Etiquette regarding buying a gift for godparents?

One of my coworkers is upset because he and his wife just served as godparents for his nephew and his brother didn’t buy them a gift. He wanted to know if it was standard to give the godparents of your baby a gift at the Baptism. I didn’t realize he was upset about this when he asked me, so I told him I thought it was since we’ve always done it, and all the Catholic shops in town have godparent gifts. When he got upset about this I told him I’d ask a few other people and get back to him. The 4-5 people I asked all thought it was a given that you’d give at least a little something to the godparents, even if it’s just a picture and a card, but I figured I’d ask here for additional opinions. Note that I’m not asking about whether he’s justified to be upset, just about whether it’s standard etiquette to buy a gift for you child’s godparents.

We never have, and have never received one as godparents. We give gifts to our godchildren and our children receive gifts from their godparents, and the recipients write thank yous, but that’s about it. (We do remember godparents in our prayers frequently.)

My understanding is that it’s generally poor taste to ever expect a gift, anyway, even on occasions where gift giving is common.

I always thought gifts went from godparents to godchildren, but I know different people do things differently. It’s a nice gesture to give a gift to godparents but I didn’t realize it was a usual thing.

I agree, but I didn’t want to make waves with him and point it out.

I don’t know that anyone told us it was a regular thing to do when we started having kids. I think with our first, we went to the Catholic bookstore for a gift for the baby, found they had godparent gifts and just assumed it was standard. We’ve always given them although I don’t remember if we’ve always gotten them. Of the people I asked, their only dealings with this have been because of us so I don’t know that they have any reason to say it’s the usual thing to do other than the fact that they’ve seen us do it. The one non-Catholic friend I asked felt that it was a major breach of etiquette and felt that my coworker had a right to be very angry.

Oh yeah, that definitely wouldn’t be appropriate.

What kinds of gifts are you seeing? When my children are older I could see them doing special thank you gifts (say for First Holy Communion or Confirmation) but I don’t think I’ve seen anything “meant” for godparents from the godchild and parents on the occasion of the baptism.

There could be regional variation, though.

It’s an even greater breach of etiquette to expect a gift and, I’ll add, to be angry about it. For example, engaged couples, the guests of honor at a birthday party or anniversary party, or the hosts, etc are discouraged from adding “No Gifts” to invitations as it suggests that gifts are expected. We are supposed to behave as though any gift is a thoughtful, but unexpected, surprise. It’s also more fun for the recipient, in my experience. :slight_smile:

I don’t think we bought gifts when my daughter was Baptised, but we did send a special gift from her at Christmas time. And, of course, we wrote thank you cards.

I’m actually curious as to what sort of gifts someone would buy.

The stores around us have godparent books, picture frames, plaques, coffee mugs, ceramic statues, etc. They have enough that I always assumed it was commonplace.

Indeed. I don’t know the nature of his relationship with his brother, though, so I wasn’t going to prod. He’s usually not a hot head about this sort of thing.

It’s just a marketing ploy to get people to spend more money. It worked so well that now people think it’s a tradition.

I have never heard of attaching a gift to this honor.

Possibly a regional thing, then. That’s weird that there’s such an abundance of godparent gifts around here while others haven’t heard of them as a thing. I don’t really see it as a money grab because most of the gifts are inexpensive. I don’t think we’ve spent more than $15-20 on anything, and we’ve always gotten some of the nicer gifts for our kids’ godparents.

I never heard of it and I haven’t received a gift for being a godparent nor given any to the godparents of my children (I panicked a little when I read your post, is this a thing? I thought :slight_smile:

Although actually I did send flowers to my sister for being a godparent to my son, but it was more to express my thanks for her driving 500 km, staying for a single night and then back again the next day just to be there (and brining her 4 kids too).

In our family system, it has always been an honor to be asked to be a Godparent. The baby’s parents must highly respect those who have been named. The Godparents are to keep the child in their prayers and help in their Catholic upbringing, showing example by attending Sunday Mass themselves and being present for their Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage or Religious Vocation. It is a loving gesture for the parents to give a gift to the Godparents. Some do not because they don’t realize that this token of appreciation is important. Some have spending restraints. My son received a lot of Baptism gifts at the luncheon afterwards. Were it today, I would definitely have a gift for the Godmother and Godfather. I don’t remember doing it at the time. But the occasion is about the child becoming a member of God’s family. It’s not about gifts.

When I was godfather to my friend’s daughter, at the post-Baptism reception (similar feel to a rehearsal dinner) he gave me a framed picture of her with the wording “Godchild” on it.

When my wife and I just recently had our son baptized we gave each godparent a picture of them holding our son. The Godmother’s said “Godmother” with some sort of poem engraved on it. For the Godfather we got a movie “The Godfather” themed picture frame that had our son’s name and baptismal date engraved on it.

I became a godparent a *very *long time ago, LOL!!!

I have 5 godchildren and have never received a gift. Nor did I give a gift to my children’s godparents. I have never seen it in any of my friends or family’s baptism either. :shrug:

I think the “gift” is the honor one receives by being asked. :wink:

Mark me up as another one that has neither given nor received a godparent present. We certainly give them a thank you card, but nothing to sit on their desk. Then again neither my wife or I were raised Catholic and perhaps we are constantly committing a* faux pa. :shrug:*