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a gift list for a christening? AIBU?

(39 Posts)
threeforme Tue 02-Apr-13 14:51:54

There have been a few christenings amongst a group of acquaintances I know through my children. I am not religious but I am a bit hmm about their efforts to outdo each other with the amount of time/money spent on these events, with no mention yet about the religious significance of the event. If one of the group isn't present at a meet up they are bitched about, e.g. 'oh they're just trying to show off' etc etc. The latest one has a website with a link to a gift list for a Pandora stockist. I find it all rather crass and distasteful. Is this the way christenings are these days? It's worth mentioning that these people are not rolling in money!

AgentZigzag Tue 02-Apr-13 14:55:14

Get yourself some new friends is my advice.

Why would you go along with this if you find it crass and distasteful and they're all slagging each other off behind other friends backs?

whistleahappytune Tue 02-Apr-13 14:57:06

Well, I am religious, and you're right, it is very distasteful and crass. And greedy. A baptism isn't about gifts (though if you are a godmother/father it's customary to bring something small), it's about welcoming the baby into the wider family and community.

Ignore the gift list. I have never heard of this. Ever. Send a lovely card with a message for the child, and your best wishes for the parents. Have a glass of something.

EdithWeston Tue 02-Apr-13 15:02:29

If you are going to get a present for a Christening (and I would), then I would choose something like a book with a Chritian theme (Narnia, perhaps?) or if you want something for use in babyhood, there are loads of versions of stories from the Bible and these are always appropriate when marking a Christian sacrament.

NinaHeart Tue 02-Apr-13 15:03:42

Completely agree with whistleahappytune

AdoraBell Tue 02-Apr-13 15:04:18

Ignore the gift list, I've always thought Christening gifts should be something relevant to the event, ie Christening a child, entering them into the religion of the family. I'm not religious either, but Christening is very different to a birthday or wedding IMO. Not that it shouldn't be celebrated, just not commercialised. And friends who bitch about other friends behind their backs are not really friends.

threeforme Tue 02-Apr-13 15:04:26

As I said, they are acquaintances really, I do not count them as my friends and am not invited to the gift list christening, but have attended the others. I do distance myself because of the bitchiness but my children enjoy playing with theirs. Glad to hear that the gift list is not the norm.

scottishtablet Tue 02-Apr-13 15:05:38

Horribly grabby.

Binkyridesagain Tue 02-Apr-13 15:07:47

We've had a money poem for a christening, and yes they were the type of people that did the christening for the 'look' not for religion.

Katienana Tue 02-Apr-13 15:13:47

Shocked at that. We are catholic and I would always take a gift to a baptism. not necessarily something religious.

zipzap Tue 02-Apr-13 15:27:12

One thing to co-ordinate with friend's/family to ensure you don't end up with 7 identical bibles and 3 silver plated ornamental christening certificate holders especially when they have been engraved with the wrong details but madness and very grabby to have a list with pandora stuff on it!

I second those who say if you want to give a gift (and aren't close family or a god parent) then either a nice traditional book (Winnie the pooh, Beatrix potter, etc) or a Noah's ark toy.

Kafri Tue 02-Apr-13 15:51:51

I've just had my ds christening on Sunday and made it perfectly clear that presents were not necessary. Of course, many people did bring a little something - ranging from toys/weaning items/books and photo frames. It is lovely that I have some little keepsakes from the day but I certainly wouldn't have taken the ump had we come away with nothing.
It was a simple affair - my brother performed the christening (he is a vicar - wasn't just pretending, lol) and then we had a simple buffet and drinks at a local pub I like where we all had a lovely time and chance to catch up with people. I didn't invite a whole load of people - literally family and then the friends I had asked to be godparents to our little bundle of joy.

I didn't realise Christenings had become anything other than a celebration of welcoming a person (child or adult) into the community of the church.

icklemssunshine1 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:36:42

This is the height of crassness! My DD was baptised at 4 months (my DH is Catholic). We invited close friends & family (about 20 in total) as it was a day to see her accepted into the faith - not about bloody presents! We did have gifts but never sakes for any, most gifts were little baptism trinkets which we'll keep to give to her when she's older to appreciate them. Some people think its a day for a party. I've been to a christening where afterwards they hired a function room & had a disco. It was back to mine for coffee & cake after our service!

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Tue 02-Apr-13 17:38:07


Arabesque Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:31

YANBU but this happens a lot with First Communions over here in Ireland as well. What is meant to be a religious event has, in a lot of cases, just been turned into an occasion to dress up and party with ridiculous amounts of money being spent on outfits, beauty treatments, caterers, bouncy castles etc.

I haven't heard before of a gift list for christenings, but I suppose it was only a matter of time. Soon parents will be expecting gift cheques for their little darlings, no doubt.

cathers Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:59

Gross. One of the few times when the occasion is about hope for the future, faith and goodwill and SHOULDN'T involve greedy consumerism. Thankfully, I haven't experienced this yet but it is saddening.

LeggyBlondeNE Tue 02-Apr-13 17:46:29

We did end up with three identical sets of crockery and two bibles of same translation and two crosses for my eldest, but Next time I'll just request no gifts to avoid that, not a giftlist. It's a christening, not a birthday!

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 17:50:41

Shocked. I was surprised by people's generosity for DS's Christening. Some of those were "meeting a new baby" gifts though iysmiw. Certainly wouldn't have had a gift list.

houseworkhater Tue 02-Apr-13 17:55:04

I always buy a keepsake.
In this instance I would buy a gift with a religious meaning.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:01:45

I've been to two baptisms recently. Both received a card for their keepsake boxes. I wanted to buy a gift for each, so asked their mums. So one got some snazzy new pyjamas and the other a silvery widget that his birth and baptism certificates are kept in. Maybe the list thing hasn't spread to my circle of friends, for which I an thankfulsmile

sweetiepie1979 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:13:09

You need new friends.

Kafri Tue 02-Apr-13 18:15:40

Here's one for you all - as I said earlier, we had our DS christened recently and my MIL was adamant she wanted us to have SIL as godparent for the simple reason that, and I quote, 'she will give good presents'. DH and I had already decided on godparents and I did check with him later that he was happy with our choice.

We had our reasons for not choosing SIL, none of them negative, but reasons nonetheless. We stuck with our choice and will sacrifice the 'good presents' both for celebrating the christening and for other occasions.

PurpleStorm Tue 02-Apr-13 18:19:27


Baptisms are about welcoming people (whether babies or adults) into the church, not about getting lots of presents and having a big party. A gift list sounds far, far, too greedy.

I do buy presents when invited to a christening, but usually a small keepsake or book. We bought a childs prayer book as the gift for the last christening we were invited to.

montage Tue 02-Apr-13 19:15:46

"YANBU but this happens a lot with First Communions over here in Ireland as well. What is meant to be a religious event has, in a lot of cases, just been turned into an occasion to dress up and party with ridiculous amounts of money being spent on outfits, beauty treatments, caterers, bouncy castles etc. "

We don't have actual gift lists for First Holy Communions in Ireland though do we?

Completely agree with you that they have turned into a highly commercial event though. And the norm for putting money in a card is so strongly established that it's become impossible to give someone's child a Communion or Confirmation card without giving them money.

somewherewest Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:39

This is why I'm beyond glad that my particular Christian tradition only baptises people old enough to commit to Christianity for themselves. If we did do christenings I think we'd actually specify that there was no need to give us anything. Gift lists are grabby as fuck.

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