If you’ve been invited to a christening, baptism or naming ceremony, you’re probably on the look-out for the perfect gift to give to the baby of honour.
You might want to go for something traditional which they can keep as a special memento of their day or you could prefer to give the little one something they can use or play with right now. Either way, we’ve got you covered with our round-up of the best christening gifts.
Why do people give silver at a christening?
The tradition of giving silver gifts at a christening dates back to Tudor times when a child’s godparent would give them an Apostle Spoon. This silver spoon would have a picture of a saint on the handle, usually one sharing the same name as the child. The act of giving these silver spoons inspired the well-known phrase ‘born with a silver spoon in your mouth’.
While it is now fairly unusual to buy an actual Apostle spoon, many traditional christening gifts are still made from silver. Now people might give a wide range of items made from the precious metal, including money boxes, cutlery, napkin rings, coins, egg cups, rattles and tankards.
The reason silver is so popular, other than tradition, is that it is associated with health and prosperity. Giving a valuable item was also seen as symbolising independence for the child when they are older.
Does the gift have to be religious?
If you have been invited to a christening – a baptism welcoming a child into the Christian faith – you might want to give a present with religious significance. However, there are plenty of options out there which are thoughtful without being linked to a particular faith.
Naming ceremonies are an increasingly popular way of celebrating the birth of a baby but these events do not have a religious aspect to them so it is best to steer away of any explicitly Christian gifts. One great idea for both christenings and naming ceremonies is to give a gift based on the child’s name like a personalised or engraved item.
Our pick of the best christening gifts
This large personalised book features the baby’s name and the date of their christening both on the front and on the inner pages. Inside the book, there a number of short rhyming prayers and blessings and child-friendly illustrations.
Made from thick paper and hand-bound, this book should last if looked after properly and there is the option of adding your own printed personal message inside.
If you want to give something to the baby that they can treasure right now, how about a well-made soft toy they can cuddle for years to come. We love this 31cm bunny from Jellycat, which has supersoft fur and is suitable from birth.
The printed floral fabric on the paws and ears make it more special than your average rabbit toy. We think most little ones will love snuggling up to this (and let’s face it probably chewing on those long floppy ears).
This stunning silver egg cup, spoon and bib would make a lovely christening gift. It would make for a beautiful keepsake once the little one outgrows it.
Dimensions: approx. 16.5cm x 16cm x 7.5cm
A memory box is a really thoughtful gift for a young baby, It gives their parents somewhere safe to keep all those little treasured bits and pieces from their early years so they can enjoy looking through them when they’re older.
This vintage-style wooden box is aimed at baby girls with a pink elephant design but there are plenty of similar products for boys, including a blue one just like this.
Dimensions: 25cm x 24cm
This gorgeous wooden stool would look great in a little one’s nursery or playroom. The Noah’s Ark design means it has some religious significance but the cute animals will also appeal to young children.
The stool can be laser engraved with the baby’s name and the date of their christening. Made from pine and feels well-made and sturdy.
What child doesn't love a cuddly teddy? This teddy bear is even more special as it has a tag that you can personalise with a name, message or special date. The whole family will treasure this little bear.
Dimensions: 8cm x 8cm x 8cm
If you want to give a traditional silver christening gift, this money box is a fantastic option. Silver-plated and in the shape of an ABC cube, it will look great on a shelf in their bedroom or nursery.
It comes in an attractive gift box and who knows it might even encourage the recipient to start saving up their pennies while they’re still young. With a slot at the top and an opening at the bottom, it is easy to get the money back out again when needed.
Dimensions: Size: 14.6cm x 29.7cm x 24.7cm
Suitable from 18 months
A Noah’s Ark toy makes a wonderful decoration when a baby is tiny but it’s also a really fun toy to play with when they get a bit older. We adore the muted colours and cute chunky pieces in this 25-piece Scandinavian-style wooden set.
There's a nice selection of animals, including monkeys, lions, elephants, crocodiles and even pigeons. Little ones will love opening and closing the door to the ark and putting everyone safely inside.
A classic sterling silver baby bangle with expander for adjustable size to grow as they do. An elegant gift for a special occasion. 0-3 years.
Bangle size: Diameter 4.2cm + expander to 5.5cm
Bangle width: 4mm/0.4cm
Material: Sterling silver
This stylish storage bench will be loved by parents who can tidy away toys with ease and will grow with children who one day can snuggle up on the bench with their favourite teddy and read a book.
This meaningful gift is truly one of a kind that will look lovely framed and will last a lifetime. You can choose the occasion, pick a constellation such as The Princess (Andromeda) or The Little Bear (Ursa Minor), and personalise the certificate which comes beautifully packaged.
Gift this adorable necklace to keep your little one safe, and this is a charm that will be treasured forever.