Does anyone have any experiences or ideas of a keepsake or gift of some sort that could take the place of a traditional baptism gown?

For background:

My wife and I are expecting our first child in a couple of weeks (a baby girl) and are not, of course, going to be having a baptism. My mother was raised Catholic and she respects our decisions to not have a baptism, but she wanted to be able to buy our daughter's baptism gown (if we were having one). In Catholic circles the baptism gown is an important keepsake, and my mother really wants to contribute something of importance to her granddaughter. It's very important to her, and I definitely want her to be able to connect in some way, but I am really at a loss for a good substitute for a baptism gown. We thought of of another special dress, or a photo shoot, but neither seems quite on par.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Tags: baptism

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A nice soft, first "blankie".

…for serious.

Perhaps you should think about hiring a Celebrant to conduct a secular welcome-our baby ceremony, to which she's invited, and she can buy a traditional baptism gown for that occasion. She might even be invited to contribute the text, along with you and your wife. In Australia this is common.

Having been raised in the Catholic superstition myself, I realize the significance your mother places on this. Heck, I even remember seeing my grandmother's baptism gown (worn once by her during Grover Cleveland's presidency) neatly packed with care in a very special box. And, I think it's great your mother respects your wishes. Good for her.

As to ideas, hmmmm.  I would suggest a college savings bond, or something that will be of actual value when your child grows up. But, I realize that lacks a certain sentimental value. Another suggestion would be a family heirloom that your mother values - something from her mother, father, grandmother, etc.   Have her give that, symbolically at this time, to your child, knowing it will stay in her family, as a valuable heirloom, after she is gone.

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