When it comes to christening presents,
it’s nice to give a gift that offers
a practical use or can be used long-term.
A change from traditional silver items,
long-term gifts are better
suited to when a child has grown, and provide a sense
of awareness of the person they will become.
As such they are a very thoughtful, valuable option.
Here are a few suggestions of alternative, everlasting gifts that you
could give for either a boys, or girls christening.
Something to kick-start their life
Savings are always welcome, and can be added to at future occasions.
Money may not be as easily personalised, or as pretty to
wrap as a physical present, but it offers huge potential.
Gifted savings can help a child start their life. Whether they want to go travelling, buy a first house or flat, need help with university, or for any number of reasons, a savings cushion will be appreciated. Cash can be added straight to a savings account or trust fund, or could be bought in shares or premium bonds. Whatever the form, keep it safe until the child reaches 18 or 21.
Something to help them get on the road
Similar to savings, driving lessons or money towards a car focus on the future!
If you know you will remain in a child’s life, give them a driving lesson
(or savings towards lessons) at every major event.
By the time they are 17 they will have enough lessons to pass their test,
or savings to buy their first car! You’re giving them a skill for life!
Something to encourage their intellectual side
Gifting good quality editions of classic books: great novels, iconic titles or Bibles, might not be truly appreciated until children are older. However, books can encourage a lifelong passion for literature, reading, and can teach strong life morals.
Anything from classic children’s books to famous works could be given; it’s always nice to have a copy of the greatest written pieces to hand. Books could also be inscribed with the name of the giver, the date, and the details of the reason behind their gifting for longer-term sentimental value.
Something they can always see
This is a more unusual idea. Naming a star after someone is a unique and quite permanent way to show your love throughout a child’s life. Encouraging an interest in astronomy and science, this gift could also have an educational side.
A named star is also an ideal way to help people ground themselves. Searching for and seeing their personal star in the sky will help the child to know who they are, and help them put things into perspective wherever they go.
Something of value
Quality jewellery will hold its value and be appreciated in years to come. If personalised, increased sentimental value can also be added. For boys, cufflinks are most popular, usually engraved with initials. For girls a precious or semi-precious ring, stone or other item of jewellery can be given. Younger girls could then wear the ring around their neck on a chain until it fits them. Alternatively, jewellery can be given at the christening, but saved until children are old enough to care for it properly. Charm bracelets are another nice option, as charms can be given as a yearly gift.
Something from the past
Time capsules, full of items from the day of the christening are perfect way to involve a child in a day they won’t remember too well! Unique, creative and full of emotion, a time capsule can be any container, though a tin or wooden box is perfect. The contents of the capsule can be anything you feel is important – you might include an invitation to the christening, a card listing the details of the service, pictures, or a copy of that day’s newspaper for example. A nice touch is to have everyone at the christening write a note to the child, to read when they are grown, and include them too. As long as you remember to give the capsule to the child when they’re grown, this is a perfect snapshot back to when they were tiny!
Something that will mature well
Alcohol might not be a first thought for a new baby’s christening – but it could be a good idea! A good case of wine, champagne, port, perhaps a bottle of whisky from the year the baby was born, will increase in value as it, and the child, matures. With gifts like this it’s nice to keep them until a 21st birthday. As long as the gift hasn’t been drunk in the meantime, it makes for a valuable and unique present!
Something to grow with them
A plant is a symbolic gift of growth and flourishing over time. Planting a tree, a rose bush or any long-lived plant allows a child to watch it grow with them, and is a beautiful gift. What you give and where it is planted will depend if the family have a garden, and if they will stay in that area for a long time. Many prefer to plant an important tree in a park or forest. That way, children can enjoy going on walks to find their tree!
Whatever everlasting christening gift you choose, be sure that it will be unique, memorable and receive a lifetime’s worth of appreciation!
Suzanne Gibbard is owner of Bundles of Joy a company in the UK which sells baby gifts and christening gifts.