Traditional gifts for godparents

Updated February 21, 2017

The relationship between a child and his godparents is a very special one. Traditionally a godparent vowed at the christening ceremony to oversee the child's religious education; nowadays a godparent is a special adult friend who supports the child in living a good life. Godparents usually give a gift such as a silver cup, rattle or spoon to the child as a christening present, but it is becoming more and more common for the child's parents to give the godparents a gift as well. These gifts often have religious significance.

Holy Water

The holy water used for a Catholic baptism is most often water that has been blessed on Holy Saturday in preparation for Easter. The procedure for blessing Easter Water is more solemn and involved than that for blessing "regular" holy water in a ceremony that recalls Christ's baptism. Some parents get a small amount of this special holy water used for their baby's baptism, put it in a decorative vial made for the purpose and make a present of it to the child's godparent.


A presentation Bible makes a very nice godparent gift. Select the best-quality Bible you can find and have the baby's name and the christening date embossed on the cover in gold letters. Since the godparent's traditional role is to see to the child's religious education, it's a nice gesture to include a similarly-bound child's illustrated Bible so that they may one day study together.

Religious Jewelry

Rosaries are a traditional godparents gift available in many different styles, from pink jewelled confections for the godmother to solemn ebony beads for the godfather. Gold or silver crucifix necklaces are a nice gift, and so are holy medals; those featuring the child's namesake or the patron saints of teachers, children or newborns would be especially meaningful.

Rosary Box

There are thousands of styles, colours and materials from which to choose if you are buying a rosary box for your child's godparent. They are available in carved wood, cloisonné, enamel and metal. You may choose one that contains a music box, one that is lined in velvet or one that is decorated with jewels, cameos or the portrait of a saint. Whatever you decide, attach a plate engraved with the baby's name and the christening date to remind the recipient of the gift's religious significance.

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About the Author

Siva Stephens has been a writer since she could hold a pencil. She has written newspaper articles, medical manuals, advertising copy and gags for cartoonists. Stephens has been publishing online since 2004, most recently as a contributing author for the Oregon Encyclopedia Project.