It feels like just yesterday that you were at your family friend’s baby shower, when you receive an invitation in the mail to come to the baby’s baptism. Now, for some people, they may know exactly what they want to get for the child. For others that answer may not be as clear.
If you are invited to a baptism, RSVP as soon as you can. Be sure to arrive on time to the ceremony. Once you have agreed to going, the next step is figuring out the type of gift you want to get for the child. Whether it is the first baptism you are attending, or you need a refresher on what is appropriate to give, this guide will help ease your mind.
Jump to a specific section to answer your question:
- Do You Give a Gift for a Baptism?
- What if You Can’t Attend the Baptism?
- How Much Should a Baptism Gift Cost?
- Baptism Gift Ideas for Both Genders
- Is Cash Appropriate for a Baptism?
- Baptism Gifts from Godparents
- Do You Give Godparents a Gift at a Baptism?
- Do You Give a Donation to the Priest or Church for a Baptism?
Whether to give a gift for a baptism can be confusing, especially if you have given a gift for the child at the baby shower. Gifts for baptisms are not required, however, gifts are both welcome and appropriate for this kind of occasion. If you have given the child a gift at their baby shower, you can choose if you would like to give doubly or not. Gifts are normally given after the baptism at a reception or party held by the parents of the child. If you are attending the baptism ceremony itself, wait to give the gift until after the ceremony.
Many times people are unsure of whether or not they should give a gift for an event that they cannot attend. Following general etiquette, it is polite to still send a gift to events you are not attending. It is up to you whether or not you would give a gift in the first place. If you do decide to give a gift you can either bring it to the family in person or send it to them. Depending on your relationship with the family having the baptism, the choice is up to you. If you do not wish to send a gift, consider sending a card in the mail.
For an event like a baptism, many people feel like they have to spend tons of money on the gift that they buy. The cost of a baptism gift can vary depending on your relationship to the family. Godparents normally spend between $100 to $150 on a gift while close relatives spend about $50. If you are a family friend, it is typical to spend money on a gift that is within your budget. There is no set amount for a baptism gift, especially because gifts can be pricey. Giving a gift is not expected but appreciated, so it really is the thought that counts! The general rule of thumb is to spend however much you feel like you can. Do not feel inclined to go out of the budget that you are comfortable with to get a gift.
Once you have decided what price range you want your gift to fall under, it is time to choose what it is that you want to buy. You can’t go wrong with getting a boy a wooden cross or an engraved keepsake box for his room. If you are going to a girl’s baptism, consider getting a small bracelet. She may also like a snow globe that has an angel in it.
Most gifts for a baptism can be for either gender. Unisex gifts could be items like a bible with the child’s name engraved on it or a silver rattle. For something less traditional, think about buying a piggy bank for money gifted to the child. The child may also like a personalized photo frame for the child’s room. Remember, gifts can be affordable! Something like a children’s book or stuffed animal is more than okay to give.
People often feel like they have to pick out a special gift for certain occasions. However, giving a child cash for a baptism is completely appropriate. People often choose to give gifts when they feel like they cannot give a sufficient amount of cash. Many times when people give money as their gift, they bring a card with a check, cash, or a savings bond in it. The amount that they choose to give normally corresponds with how close they are to the family.
The “rules” for the godparents at the baptism tend to differ from others invited to the event. Typically gifts from godparents are a little nicer than gifts from others that attend the baptism. This is because they are normally very close with the parents and feel the need to give a gift of higher value. Godparents often present gifts of silver to the child. These can include anything from a silver cross necklace, to something silver with the baby’s name on it. Many times the gifts from the godparents will be on display in the child’s room or around the house. Because of this, engraved silver is typically given. If godparents want to buy something more traditional, they may buy the Baptismal gown for the child. If they are looking to give money, they often will give the child a savings bond.
While other guests at the baptism do not receive gifts from the parents, most of the time godparents do. Gifts should not be expected by a godparent, however, it is custom for the parents to give them a gift. Usually there will be a time for parents to present a gift to the godparents. The godparents will then exchange their gifts to the family at this time. If you are giving the godparents a gift, almost anything, within reason, goes. Silver jewelry all the way to engraved frames with a picture in them are appropriate to give to godparents. You are most likely close to the godparents of your child, so think of something that they would enjoy and go with that.
It is not expected for the parents to pay extra to the priest or the church for a baptism ceremony. However, many people tend to do just that. People normally donate from $25 to $100 dollars to the priest that is performing the baptism. The dollar amount depends on multiple factors. Some of these include whether or not he has taken extra time to specially prepare for the baptism or if the baptism is a private event. An alternative to tipping the priest is giving money to the church where the baptism is being held.
Baptisms are a special time for a child and their family. Whether you choose to give the child a physical gift or a monetary one, it is all about being thoughtful. Whatever you decide to give for the baptism, make sure to include a meaningful message. If you are the parent of the child consider donating money to the church or priest. You may also think to give the godparents of your child a gift to show a token of your appreciation!