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what to wear at baby's baptism

gammy915

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Hi all,

our granddaughter will be baptized in three weeks and I am wondering what my husband's and my role as paternal grandparents are before, during the baptism and at the reception at a local restaurant? What should we wear - should ask DIL/DS and if they need any help money-wise etc? Also what should be the gift that we as paternal grandparents give?

Maybe I should tell you that we did not baptize DS - DH and I are atheists. DIL is catholic - so is all of her family. Would any religious gift ( cross for the baby's crib etc ) hypocritical for us to give?

Thank you for your input on this subject.

Gammy915




8 Comments


RoseRed135

Posted

Gammy, I don't know the specifics but, unless the parents have asked you to fill a special role, IMO, you are just there as guests/family and to enjoy your GC's celebration. I think you should wear whatever you imagine you would wear to any religious ceremony (even though you and DH are agnostics, I'm guessing you've been to a religious ceremony, somewhere, somehow, before). Others may have better advice here than I.

 

As for asking "if they need any help money-wise, etc?" IMO, it's ok to ask - once. But before you offer, please think  - Will you really be ok with contributing to something you don't really believe in? If you can give freely, with an mind and heart uncluttered by doubt or resentment, then by all means, go ahead and offer. But if you or DH is going to chafe at it, then, maybe not. Also, please accept, graciously, if they decline. (They may not need it and may not feel comfortable taking it from you since you don't share the Catholic beliefs.)

 

As for a gift - I don't think a religious gift is "hypocritical." If you chose to give one, you would be showing that you honor the fact that GB is being raised in the Catholic faith, not pretending you believe in something you don't. But DIL may have some specific ideas about religious items (how big or small they should be, etc.) that you're not aware of. So it may be best for you and DH to leave that area alone.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with some good suggestions. Also, please check out this discussion thread in the New Grandparents forum:

 

http://community.grandparents.com/index.php/topic/11010-gifts-for-new-babies/

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britomart

Posted

You do not have to get a religious gift for the baby.  You can get the baby a nice outfit or a book or something else.  Doesn't have to be religious.  When my best friend baptized her baby I got her daughter a little outfit and a toy.  When we baptized my son we didn't expect any gifts, religious or otherwise, but would have been fine with getting non-religious gifts. 

 

Grandparents don't really have any specific role in a baptism.  The only people who really have to do anything are the parents and Godparents.  That is what I remember form when we baptized my son.  We invited my parents, my best friend and her husband and daughter and my husband's parents (they could not make it), and the godparents (my brother and sister-in-law).  My parents didn't really have to do anything during the service except sit where our family/friends were designated to sit and then I think repeat a few things during the ceremony.  Everyone was given a handout for what to expect during the ceremony and what to say if they needed to say anything. 

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Grammii B

Posted

Thank you for showing you care by attending. In my experience, Grandparents often stand with the parents, near the priest, during the ceremony. Photos are often taken, both during and after. These photos become cherished keepsakes in many cases. Consider asking your DIL what she will be wearing. Your DIL and son will likely be somewhat dressed up to commemorate this special occasion. If you are not familiar with this church building, you may want to ask if it is air conditioned so you can factor that in too.

Gifts are often given on occasions like these, but they don't have to cost much. A loving note written in the front of a favorite children's book makes a great keepsake. Thank you for going to the baptism even though you don't share their faith. Regarding your question on hypocrisy, it most certainly would not be hypocritical for you to give a gift reflecting your DIL's faith. It's a demonstration of love and acceptance of her faith that she and her family are likely to appreciate.

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BlueEyedGirl

Posted

I think the simple fact that you are asking these questions shows how much you love and care about not only your grand but your son and DIL. Especially given the fact that you do not share their beliefs. As others have suggested, I would ask son and DIL what is appropriate to wear. I would ask once if they need any money towards the baptism/reception afterwards if you are comfortable doing so. And I wouldn't even worry about a religious gift. We are not Catholic, but when we had our baby dedications for our children, most of the gifts we received outside of a Christening gown from my MIL/FIL and a small Bible from our pastor were more practical gifts - clothing, toys etc. The Christening gown from my MIL was simply because she wanted to buy a gown for them - it wasn't really a requirement for the dedication - the girls could have been dedicated in regular dresses - but my ILs founded the church they were dedicated in - so I wanted to honor them in some way. Enjoy the day!

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gammy915

Posted

I am wondering if I could get anyone's input/opinion on the following:

 

We bought a bracelet for our GD baptism. Since we are atheists - DS included - we did not include a cross as a charm. It has GD birthstone, beautiful pearls , a pave heart all in sterling silver and her first n ame engraved in sterling silver .

As the grandparents-in-law do we give the bracelet to the parents before the baptism or after? I suspect that DIL parents will take over again and the gift might be pushed aside. Do we insist that GD wears the bracelet during the baptism? And how do we act if it is refused by DIL and/or her parents because she might already have a bracelet from them to wear at the baptism? So many other times when both sets of grandparents are together we always and I mean always - feel like guests and not part of the family. Our son hardly talks to his FIL and pretty much ignores me too. I have lots moire questions but will be happy if I can get some input from all of you fabulous people on this site.

Thank you all very much. 

LOve and peace to all

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BlueEyedGirl

Posted

Gammy, I would suggest calling your son - telling him what you purchased as a gift and asking him if it is appropriate for the baby to wear during the baptism. I think the gift itself is perfectly lovely and something that your granddaughter can keep the rest of her life. I have a baby bracelet that my great grandmother gave me as a gift - I assume it was a birth/welcome home gift - I have no idea. It's just a little thin gold band. I barely remember my great grandmother - she passed away when I was very small - younger than 4 years old - but I still have that tiny bracelet. If you son says that it isn't appropriate to wear at the baptism, hold on to it and give it to them after. If he says it ok, go for it. It would be a beautiful gesture to have her wear it during the ceremony. I don't think there is anything wrong with the gift not having a religious symbol on it. We are very religious, both of our daughters had baptism ceremonies that included our entire famiies in the church where we were married. But no gift that anyone gave us, small or large, religious or non-religious, physical or just the gift of their presence or a card to say congratulations on the birth of your baby was of any less value to us. While the baptism means something specific to them because of their religion - and I recognize that it makes you uncomfortable because you don't believe the way they do - you are there to celebrate your grandchild. The simple fact that you are participating in spite of the differences in your religious beliefs - speaks volumes to me and I think it may be entirely possible that because of those differences you are worrying a lot more than is inherently necessary.

 

I think additionally - you are (justifiably from what you've told us) worried about comparisons between what you do before/during/after this event and what the other grandparents do. I worry that may be at the crux of this and why you are fretting so much deep down. If that is truly the case, I'm just going to give you the very best advice that I can - which is just to stop worrying. On some of the community forums, we see a lot of grandparents come in worried desperately that their grandchild is going to like/love their other grandparents more because they see them more, because they get more gifts from them, because of ABC any other reason. They worry that they other grandparents get to spend more time with the grands than they do, that their own AC(adult child) spends more time with their ILs(in-laws) than themselves and they felt horribly left out. Which is a fair feeling - but unfortunately, often one you can't change or do much about. What you can generally do something about is how you look at things.  It might be that the event/gift is the smaller thing - while the relationship/time allotment is the elephant in the room. The amount of time they spend with her family is no reflection on how much you love your grand or how much your grand loves you now or will in the future. As much as it feels unfair, spending your time worrying about how much time her family gets (though you are right - it isn't "fair") only hurts you in the long run. When you spend your time and energy focused on that, the only person that pays any kind of price is you. I know that doesn't seem right, and it isn't. But it just boils down to this - it doesn't do you any good to spend your time worrying about the time her family gets with them, it is better to spend your time and energy enjoying the time you get with them.

 

So my very best advice:

 

1. Talk to your son - ask about the bracelet - if it's appropriate to wear - if he says no - just take the answer as graciously as you can (if the baby wears another bracelet, don't ask.) If he says yes, yay!

2. Gift that beautiful little bracelet that any little girl would be thrilled to have to your little granddaughter with all of the love that you so obviously have for her.  You have given so much thought and put so much love into that gift - it should be cherished and preserved for her for years to come.

3. Attend the baptism and enjoy your time with your little granddaughter.

4. Don't worry about anything else.

 

I am truly sorry that they make you feel like guests. As a new wife and mother, I worked very hard to make sure that we included all of our extended family members and it was sometimes to my own detriment. But your granddaughter is still young and there is still plenty of time for things to improve and change. Have patience and hang in there. Often what we see if that either the IL (in this case your son) gets tired of the overinvolvement of their spouse's parents...or the AC gets tired of the overinvolvement of their own parents and things begin to balance out.

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gammy915

Posted

BlueEyedGirl 

 

thank you for your response. Just today did I get to read this blog. We had a great time and even though some things were kind of crazy in retroflect I think we acted in the right way just like you wrote on the 19th of this month. I feel so much more at peace now and especially since I read your response. I will heed your advice. You are right, I am not doing any good fretting  and worrying. I will try and occupy myself with other interests and hobbies - of which I have plenty - especially when clouds appear over me. And I like to keep you and everyone on this blog updated as to how things are doing.

Thank you 

Love and Peace to all

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RoseRed135

Posted

Glad all went well, gammy915! Hope we continue to hear from you, both in the blogs and in the forums!

 

@ Gammi B - Welcome! Hope you come back in, again, and that we hear from you some more, as I said to gammy915, both in the blogs and in the forums!

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