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Quick question- gifts for Sacraments?

thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
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Hi there, 
One of DH's closest friends was the first in their friend group to reproduce. We've been invited to first birthdays and baptisms, but this is a new one... Holy Communion. 
Is this party thing... a thing?  We're RSVPing yes because who doesn't like an excuse to socialize. We're invited to the Church for mass and a luncheon.

So... gifts? It's a 2nd grade girl (and she's a girly-girl too). What's appropriate? A gift certificate? Maybe a cross necklace? I don't remember having a party or gifts for any of my Sacraments (besides marriage, even though we didn't receive the Sacrament), so I'm rather puzzled. 

Thanks for the help! 
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Re: Quick question- gifts for Sacraments?

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
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    I got a mink coat from my rich ass aunt for my first communion.

    That's all I remember. I do like the cross necklace idea, but I'd worry that others would give her the same thing. Maybe someone else has a good idea for something else that's small, cheap and related.

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    OliveOilsMomMairePoppymadamerwin
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi there, 
    One of DH's closest friends was the first in their friend group to reproduce. We've been invited to first birthdays and baptisms, but this is a new one... Holy Communion. 
    Is this party thing... a thing?  We're RSVPing yes because who doesn't like an excuse to socialize. We're invited to the Church for mass and a luncheon.

    So... gifts? It's a 2nd grade girl (and she's a girly-girl too). What's appropriate? A gift certificate? Maybe a cross necklace? I don't remember having a party or gifts for any of my Sacraments (besides marriage, even though we didn't receive the Sacrament), so I'm rather puzzled. 

    Thanks for the help! 
    This is my experience with First Communions (and I've been to many for family and friends and coordinated a few in different areas of the country):

    We did have parties, and most of the families I've seen have thrown them, large or small. The kids usually only get gifts from parents, grandparents, godparents, maybe aunts and uncles. (New Jersey had some possible exceptions to that.) Everyone else either brings a card, maybe with $5 or $10 in it. Most of the kids don't really appreciate or want religious gifts that they haven't specifically shown an interest in (which, honestly, is true for adults too), unless it's really cool or really a heirloom (and even then, they often don't appreciate it until later).
    OliveOilsMomwink0erinOurWildKingdomSP29
  • I think in some cultures, the First Communion and Confirmation are big celebrations.   I remember watching Cake Boss and Buddy talked about what a big deal it was that his daughter was making her first communion and the dresses she was trying on were at least a couple hundred dollars.   I'm sure the party following was in a hall and rivaled the cost of some weddings.

    On a smaller scale, in our families the first communion will be a time that we get together with immediate family and grandparents for a luncheon or dinner.   I think I may have received a cross from a grandmother and I think my Godmother gave me a doll house.

    When my Godson made his 1st Communion I gave him $50.    If we were to go for a friend's child, we'd probably give $20 and I'd probably try to find a holy coloring book. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I had a party for my First Communion. I remember a lot of savings bonds, and then some churchy stuff. Oh, and someone got me a really awesome camera. 

  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    I think in some cultures, the First Communion and Confirmation are big celebrations.   I remember watching Cake Boss and Buddy talked about what a big deal it was that his daughter was making her first communion and the dresses she was trying on were at least a couple hundred dollars.   I'm sure the party following was in a hall and rivaled the cost of some weddings.

    On a smaller scale, in our families the first communion will be a time that we get together with immediate family and grandparents for a luncheon or dinner.   I think I may have received a cross from a grandmother and I think my Godmother gave me a doll house.

    When my Godson made his 1st Communion I gave him $50.    If we were to go for a friend's child, we'd probably give $20 and I'd probably try to find a holy coloring book. 
    NJ had the occasional limo involved. Yup. But that is more the cultural exception, not the rule. What you describe for yourself is I think what most people do, but if the party were at our house I would not have seen it as strange to invite the family friends too.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Food for thought, thanks! Probably a card and cash then. I also have observed that in some cultures this is a Big Deal but I truly thought around here it was more of a casual family affair. 

    Regrettably none of us can afford a mink coat, real or faux, so.... but this kid would probably love that, lol. 

    (P.S. Maybe mine would have been a bigger deal if both my parents were Catholic. My mom was always seriously creeped out by little girls wearing veils and she wouldn't let me wear one. I was soooooo upset. But my dress rocked.)
    ________________________________


  • We've done a bunch of First Communions in DH's family. They aren't huge occasions but we do a little something to mark the event.  I personally go one of two ways, depending on how well we know the celebrant.  First option is similar to Banana - some cash ($10-20) and a smallish gift, usually faith-based, maybe a book or puzzle.  Second option, when we know the person a little better, is an adult-ish gift: we've done wallets, rosaries, tie pins, watches, etc.  Something we can fit to the style and tastes of the recipient without going too overboard.

    In DH's family, First Communion is kind of a transitional moment.  The celebrant is becoming more active in Church, but recognizing it isn't quite spiritual adulthood.  We tend to do more for Confirmations.
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  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    In our circle and family, Communions are a big deal (maybe its also cultural as well coming from a huge Italian family where Religion is sacred in Italy).  We had the huge party and I remember lots of cash.
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I used to always gift savings bonds for religious events.  They are a bit harder to get now because you actually need the recipient's SSN.  I'd feel weird asking for that info for most people.  You used to be able to get it with your own SSN and gift it to the recipient.  You can't even get them in banks anymore.  So now I just give cash.  I don't give religious gifts because typically it is a know your crowd thing, and others also gift religious items. too.
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I agree with PPs that cash or a savings bond is the best bet unless the parents have told you something she has been wanting lately or could use.

  • H's god daughter got her first communion and we hit up a christian bookstore. he was ready to spend $50 but I found these rainbow cross earrings for 4.99 that she still wears 3 years later!


    thisismynickname2holyguacamole79OurWildKingdomemmaaa
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    Hilarious (and I would like it as a kid):
    lastsupper
    But I think asking, in order to get something you know she would actually like, is always a good idea.
    Why didn't you show me this earlierl?  I could've used it with my RCIA kids!


    scrunchythief
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    (P.S. Maybe mine would have been a bigger deal if both my parents were Catholic. My mom was always seriously creeped out by little girls wearing veils and she wouldn't let me wear one. I was soooooo upset. But my dress rocked.)
    I didn't get a veil, either, and I was bummed.  My mom smocked a dress for me, which was nice, but I wouldn't have appreciated it until I was older.   My sister got the same dress and she spilled wine on it as she was bringing it up to the altar.  So my memory of her communion party was a picture of her with a huge red stain on her dress.  
    thisismynickname2
  • I usually do a card and a nice copy of a book I think the kid would like- like a pretty hard cover edition of Little Women or similar. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
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    I usually do a card and a nice copy of a book I think the kid would like- like a pretty hard cover edition of Little Women or similar. 
    That was my favorite book as a young girl. My DD has my copy and has read it several times.
    thisismynickname2
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I've sometimes given a book of saints stories, especially ones that have meant something to me, with a note about how that saint helped me think about what kind of person I want to be. (St. Francis of Assisi was a big hit, familiar and yet...) The last two kids who celebrated 1st Eucharist were from the same family and had participated in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Montessori style religious ed). Both had little prayer corners in their rooms. They each got a prayer shawl and a small wooden or stone cross that could be held.
    holyguacamole79OurWildKingdom
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    Different sacrament, I know ..... if any of you have baptisms coming up, I've given this gift several times and it's always been well received (my sister says my nephew likes to play with it)

    https://www.catholiccompany.com/louie-lamb-prayer-buddy-i35218/?sli=2024597
    SP29
  • My sister and her husband are catholic (I am not). For their kids, they invite family to the mass and then to their house afterward for a cake/punch gathering.  I got my niece a pair of cross earrings for hers (she had just gotten her ears pierced and was very excited). I got my nephew cufflinks. I figured that way they can wear them forever if they want.

    I don't remember anything else my niece got because it was a couple of years ago, my nephew's was a couple weeks ago so I remember his better. He also received a couple of religious figurines, some books, and a rosary that was my grandmother's (who died before he was born).

    The aunts and uncles on BIL's side all gave a card with a check (or cash) in it.
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
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    To Jax's point I could certainly ask the wife if there's anything small their daughter has been wishing for. They're DH's closest friends so I would like to put some effort into this.

    :) 
    Books such as Children's Letters to God, or The Giving Tree can be appropriate.  If you know the family well enough to know whether they would hang it, there are really pretty porcelain or silver crosses meant to be hung on bedroom walls.  There are also porcelain pieces ala Precious Moments and such that commemorate religious events.  A frame for a photo from the day would also be appropriate, and many religious themed frames can be found in department and religious stores.  Simpler gifts could include religious bookmarks.

    If you have a religious bookstore nearby, I'm sure you would find something appropriate and within your budget.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    That's hilarious,  @banana468 !
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Great ideas, thanks! 
    ________________________________


  • I'm sure I did get money, but actually, I mostly remember the little religious gifts, like a prayer book with a pearly-like plastic cover, or a few little rosary purses and a nice cross necklace. I got a lot of rosaries and little religious pins at the time, too (I don't know why pins where a thing, but they were). All my stuff was white, for the most part. My brothers' stuff was all black. So if you do get a present and want to be original, pick something with some color. 


                        


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  • HeffalumpHeffalump member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2016
    I got savings bonds, a shitton of little Bibles/prayer books, and an similarly-sized shitton of rosaries for my first communion.  I was not impressed with any of them, TBH, but my mother also stressed that it was about the sacrament, not the presents, so I wasn't expecting birthday-level gifting. 

    @holyguacamole79 , you do RCIA?  So does my mom, she's really active with it.  (Both of her kids turned out to be atheists, sadly for her, though it definitely wasn't from lack of trying!)
    ShesSoCold
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    edited April 2016
    @Heffalump - yup!  We teach the children's class (they're at the age of reason and have not been baptized).  It's a blast
  • DD got a variety of gifts - The gifts she got were a mix of cash and (simple)jewelry primarily.  It's the first real chance for "nice" jewelry..  As for cash - it really depends on the kid, DD pooled hers and bought herself an American Girl doll, I used mine when I was that age to get a figurine for the collection I had growing up.  If there's something you know that she'd like (lego set, necklace type, etc.)- by all means get that, there are only so many times in life you wear a cross necklace, OTOH, a birthstone necklace or neutral one, or "add a pearl" necklace - has greater potential to be used...
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
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    MesmrEwe said:
    DD got a variety of gifts - The gifts she got were a mix of cash and (simple)jewelry primarily.  It's the first real chance for "nice" jewelry..  As for cash - it really depends on the kid, DD pooled hers and bought herself an American Girl doll, I used mine when I was that age to get a figurine for the collection I had growing up.  If there's something you know that she'd like (lego set, necklace type, etc.)- by all means get that, there are only so many times in life you wear a cross necklace, OTOH, a birthstone necklace or neutral one, or "add a pearl" necklace - has greater potential to be used...
    I disagree with the bolded. I have many cross necklaces and wear them frequently. Matter of fact, DD bought one for me when she went to Scotland. The oldest one I have was given to me when I was a baby. It is an adult necklace though. I wore it often as a young girl and still wear it. DD has a cross necklace we gave her for confirmation (we aren't catholic). She wore it daily in HS and college. She doesn't wear it as frequently now - she has converted to Catholicism so maybe that is why. I've never asked.
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