Everybody will tell you that men are difficult to buy gifts for. Apart from opting for the odd power tool or item of clothing, we all have problems choosing an appropriate gift for men. That’s probably the reason why they end up with so many socks and stockpiles of aftershave.
Well, funnily enough, the problem starts early in life. For instance, consider the Christening… nobody ever worries about what to get a little girl for her Christening. Little girls are easy. On top of all the traditional Christening gifts there are plenty of pretty little cross necklaces and pendants to choose from, or bracelets and bangles, charms for her memory box and mementos for her dressing table. Little boys on the other hand pose more of a problem, so here’s a quick overview of five Christening gifts for little boys that cover a range of budgets, but that in every case have meaning and longevity.
In the same way that a Christening reflects the hopes of friends and family for a child’s life, so too, a Christening gift should last a lifetime, always reminding the recipient of the day and the giver. So, the most popular gift is always a Christening Bible.
Christening Bibles come in many shapes and sizes from morocco-bound leather King James versions to illustrated Good News Bibles. One traditional preference is the King James Version of the Bible with a sterling silver front piece, or plaque, designed with a silver cross. Such an impressive gift will be read and treasured throughout life and quickly become an heirloom for future generations.
Silver has been associated with Christenings since Tudor times and is a recurring theme in many gifts. For this reason, a Silver St Christopher Pendant is a popular boy’s Christening Gift that has similar resonance to a Bible whilst accommodating a smaller budget. St Christopher is not only the patron saint of travelers, he is also seen as an adult guide for a child, offering protection throughout life’s journey. A silver St Christopher pendant is a great gift, full of meaning. It is often enhanced by engraving the reverse with initials and the date of the Christening.
Another popular Christening gift for boys is a silver tankard, mug or cup. Since Victorian times these have often been given as miniature scaled down designs presented in hinged display boxes. In recent times, with the price of silver more than doubling in the last two years, full sized silver tankards have become prohibitively expensive and less and less common as Christening gifts.
More secular gifts for boys also include a set of silver cufflinks. Once again, this is a lasting gift that will be kept and used throughout life. Engraved with the owner’s initials, this is a very personal gift. However, cufflinks can also carry a message or symbol, so a common gift is a set of cufflinks in the shape of the ICTHUS Christian fish or in the shape of the cross.
For anyone with a Celtic background or interested in symbolism, a Celtic Quaich is an unforgettable Christening gift. This two-handled bowl-shaped cup or quaich, pronounced “quake” as in “earthquake”, is a lasting symbol of friendship. Passed from person to person in a toast – most likely of whisky – the quaich is used at most rites of passage from Christenings to weddings and even wakes. The Quaich is often engraved inside the bowl with the Christian name and date of the Christening.
No matter what gift you choose for the little man at his Christening, be sure it is something that will last and be treasured throughout life. And enjoy the shopping… the socks and aftershave aren’t far away.