Baptism Gift Giving Etiquette and Ideas
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Baptism Gift Giving Etiquette and Ideas

Gifts are not NECESSARY (especially if one was already given at the child's baby shower or birth), but are always thoughtful and appreciated.

This article is in response to the posted question "Should one bring a gift to a baby's baptism, and if so, what sort of gift is appropriate?" As a guest, a christening gift is never essential, but is always thoughtful. It is tradition and expected that the godparents of the baby give a gift.  There are two types of christening ceremonies - religious and secular (non-religious). Regardless of which type is chosen, the common theme is love and surrounding the child with family and friends in order to celebrate the child's birth and life to come.

"The standard christening gift," etiquette expert Emily Post wrote in 1922, "is a silver mug, a porringer, or a knife, fork, and spoon, marked usually with the baby's name and that of the giver."  Obviously, things have changed since 1922, but the idea of giving a gift is still a thoughtful and appreciated tradition, just as with graduations and homewarming parties.

Common gifts for christian ceremonies include children's bibles (illustrated, and usually has the child's name and date of baptism engraved on the front, or written on a special sheet in the front), cross necklace, or a crucifix plaque. Precious Moments' are also great gifts, and there are many baptism-themed statuettes, which vary in race and sex so they can be personalized to the child. Also, consider the possibility of getting the child a "Prayer Teddy Bear." These stuffed animals often have a recorder inside that will recite a prayer when you squeeze the bear's tummy. Also, you could contact the parents before the ceremony, and ask if they need anything (christening gown, bonnet, crucifix bib or booties, embroidered baptism afghan) for the child for the actual ceremony. Contributing in that way can be very appreciated as well.

For Secular ceremonies, common gifts are similar to those you may see given at a baby shower. Clothing, blankets, bath gift baskets, and diapering essentials are commonly seen given as gifts during these ceremonies.

Also, gifts appropriate for both religious and non-religious ceremonies are engraved picture frames or photo albums. Still, many people chose to give Savings Bonds as a gift to the child, and I've got to admit that I feel this is the best present you could give (unless, of course, you are a grandparent or godparent, then the gift should be something more personal). This is something the child can use later in life, and will most definitely need. This is especially good if you plan on giving bonds to the child for other occasions, such as holidays, birthdays, or other religious milestones in their life.

Christening and baptism gifts should always be accompanied by a card appropriate for the event.

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Comments (2)
Shirley Lassiter

If you are looking for a baptism guest gift, you may be interested in the cross charm with a strap. You can give it as is or tie the strap to favors for decoration.


Here is a great place for Baptism Invitations -