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Scottish Christening Gifts

Updated February 21, 2017

Christening or baptism refers to the ceremony, usually involving water, that is a rite of entrance into the Christian Church. Scottish culture places an enormous amount of importance upon the birth of a child; thus, numerous traditions and superstitions revolve around this event. You can use this aspect of Scottish cultural history to think of a meaningful christening gift.

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Gifts of Food

Several traditions connected to food are part of the Scottish christening of a child. For example, after the priest performed the christening rite, all the guests had to partake of bread and cheese; people viewed refusal to partake as bad luck. Give homage to this ancient tradition by bringing a fine loaf of bread to the christening, with a block or wheel of the best cheese you can find.

The traditional Scottish christening also featured a dish called "fuarag" in Gaelic. It consisted of oatmeal mixed either with cream or whiskey. Each guest, including the child, had to have a spoonful. Re-create this dish as a gift to the reception by using real Scottish oatmeal when you cook it. Many guests may enjoy giving this custom a try.

Scottish Whiskey

Whiskey played heavily in the time-honoured Scottish christening. After the christening ceremony, all observers had a drink of whiskey; all considered refusing to be bad luck and poor form. Revive this tradition by giving the gift of the finest Scotch whiskey you can afford. Even if the parents of the child of honour don't want to include whiskey during the baptismal ritual, they'll most likely appreciate the gesture.


A dram glass played a significant role in the customary Scottish christening ceremony, as this was the glass from which participants drank the whiskey. Give the baptised child's parents an antique dram glass or set of dram glasses to honour this practice.

A silver coin also figured in the old-fashioned Scottish baptism; putting the coin in the child's hand is said to determine whether the child will be rich or poor, thrifty or extravagant. A silver cup engraved with the child's name and a Celtic cross also is a fitting gift.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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