Italian (American) Christening Gifts

By Declan Tobin

The Italian catholic christening is a sacred event in a family’s celebration of the new addition to the family and to the family of Christ. There are important traditions to and Italian christening unlike the Christian anointing the christening is usually very soon after the birth as the baby is said not to be protected by the Holy Spirit until baptism.

The family is vital to the Italian tradition, brought to America by Roman Catholic Italians immigrating to the U.S (the land of hope and opportunity), for a better life. Religion is paramount for Italian families and their children’s religion is central to their culture in terms of family values, heritage, and upbringing down to the tradition of eating meals with the family. Italian christenings are usually celebrated in a big way with all of the generations of family attending.

In much the same way the Europe Catholics celebrate American Italian Catholics like to have party atmosphere with singing, dancing, story telling and good food wine etc .The reception for the celebration is usually held in the family home or a church hall or community centre or hotel. The word baptism in Italian is translated as (Battesimo) meaning (immersion), this is derived from a time when Christians were fully immersed in water to be baptised much the same as an adult is baptised in the conversion of the Jewish faith.

The cleansing of the water means you are cleansed of all original sin. John the Baptist at the time or Jesus would fully immerse sinners in the river Jordan to clean them of original sin. Today Catholics are anointed three times in the name of the ‘Father the Son, The Son and the Holy Spirit. This is an initiation ceremony into God’s family and a promise to hold to the beliefs and traditions of the catholic faith. The God parent role in the christening and the subsequent upbringing of the child are crucial roles.


For unique christenings gifts, a keepsake decorative shadow box for the presentation and showcasing of the babies christening gown blanket and candle is a thoughtful gift idea. A Childs bible with a special inscription with the date of the christening and a special message from the giver will be a welcome gift for further celebrations in the form of communion and confirmation. Children’s bibles have picture display and easy reading for little brains with big lettered words and stories in the form of pictures or CD’s for audio and visual education.

Cuddly toys with religious significance are represented by the animals of Noah’s Ark or the Lamb which is a Christian symbol. Symbolic animals with stitching in the form of bible versus are a great gift for practicing Christian parents. Angel jewelry is very appropriate for Christian anointing in the form of a necklace or bracelet in ornamental form or in a picture frame with the date and photo of the babies christening. Baby gift baskets with baby clothes and personalised gifts commemorating the special day are a good idea.

Keepsake heirloom cross necklaces, T-bar cross in silver make a perfect gift for clipping to a blanket baby stroller or baby clothes. Pictures of the Sacred Heart in a laminated vinyl surrounded by a coloured ribbon sash blessed with holy water with bible versus for protection to be pinned to a stroller or crib.

Rosary beads in a special presentation box will be ideal for a communion and confirmation as well as a commemorative gift in glass, pearls, vinyl or wood depending on you choice. Personalized christening invitations with babies name photo and christening date a heritage commemoration gift of a coat of arms depicting the family name or a list of the family tree from the Italian generation make a thoughtful gift of a lifetime to be treasured.

Italian favours or (Bomboniere) are gifts especially imported from tone home country of Italy in the form of Italian porcelain figurines, Murano glass presentations with Swarowski crystals in the form of a pacifier or a Capodimonte figurine in baby blue or pink. The Italian favour is a 15th century old tradition of giving a small token by friends and family to commemorate the occasion. The tradition promised well wishes of Health, Happiness, Wealth and A Long Life. Favours with pictures of the Virgin Mary or St. Christopher are favourite Saints for most Italians.

The Bombonairea was traditionally given with coloured confetti for each occasion, pink or blue for christening and white for a wedding communion and conformation. The tradition of Italian favours carries on today in the form of baby shower gifts the principal is the same but the gifts differ. The Old Italian proverb still holds true (A gift with a good conscious is a double present). The gift that is given with a good heart is twice as appreciated then one given half heartedly or not in good faith.

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