Christening gifts – How much should you give?
If you’ve been invited to a baptism, christening or naming ceremony you’ll probably be debating whether or not to bring a gift. You might also be wondering what an appropriate gift might be, and if you could or should give money instead.
The good news is there’s no rule that says you have to give a gift, although it is generally considered customary to give some sort of gift or card to mark the occasion.
How much should you spend on a gift?
There really are no rules when it comes to the amount you should spend on a gift, and at a christening in particular, what you decide to give will be influenced both by your circumstances and your relationship to the child.
Generally speaking if you’ve been asked to be a godparent then you would be looking at getting a gift the child can keep. Silver gifts are traditional, and there are some lovely and unique options available, as are bibles and prayer books if you and the family are religious.
Opening a savings account in the child’s name or giving bonds or shares is popular with the value being determined more by your means that anything else. While other options include wooden toys they can play with for years or even gifts such as wine or whiskey to be laid down until they are 18.
For other guests a token gift to mark the occasion is plenty and some people suggest that you spend roughly the amount you would spend on a birthday.
There are a huge variety of appropriate gifts for a christening that suits every budget.
You could choose a gift they will keep such as a book you love with a message inside, a special coin featuring the year of their birth, a money box, a silver trinket (although be aware they might get a lot of these), a photo frame or a music box.
Or you could opt for something they will get to use now such as a soft toy or a wooden toy, a baby blanket, or a nightlight or clothing.
Giving money as a Christening gift
Money is generally considered a perfectly acceptable and fairly traditional gift as it’s something that can be put away for the babies future.
Again what you give should be determined by your means and the closeness of the relationship. Don’t feel pressured into giving what you imagine others might give. The parents who invited you will know your situation. Thinking about what you might have spent on a gift is a good start.
Some people may even request money rather than gifts, and although you might baulk at this thinking it either rude or presumptuous it can actually save you the stress of shopping and be more beneficial to the child in future years.
And of course there is nothing to stop you buying a thoughtful gift instead, especially if there is something you already had in mind.
As with any gift its the thought and love that has gone into that means the most, handcrafted gifts that cost very little can be the ones you treasure for generations, and eco-friendly gifts might be far more welcome than traditional silver.