Buying gifts for a Christening, or if you prefer a Baptism, has traditionally been the remit of our women folk and naturally a path rarely trod by us dads.
But this is the 21st century and there is no reason why we can’t take some of the responsibility and have more involvement in this especially important event in a child’s life – be they our own, our relatives or a friend’s bundle of joy.
But be aware if like many fathers you have no experience of choosing a gift don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy task, it’s not and it can be particularly hard to get it right, after all this is not like shopping for a birthday or even Christmas. There are a number of considerations that should not be overlooked, this is a religious and sensitive occasion, and it’s usually for a baby so you have to be sure that you know what it is you are looking for.
Knowing how hard it can be and that there are a number of pitfalls waiting for uninitiated dads we’ve put down a few quick tips to help make it just that little bit easier.
There are a particularly large number of Christian faiths so crucially be sure that you know what denomination the parents are and critically that this is the religion the baby is being accepted into. If you are not particularly knowledgeable of the practises of their faith then a quick search online should help you out. Or if you feel comfortable enough ask the parents directly, they will probably be happy that you’ve taken the care and time to ask them.
Like weddings, the renewing of vows, bar mitzvahs, and a whole host of other religious celebrations an industry has built up around christenings. It’s increasingly common now for there to be a registry of gifts so ask the parents if there is and check it out, it’ll make choosing that special gift so much easier.
Make sure the gift you give is appropriate to your relationship with the child and family. Bibles, christening bracelets and cups are more likely to be given by very close family members. If you are less closely related to the family, or just a friend or colleague then a smaller gift such as a money box or picture frame might be the best thing to go for. Websites such as that of popular high street department store John Lewis offer a whole range of appropriate and quality gifts in their christening section. To make things that much easier it is definitely worth a look at.
If the whole process becomes that little bit too stressful then stay traditional when choosing a gift. Again a search online is a good starting point to understand what an appropriate gift might be.
If you’re feeling adventurous and are not too fazed by the whole job of getting it right then try to be a little unique and personal. Giving a soft toy with the child’s name, or a book of religious stories inscribed with the child’s name is thoughtful and memorable. But remember ultimately you want to give a gift that the child treasures for the rest of their lives.