.

Godparents Obligations

If you have been asked to be a Godparent of the baby, the baptism gift etiquette is unique. You should give a special gift to the baby that signifies your commitment to being a part of the child’s life. Additionally, the parents of the child will give the Godparent a gift that shows their appreciation of the Godparent. Silver is the time-honoured gift to be given to a baby by a Godparent. The Godparent’s gift usually becomes an heirloom that is passed from generation to generation. Because a baptism or christening is a naming ceremony, the gift should be engraved with the baby’s name. Additionally, adding a personalized inscription that includes a short message will make the gift special.

What Should You Give?

Unlike a baby shower, a christening or baptism is a formal, religious ceremony. This religious rite marks the baby’s arrival into the church or religious community. Therefore, a religious-themed gift is a wonderful gift to give at a christening or baptism. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to choose a gift if you do not understand the nuances of the parent’s religion. Rather than trying to find a specific religious item, opt for an inspirational item. A sentimental or useful gift can help you overcome the barriers surround faith-based ceremonies. Some ideas for a baptism gift include children’s religious stories, inspirational figurines, keepsake books or picture frames. In addition to these items, you can give blankets, eating utensils, clothing or monetary gifts. Parents will also appreciate handmade gifts as these can become heirlooms that can be passed from generation to generation. Antique blankets, lace gowns and bonnets can quickly become family treasures that are handed down from generation to generation. Finally, because christenings are a time to think towards the future of the child, a savings bond or investment certificate in the child’s name is a time-honoured gift that parents will love.

Baptism Gift Ideas

The gifts given at a baptism or christening are typically more religious than those given at the birth of a child or a baby shower. If you prefer a gift more along the lines of a baby shower, take a look at our baby shower gift etiquette page. This page is broken into two sections. One section includes a list of religious stores and websites. The second section offers a number of gift ideas that parents of a new baby will appreciate. If you are unable to find the perfect gift on our site, click the store name. This will take you to the store’s website where you can search for the baby gift you are looking for.

As you can see, there are many things to understand when it comes to baptism gift etiquette. Talk with the parents to determine if you can attend the ceremony or only the reception. Then, check out our list of websites that offer amazing baptism gifts.