This is Mother 2 Mother's first post from our Guest Bloggers. Our guest blogger today is Elaine K. Stephen who is a work at home Christian Mom and the Sole Proprietor of the Inspirational Gift Gallery and Inspirational Sympathy Gifts. Elaine sells affordable gifts, including Baptism gifts, that express God’s word, Christ's sacrifice and inspire Christian love, comfort and joy. Elaine also enjoys writing for her Inspirational Christian Stories, Poems, Gifts blog. Elaine shares Christening Day Tips below.
A child is the most precious of all earthly gifts from God. In acceptance of our gift, we promise our Lord that we will raise our child in Christian faith. Depending on your Christian denomination, your may Christen your baby, have a Baby Dedication or Baptize an older child. No matter which, the ceremony day is a day of celebration.
As with any celebration, moms want to do it right. We want to make the day special and the celebration memorable. Planning in advance is crucial. There are so many things to do and so many people to honor in our Christening, Baby Dedication or Children's Baptism celebration.
OK, I’ll just say it. It’s a party! But for Christian moms, one of the most important parties we’ll ever host. So where do we start? No matter what the occasion, I always start with a list of guests. Everything you purchase for your celebration depends upon the guest list. For most parties the number of families, adults and children is sufficient. But when selecting guests for a Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism celebration, it’s important to remember the place of honor each guest has during the ceremony and celebration as well.
- The total number of families will tell us how many invitations and thank you cards we need to purchase. The invitations should include what the celebration is, who the celebration is for, the time and Church location for the ceremony. The time and location of the celebration and the RSVP information. It’s important to remember to leave at least an hour between church ceremony and the start of the celebration for both traveling and freshening up time for your guests as well as preparation time for yourself.
- The total number of adults and children will tell us how much food we should prepare or order. If your celebration is to be held at a restaurant or you are having it catered in your home, the planning of food is left up to the professionals. But for those moms who prepare their own food, we need to calculate. We want to make sure we have enough food and don’t run out, but we also don’t want to over spend and waste a lot of food. As a rule of thumb, each guest will consume approximately one pound of food. For example, if you're serving four items, such as an appetizer, a salad, a main dish, and a side dish, you can multiply 1/4 pound of each food item per person. Of course, people of different sizes consume differently. Children may eat less, teenage boys may eat more. So to be on the safe side, add 10% to your total food. I certainly have nothing against leftovers and my guess is most of you moms don’t either.
- The place of honor the guests hold will tell us how many and what type of keepsake gifts we need to purchase. When you plan a wedding reception, all the guest receive the same keepsake gifts at their place setting. When you plan a child’s birthday party, all the children receive the same goody bags. But when you plan a Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism celebration, this is not true. We will need to purchase different keepsake gifts for the people of honor in the ceremony, clothes relatives and general keepsake gifts for all other family members and friends.
- Godparents should be honored with a special keepsake gift. A Godparent love’s your child and promises to assist you in the rearing of your child in Christian faith. They usually are selected to rear your child in your absence. This is a great gift to you and your child and a respectable undertaking.
- Grandparents should be honored with a special keepsake gift as well. Grandparents are the driving force behind your Christian rearing and your child’s. They love you and your child and provide a lifetime of experience. Surely their wisdom will be of great assistance to both you and your child throughout the years to come.
- Since your guests support your child’s Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism and show their love for you and your child with gifts, it is important for us to show our appreciation with small keepsakes. If your child’s Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism celebration will be a sit down dinner, then a place setting keepsake gift is appropriate. If you are having a buffet, then a basket of keepsake gifts at the door personally handed out by mom and dad as your guest depart is wonderful way to say thank you.
- Decorations will make your child‘s Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism celebration beautiful. For decorations, a simple white and silver or white and gold color theme is usually selected. White symbolizes your child’s purity. Silver is said to symbolize the connection between man and God. Gold is said to symbolize rejoicing in our blessings. A Christian symbol should be selected as well. A cross is the most common, but a dove of peace or angel theme is perfectly acceptable. Paper goods, room decorations and your keepsake gifts should be unified in color and Christian symbol.
- Your baby’s outfit is a special one which will follow your color and Christian symbol theme and become keepsakes as well. For the ceremony, depending on the child’s age, a gown, dress or suit, a bonnet or hat, and baby booties or shoes and socks are a must. There are so many additions to the basics available these days including jewelry and handkerchiefs. But don‘t forget a change of clothes for your child in case of a mishap. And don‘t forget about your own and the rest of your families outfits for the day.
- Entertainment suitable? I say yes. Almost anywhere you hold your Christening, Baby Dedication or Baptism celebration can accommodate Christian music. Either a CD player or a DJ will do the trick. If small children will be in attendance, Bible story coloring books, games and puzzles will keep them entertained.
- Keep the memories alive for a lifetime with photographs. Your going to be busy! You have guest to talk to and a child to care for. Ask a family member or friend who is good to take pictures and video if possible. If you can manage it, a professional photographer can’t be beat. If you like candid photos, supply some disposable cameras your guests can use.
- Lastly, don’t forget about accommodations for your out of town guests. You may be able to house close family member or friends. If you can not or there are just too many, supply a list of local hotels in your invitation. If the out of town guest is a Godparent, you should offer to pay for their accommodations. After all, they are an honored part of your ceremony and celebration.
Leave us a comment if you're planning a Christening in the future and what plans you have to make it a great day.