Baptism is a very special event that marks the entry of a baby — or an adult convert — into the Catholic community. Although it is not expected unless you are a godparent, it's thoughtful to give a small gift to mark this joyous occasion, especially if you are close to the person being baptized. Baptism gifts don't follow any hard and fast rules; just exercise good judgment, and don't be afraid to be creative. The following ideas will help you get started, but in general, look for a gift that will have lasting meaning and value.

If you prefer to give a gift of religious significance, rosaries, statuettes, commemorative plaques and personalized religious jewelry are good choices for both children and adults. If you are a close relative or godparent of the person being baptized, it is especially appropriate to give these types of gifts. Baptism gifts like Bibles (for children or adults), prayer books, or theological and devotional books (for adult converts) are also appropriate.

Consider giving something practical like clothing, a gift card or cash. Especially for babies, baptism gifts don't have to be religiously based. Another nice idea is a savings bond that can mature and be redeemed when the child is older.

Find a generic keepsake and have it inscribed with the date of the baptism or a meaningful message. Baptism gifts could include a picture frame, a jewelry box or a decorative accent for a child's room.

Tip

  • Any gift that is practical, faith-based or commemorative can be appropriate. Even a CD might work — for example, a Christian music CD, a theology book on CD, or a Rosary CD. But a DVD of the latest action movie or cartoon would not be appropriate.