First Communion gift ideas
April 22, 2008 6:51 PM   Subscribe

What is a good First Communion gift for my nephew/godson?

This Sunday is my nephew's First Communion. I have been struggling for weeks on what to get him for a gift.

I am a non practicing Catholic. I'm not completely adverse to getting him something religious, but I'm very open to other ideas. I went into a Christian bookstore tonight and everything just seemed so cheesy. I was thinking of focusing on the idea of him being more grown up, rather than focusing on the religious aspect.

Any help on gift ideas?
posted by Becko to Shopping (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My aunt got me a bible with a gilded, white-leather cover and brilliant illustrations. I used to pretend I was Moses in the basket being sent down the river.

Now I'm atheist, but I still have that bible. I don't read it, but whenever I move I open it and look at the pictures.

I, on the other hand, am a bad aunt and didn't get my nephews anything for their first communions. I live far away.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:02 PM on April 22, 2008

I had the exact same experience, Becko. Non-practicing Catholic, cheesy Christian store. I ended up getting my godson a savings bond.

I do like the bible idea. I still have mine from my godmother.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:14 PM on April 22, 2008

My standard First Communion present is a copy of The Clown of God which is an old French story told and illustrated by Tomie de Paola. I am also a non-practicing Catholic but I still find this story moving. Also, it is a very beautiful book.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a really nice book about St. Francis of Assisi with a lot of more obscure legends included (then again, he's my namesake so I'm probably more partial than most...but he did talk to animals!). It also has very nice illustrations.

These are both religious and not that grown-up, but I can say that I don't think either is particularly cheesy. YMMV. Just don't get him a savings bond, his parents will probably lose it before it matures.
posted by Tesseractive at 7:19 PM on April 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh! Duh! I just remembered! You should totally get him the Rosary Comic Book!

It's by the same guy who did American Born Chinese, which is a really cool graphic novel about Chinese-American identity issues, but as it turns out he's also Catholic. So, the comic book actually is formatted to tell the mysteries of the rosary while at the same time using the number of panels as rosary beads, so you can pray along with the the illustrations have dark-skinned angels and girl angels appearing to people, which I found very appealing.

I just found out about this recently and I haven't celebrated any relative's FC for a long time but the next time I get the chance...I gotta remember this one.
posted by Tesseractive at 7:27 PM on April 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

My godparents gave me a small (about a half-inch long, I thing?) stainless-silver cross necklace. I think I may have worn it once or twice, and it's in storage now, but I--now 30, never having owned any other piece of jewelry--still remember it and how elegant and grown-up it seemed as a 13-year-old boy. Pewter or stainless steel would be nice too.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:41 PM on April 22, 2008

One of my favorite First Communion presents (other than the money, of course) was a statue of Jesus. That was decades ago, but I still remember it. That one was traditional, but today I would suggest any one you could find that would express warmth and accessibility. That is (in the ideal) what a First Communion is supposed to be about, intimacy with Jesus Our Lord.

Just my 2 cents.
posted by forthright at 7:46 PM on April 22, 2008

Response by poster: I ordered the Rosary Comic Book. My nephew has been hugely into comic books lately, so that's perfect.

It was only like $8 though, so I'm going to get him something else as well. Thanks for the ideas folks.
posted by Becko at 8:07 PM on April 22, 2008

An orange-gold Columbia 3-speed stick-shift bicycle with 20" whitewall tires and a white banana seat. At least, that's what I got for my first communion in 1966. I was super-surprised because I didn't even know a first communion was an occasion on which I would receive gifts.

BTW, the stick-shift bicycles turned out to be a bit of a safety problem, particularly for boys, so they might be a little hard to come by these days.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:32 PM on April 22, 2008

I think first communion is one of those events where it's considered normal and not thoughtless to just give money. You could do bonds also.

Church clothes if you want to get him something not specifically religious, but still useful to his religious education, and if you want him to think of you as the boring aunt.

Also, it'd help to know how old he is. I think I was around 7 or 8-ish for my first communion.

If he has any strong interests or hobbies, you can find out who the patron saint of that is, and get him a medallion for that saint. Along these lines. Some saints have particular stylized crosses associated with them which you could get too. If you get him something like this, then you're being a "good godmother", but you yourself can think of it as just supporting his interests.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:15 PM on April 22, 2008

Seconding the idea of a cross or crucifix on a chain.

Something like this or this and even this. Manly enough for a boy and not so expensive that losing it would be a tragedy. You may or may not want to go the extra step of having it blessed by your godson's priest.
posted by jaimystery at 7:54 AM on April 23, 2008

Nth savings bond.
posted by drezdn at 8:58 AM on April 23, 2008

I would say get him a nice gold or silver cross on a chain. A Bible is good but as a Godfather the gift should be a little more special. Even a watch is a nice gesture.
posted by PetiePal at 1:05 PM on April 23, 2008

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