A christening is a joyous occasion when family and friends gather to celebrate the new life of a child. There are two types of christenings, the familiar religious-based ceremony and non-religious gatherings such as baby-naming, thanksgiving or welcoming ceremonies. Regardless of the type chosen by the parents, the common theme is celebrating the child's birth and life ahead in an atmosphere of love and support. Many christening gifts continue to have a religious theme, but it is not necessary to follow tradition. In fact, non-religious christening gifts are often the most cherished; unique or personalised gifts make the day more memorable.
Money still remains one of the most popular gifts with parents and givers, is convenient and always appropriate. To add a special touch, place the money in a personalised piggy bank or a pottery jar labelled "College Fund." Savings bonds are another popular traditional christening gift that gain value as they mature. For something a bit more unusual, single shares of stock are available for purchase online. You can give the gift of Disney, Mattel or DreamWorks Animation, to name a few.
Gifts personalised with the baby's name or the christening date can be treasured and even passed on as a memento in the future. Silver items are great for engraving; baby cups, rattles, brush and comb sets, first tooth and first curl boxes are popular suggestions. A burp cloth or blanket embroidered with name and birth date can be useful and kept as a remembrance. A more unusual christening gift is a framed picture of the baby's name, including its origin and meaning. Most personalised gifts can be easily ordered online.
Non-religious christening gifts are often keepsakes of the special day. One possibility is to frame the christening invitation, including an additional special verse or poem. Another is a memory box large enough to include items of meaning from the ceremony and the day. To add a touch of community, bring along pads of paper in typical baby colours and have quests write a loving or encouraging note to include. Photo frames are frequent christening gifts. Consider giving a shadowbox frame to display keepsakes such as the christening outfit, invitation and family photos.
For those who want to give an out-of-the-ordinary christening gift, there are many possibilities. Trees or seedlings are increasingly popular. Gender appropriate suggestions are an oak or fruit tree for boys, and a flowering tree or rose bush for girls. It can be a special thing for a child to see her tree grow as she grows. Another unique gift is a personalised book or music CD. The child is cast as the main character or the rising rock star, immortalised for the future. Either of these is available online. You can name a star in honour of the baby through the Intergalactic Star Database. This is truly a christening gift that will last forever, also easily available online.