CHRISTENING PRESENTS THAT AREN'T SHIT
Lisa Williams picks out 8 presents that pass the test...
Picture the scene: you are 21 and moving out of the family house. You have to streamline your stuff so your bedroom can be turned into a study, and what doesn’t fit into the loft has a one-way ticket to the charity shop. You have to be ruthless. Clearing your shelves, you come across a dusty candle with your name and birth date on it, an engraved baby bootie made from clay, and a piece of yellowing wood shaped like an arc…
Maybe think about this scenario every time you buy a baby a Christening gift or naming day present. Which items will prove beautiful and useful enough to be with them for the longhaul, and which will be left to gather dust before eventually going on a guilt-infused trip to the dump?
I’ve rounded up 8 of what I hope will be the former…
1. Personalised Christening keepsake box, £32.50 from Not on the High Street
You know all that random crap I mentioned in the intro? This box was made to store it all, plus things such as the order of service and photos from the day. You can stamp it with the baby’s name, and the date of the Christening; so not only is it a lovely Christening present, it’s also a useful one.
2. Winnie the Pooh nursery print, £18 from John Lewis
‘It’s a fine day for friends,’ said Pooh. What an upbeat and universal message to send to someone on their Christening or naming day. This Winnie the Pooh print is suitable for a nursery but wouldn’t look out of place in any room belonging to anyone of any age. We all need our friends, after all.
3. Rock a Bye Baby bird mobile, £32 from Willa & Bobbin
There’s something so moving about this mother and baby bird mobile, it’s likely to become a cherished item for both parent and child (and it arguably could be a daddy bird too). If the kid doesn’t want to keep it when they leave home, their parents undoubtedly will; and then it can be passed down to the next generation of babies in the family.
4. Georg Jensen elephant tooth box, £34 from John Lewis
This is a pleasingly minimalist elephant; although it isn’t one of the most unusual Christening presents, it’s big enough to house a child’s first milk teeth and small enough to keep forever.
5. Personalised framed clock, £35 from John Lewis
Did you know you can buy silver yoyos as a Christening present? WTF is that all about? Not sure I get it, but I get this clock. It MAY not last forever, but boy it’s fun while it lasts: bright, personalised and useful. Much better.
6. Bespoke diamond zodiac charm, from £500 from Philippa Herbert
Now this is really sweet and really special: Philippa Herbert makes charm necklaces using diamonds to map out the child’s star sign. The results are beautiful, and can be worn by mama until the baby comes of age.
7. Framed butterfly initial, £41, by Daisy Frames on All By Mama
There is a lot of ‘initial’ art out there which works well for Christening presents, but this is one of the prettiest and most economical around. And you can request a different colourway to match a nursery theme or personal tastes. Honorable mention goes to James Brown for his retro alphabet lino prints which make a very tasteful Christening gift.
8. Rainbow and unicorn print, £9 by Milski Designs from etsy
When buying a new baby a Christening present, it’s important you think of the message you want to teach them via the present. If it’s ‘Delayed gratification is important, as is securing yourself a solid financial future’, a silver money box or building society account would work; if it’s ‘Life is short, you must relish each passing moment with a vim for life and an appreciation of the good times,’ buy them a silver tankard; and if it’s ‘Dream big, little one, anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and if it isn’t, then just enjoy the dream for the hell of it,’ buy them a pink friggin’ unicorn.