What to get for a christening gift?
September 15, 2006 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I need to get a gift for my soon-to-be goddaughter's christening on Sunday and I have no idea what to get her.

Of course, it's my fault I waited till the last minute. So that rules out anything engraved, I guess. What are traditional christening presents? And where on earth do you buy them? Any nontraditional ideas? I'm not terribly religious but I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to a religion-related gift. Also, I have very little money. $25 is honestly stretching it for me. Am I the worst godmother ever or what?
posted by Jess the Mess to Human Relations (18 answers total)
What church (denomination) is she being christened in?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:06 PM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

You'll see plenty of traditional ideas here. Picture frames, bibles, books, jewelry, stuffed animals, etc. Any babyish present.

There are usually Christian bookstores in most large cities if you do want something religious.

My favorite ever gift from a godparent was a small pearl necklace (not real pearls) that I got when I was 13. I wore it all the time. A baby is less likely to care about any gift, of course.

And can't you get something engraved instantly at Things Remembered or other mall gift places like that? I thought they did it while you waited, no?
posted by GaelFC at 12:10 PM on September 15, 2006

You could always go with a savings bond.
posted by jerseygirl at 12:10 PM on September 15, 2006

If you have an embroidery store near by you can get a bib embroidered with her full name and maybe some small passage. If you want something that she can't use now, but would be added to a box of keepsakes, trade the bib for a nice hankerchief.
posted by nadawi at 12:15 PM on September 15, 2006

You know...I don't know what denomination she's going to be raised in. Another reason why I'm a terrible godmother. It'll be Christian of some type. The family's a Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian mix and to be honest I don't think her parents attend chuch apart from holidays and life events.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:18 PM on September 15, 2006

I'd go for a picture frame in which to place a photo taken on the day. Or a photo album.

If the family is at all religious, a cross on a chain.

Or write a little letter to the child saying how pleased you are to be her godmother, you're looking forward to watching her grow up. Or you can write out a poem, a quotation or two... anything that expresses part of what you'd say to the little one if she weren't temporarily language-challenged. If you're not a sappy person, then it won't be sappy. The parents will love it, and some day the child will, too.
posted by wryly at 12:19 PM on September 15, 2006

I'm not sure where you're located, but you may not have to rule out engraving. Shops like Things Remembered will do many items the same day. It's worth a shot. See their selection of baby/christening gifts here. They have a pretty good range of prices as well, so you could spend 12 bucks or 100.
posted by theantikitty at 12:22 PM on September 15, 2006

A ceramic or metal wall cross might be nice. You can usually find them at a Hallmark store or other similair gift shop. I am not religious at all either, but I bought one for a baby christening gift. It was ceramic with a little message.

Would the parents likely display a cross over the child's crib? If not---

Do you have a picture of the child? You could buy a prety frame or photo ablum and stick a picture of her in the front. A designer growth chart might be an idea also. These types of growth charts can be found at kid's boutiques and specialty toy shops. I see them around a lot.
posted by LoriFLA at 12:25 PM on September 15, 2006

For a very inexpensive present, buy up a bunch of newspapers (local, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today) and magazines from the day of her christening and get thee to an archiving store for some kind of acid-free preservation.

You can also buy a Time Capsule kit for help with the same thing. Sure, those newspapers seem boring now, but I'd love to see the papers from my own baptism day. The ads alone would be a hoot.
posted by GaelFC at 12:49 PM on September 15, 2006

In my family it's a sort of unofficial tradition for the godparent to get a godchild a silver cup (like any one on this page) for its christening, and have it engraved with their full name. Getting it engraved shouldn't take any time at all. If you buy anything that you want engraved, also try trophy shops. They'll usually engrave anything no matter where you bought it.
posted by contessa at 1:25 PM on September 15, 2006

Why not a Bible? You can get a pretty nice one for under twenty five bucks. Seems like an appropriate gift to me, but what do I know, I'm a Catholic.
posted by rossination at 3:31 PM on September 15, 2006

I second jerseygirl's suggestion of a savings bond. My godmother got me one, and it was a very pleasant surprise to find out about it as I was heading off to college.
posted by christinetheslp at 3:36 PM on September 15, 2006

I'm getting my godchild a savings bond. Anything else will just be gummed and drooled upon. On the other hand, I was given one of contessa's cups about 45 years ago think it's very nice.
posted by klarck at 5:19 PM on September 15, 2006

Charm bracelet with one charm (a cross would be natural) or add-a-pearl necklace. Then you will know what to get her for subsequent birthdays too (another thing to add to the bracelet or necklace).
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:48 PM on September 15, 2006

Crackpot as it sounds, silver cutlery sets (knife, fork, spoon) are traditional as well. She won't use them until she's 2 maybe, but thereafter the idea is that she uses them every day for years.

This may be an utterly batty northern English idea, but it's what I gave my new neice and goddaughter. Sis was very happy with it, as was neice who sucked the spoon on and off for hours.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 6:04 PM on September 15, 2006

How about a tree? Or a rosebush? Or a gift card for a tree or rosebush? Then you can have the parents plant it and it can always be a nice rememberance of the day.

The local Catholic gift shop here sells bibs and onesies with "Cuddly Little Catholic" embroidered on them. Kind of irreverently reverent, but cute. I've seen "Precious Little Protestant" ones, too, and I'm sure they make others...
posted by printchick at 6:31 PM on September 15, 2006

Wow, you guys are great. I'm making a list of your suggestions and going shopping today. If all else fails I'll do the savings bond.

Also, I adore the rosebush idea but her parents are in the military so they'd end up moving away from it. Dang.
posted by Jess the Mess at 4:42 AM on September 16, 2006

Jess, maybe they can plant it in a pot or something? I dunno...
posted by printchick at 6:29 AM on September 16, 2006

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