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Writing in a christening or baptism card for a baby can be a little confusing if you’ve never done it before. They’re a baby so they can’t read right? So do you write the card to the parents then? Or do you address the card to the baby and write as though you were talking to the baby even though they won’t have a clue what you’ve written? I have wondered this question quite a few times before I had kids. But now since having kids the answer seems a bit clearer.
It’s a great idea to write the christening card to the baby especially if you are the godparent. The card will likely be kept for the child to read when they are older. For grandparents, aunties, uncles or family friends – just write to who you feel comfortable with – the best messages are written this way.
Many people write to the parents and child together, this is a good idea too.
In the end though there is no right or wrong answer in who to address the christening card to.
An Interesting Trend in Who People Write the Christening Card To
I thought I’d do a little research by looking at all the baptism cards my kids got when they were baptised to see who people wrote the card to. Was it to us as parents or to our new baby? What I noticed was really interesting but when I thought about it it kinda made sense.
To give you some background information – I have 3 children and they were all baptised when they were around 2-3 months old. We only invited family and godparents to the baptism of our children and they received between 6 to 10 cards each.
So I first looked through my youngest daughters baptism cards and noticed that they were all written direct to my daughter. It didn’t matter if the card said something like “Celebrating Your Baby’s Baptism” on the front, they still wrote direct to the baby. And to be honest I kinda like that.
Next, I looked through my son’s baptism cards – he’s the middle child. Again I noticed they were mostly written direct to my son, regardless of the title on the front of the card like “On Your Little Boy’s Christening Day”, which was directed more at the parents. Two cards were written to us as parents as well as to the baby and his older sister. I think this was mainly because the front of the card made it seem like it should be addressed to the parents.
Then I picked up the pile of cards for my eldest daughter who was our first born. I assumed I would see the same thing again, but I was surprised that most people addressed the card to my husband, myself and my daughter. One was addressed just to my daughter and a couple just to us as parents. These were the same people who wrote direct to our other children in their baptism cards.
We did receive a couple cards from family friends which were all written to us as parents, which I thought was appropriate.
It’s also worth mentioning that our eldest child was the first child born in both of our families. She was the first grandchild for both our parents and the first time our siblings were aunties and uncles. The one person who wrote direct to our eldest daughter in her Christening card has a job as a teacher. So she’s used to talking to children, but I think for everyone else it probably felt more comfortable to write to us as parents than to the new baby.
As our oldest child grew she could talk to her grandparents and aunties and uncles, so when our next child came it was more natural for them to write direct to the new baby. They’d had practice with our eldest daughter and they felt comfortable with it.
It makes sense!
I think we write better and more personal messages when we’re comfortable with who we’re writing to.
6 Great Reasons to Write the Christening Card To The Baby
Here are some great reasons you might want to write to the baby in the christening card:
- we write 1st birthday cards direct to the child, not to the parents. The child can’t read when they’re 1 either, but still we write to the child. Often 1st birthday cards are kept and can be read when they are older.
- It’s easier to write something more meaningful if writing direct to the child. It’s an important day in their life so it’s good to write something from the heart.
- As a godparent you are starting a relationship with the child. It’s great to mark the start of the relationship with a personal message, maybe with your hopes for the future or how you feel about being their godparent (assuming you feel honoured and excited!)
- As a parent I personally found it more touching when people wrote direct to my child especially if they were the child’s godparents.
- The baptism of the child is a very important day in the baby’s life. It’s very special for the parents too, but really the day is all about the child and the start of their life with God.
- My kids are now in school and they really enjoy looking back over cards they received when they were younger, so it would be really touching for them to see something heartfelt written to them on their baptism day.
4 Great Reasons to Write the Christening Card To The Parents
There are some great reasons to address the card to the parents too:
- If it’s the first child for the parents it might be nice to encourage them in the card. Starting out as a parent for the first time is daunting and you’re never quite sure if you’re doing things right or if you will be a good parent. Maybe you want to offer a little reassurance that you think they will do a great job raising this new child.
- If the baby won’t be a part of your life going forward it might be more appropriate just to write direct to the parents to thank them for inviting you and giving your best wishes.
- If you feel super uncomfortable writing to the baby when they can’t read yet then it’s absolutely fine to write to the parents.
- It is a special day for the parents too and maybe you want to let them know that you share in their happiness.
Another option of course is to write to the parents and the new baby (and possibly older siblings too). This is a great idea as well.
Does it Matter What the Front of The Card Says?
Another thing that might affect who you address the card to might depend on the Christening card if you have already picked one out and bought it.
If the Christening card says something like “On Your Christening Day” on the front of the card, then it kind of lends itself to being written direct to the baby.
However if the card says “On Your Daughter’s Baptism” then maybe you think it would be best to address it to the parents.
Or if it says “Dear Little Godson; It’s your Christening Day!” (cute!) then of course you would write direct to your Godson.
I love cards that say Godson or Goddaughter on the front – it just seems that bit more personal.
In saying all this we’ve received lots of cards for our children where the writing on the front of the card didn’t affect who they actually wrote the card to. And you know what? It doesn’t really matter. It’s the message that you write that people actually read and that will matter most to them.
What to Write in a Christening Card
Now that we’ve sorted who to write the christening card to, comes the question: What do I actually write in the christening card?
To answer this question I’ve written an article focussing on meaningful messages from godparents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and family friends based on the best messages my children have received in their christening cards. So, if you’re stuck on what to write (as I used to be when writing in christening cards) I encourage you to go check it out here.
If you’re after just a quick line to add to the card I would write something like “We’re so happy to celebrate your baptism with you today. May God fill your life with his love, peace and joy.” Feel free to tweak it to fit your style of speech – it makes the card more meaningful if the recipient can actually imagine you writing/saying this to them.
Why Do we Address Birth/New Baby cards to the Parents
When a new baby is first born we pretty much always write to the parents and any older siblings when we write in a new baby card. We don’t normally write this card to the new baby. It’s interesting as the baby isn’t that much older when we start writing direct to them in their christening card.
I think the reason for this is because the birth of a baby is a huge event for the family (parents and siblings). It’s the welcoming of a new life into their family. They’ve been anticipating this day for nearly 9 months. So it’s a way to congratulate them on the safe arrival (isn’t that what we always write in the new baby card). We might also say ‘Welcome to The World’ to the baby in the card.
On the other hand baby baptism’s are more of an event in the baby’s life and that’s why it’s good if possible to write to the baby in the christening card. Of course it’s totally up to you and what you’re comfortable with.