A christening or baptism party should be a very special day for parents, child and family. The christening or baptism of a baby or child is a universal initiation rite of the Christian religion involving the sprinkling of water on the child's forehead or immersion in water, symbolizing the washing away of sins. At these ceremonies parents and godparents pledge their intentions to teach the child the basic principles and values based on religious teachings in the presence of family and close friends. Today this ceremony is also associated with the taking of a name to symbolize new life. There is no particular recommendation on a specific age when a child should be christened or baptized. In many instances people who have found religion late in life are baptized as adults.
Christening and naming ceremonies are a time when families and close friends get together to celebrate the occasion. A christening or baptism starts with a religious service at which the child is introduced into the Church. And, because this ceremony is often part of a Church service, the celebration party that follows is in the afternoon or evening. Non-religious parents, on the other hand, welcome their child into the world and publicly voice their intentions for the benefit of the family.
The planning of a christening or baptism should take place well in advance of the ceremony. The date of the celebration will depend on the date that the church service will take place. Parents should contact the Church to make arrangements.
In many Churches the godparents play an important role in the ceremony, so make sure that the godparents are well informed of the different events of the day. The next step is to send invitations. Invite friends and family for whom you have a high regard and who might play a strong positive role in the life of your child. Include information of the sequence of events of the day: venues, dress code and directions. If you intend going to a restaurant, book early.
The child should wear a nice white outfit. Make the outfit yourself or have the child’s outfit made. If a baby is being christened, take into account that babies grow fast and might outgrow the outfit before the ceremony.
When planning the party, keep it simple. The location of your party will depend on the number of guests and the type of party you intend having. A simple, small and casual get-together is often the best way to go and can be fun and memorable. A party in a local park, weather permitting, could turn out to be a fun way to celebrate.
Plan games and food well in advance. If there will be a number of children, arranging specific entertainment for them is a good idea: for instance a clown, magician or jumping castle. For the younger children, an area where they will find toys, coloring books and games is a nice touch. Older kids might enjoy a DVD.
Remember to arrange the photography. Today disposable cameras are cheap and readily available. Buy a few and hand them to a few of your guests and instruct them to take photos. Now wait for the surprise snap shots.