What Should You Get As A Christening Gift

November 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Births, Celebrations, Shopping

It is usually a sign that you are held in high regard if you have been invited to the christening of a friend or family member’s baby. Christenings are an important life event and it’s appropriate to arrange a christening gift for the parents who have invited you.

Deciding on appropriate christening gifts can be quite difficult, especially if this is the first time you have attended a christening for some time or if you have not attended a christening event in this church or religion before.

Traditional Christening Gifts

Apostle spoons – these are silver spoons with the image of one of the twelve apostles on the handle. Wealthy benefactors would give a baby the entire set of twelve, while those less well off would give four spoons (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) or possibly just one with the saint whose name the child had been given. This custom started in Tudor times and was a sign of a wealthy family and is thought to have given rise to the saying: Born with a silver spoon in your mouth. The giving of Apostle spoons has become less common, but the giving of silver remains.



If you have the honour of being chosen as a Godparent to the new baby, your baptism gift etiquette guidelines are a bit unique. It is traditional for you to both give and receive a gift at this time. The new parents traditionally present the Godparents with a token of their appreciation for becoming mentors of their new arrival. And the Godparents traditionally present a gift to the new baby to signify their commitment of being a mentor.

The time-honoured gifts of silver are most appropriate coming from Godparents. Keep in mind that these gifts will most likely be heirlooms or display gifts. Engravings should include the baby’s name, since baptisms and christenings are, in part, naming ceremonies. You may also include an inspirational inscription, or a short personal message from yourself.

Gifts of money

It’s important to beware of parents’ sensitivities and traditions before arranging a gift of money. Although it is potentially the most useful gift you could arrange, every family will take a different approach, so do check before you sign a cheque.

The Christening Gown as a Gift

Though some people believe it’s up to the godmother to buy the baby’s christening gown, traditionally it’s passed down through the generations. Etiquette doesn’t dictate godparents having to buy the christening outfit; anyone can give this as a gift. However, before deciding to purchase a christening gown, check with the baby’s parents to make sure they don’t already have one.


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