What's a decent First Communion gift?

A niece of mine is having a First Holy Communion ceremony in a matter of weeks.

I was invited, but will probably be unable to attend.

I’m not Catholic, but I know this is sort of a big deal. I’d like to send a gift.

Wiki says typical gifts are “of a religious nature,” like rosaries and statues; or cash. I’ve never particularly liked giving cash as a gift (for any occasion), and in any case this girl has plenty of relatives with more money than me, so I’m quite sure she’ll be taken care of in that respect.

So, what else would be seen as a decent, respectful First Communion gift for a girl?

Can’t go wrong with a nice, simple cross necklace.

A nice piece of jewelry, perhaps a simple sterling silver pendant on a chain, comes to mind.

If she has a lot of relatives, she’s probably going to be getting several necklaces - how about a jewelery box? :slight_smile:

All of theses are good ideas. One that I’ve been known to give, in addition to a small trinket, is a contribution to the child’s college fund.

You may not like to, but the majority of the gifts she will be getting will be cash inside a first communion card. $40 should do it.

I like the idea of a jewlery box. Many girls recive several pieces of “real” jewlery from older relatives - and have no where to keep it.

Also, I was just looking through some of my old childhood stuff not too long ago, and my cards from my First Communion were in there. I couldn’t believe how patronizing some of them were. For the sake of this girl getting annoyed at you in twenty years, please stay away from those :slight_smile:

I haven’t worn the jewelry that I got for my first communion in years, but I still use the jewelry box that I was given. I second the vote for the jewelry box.

If spark240 doesn’t mind me jumping in, what about gifts for young men in the same situation? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want a jewelry box.

We got a friend’s daughter a stained-glass angel to hang in her window.

You can look on the Catholic. com website for ideas.

I got quite a few books of saints for my first communion. Children’s bibles are often given. Hee hee, when I was confirmed, I got a collection of gnostic gospels: gospel of Thomas, gospel of Mary, Infancy Narrative, etc. How open are your relatives to liberal christianity?

A pretty good first communion gift for any sex is an icon of their favorite saint, if they have one. I myself loved Saint Sebastian, patron saint of police officers, ever since I was a young boy. Granted, this idea is better saved for Confirmation when they choose a saint’s name as their confirmation name.

Other ideas that would be good to give them would be a good quality rosary, perhaps one blessed by the Pope or your local bishop. Maybe a vial of sacred earth from Jerusalem or other such sanctified items. I am sure that there is a christian shop, if not in your town then in a nearby big city, that has many other good things inside.

A children’s missal makes a good gift too.

I was more than happy to get money. Some people got me religious stuffed animals or books or jewelry, but I really just wanted money.

I got Nintendo games.

These saints bracelets are super popular with the teenage girls at my church. They come in several styles. A nice gift bible, (smallish, soft leather) is always good. Make sure you get the Catholic version. If you are crafty it is easy to make a rosary yourself. You’ll find instructions online. That way you can customize it, and the fact that you made it especially for her will make it more meaningful. Homemade rosaries are my go-to gift for church friends and relatives.

If you’re giving a usable gift, make sure it’s something her parents are ok with.

My camera got a lot of mileage; the guitar which made my parents go :eek:, not so much…

And if it’s a religious gift, please don’t make it “first communion themed”. Those tend to be on the fugly side of kitsch.

When I made my first communion, I was kind of disappointed that all the gifts I got were boring and religious. Like, I was told I would get presents, but not that they would all be rosaries and cross necklaces. My favorite gift was a set of sparkly crayons because it was the only thing that I could actually use. So I’d recommend sending a medium-sized religious gift so that her parents are happy and a smallish FUN gift. (a webkinz lamb might go along with a “lamb of God” themed gift, for example.)

Customary gifts are religious jewelry (she’ll probably get about 6 cross necklaces and a Mary medal or two) and rosaries, mostly. I got a nice little “rosary box” for mine, which was just a box with a nice picture of Mary on the top. I don’t think I got any statues, but if I had, I would have liked Precious Moments statues. They’re cheesy to adults, but I thought they were adorable when I was in second grade.

Finally, when I was young, I loved books by Tomie dePaola- the guy who wrote “Strega Nona”. Some of those are religious- I used to love “Clown of God” (which is pretty glurgey, but there’s no accounting for second-graders’ taste.) and The Parables of Jesus and The Miracles of Jesus. There are some in there about specific saints (Saint Francis is always a good one) as well, and quite a few I’ve never read.

Another vote for cash. That is pretty typical in my family. The godmother and/or godfather gets the cross and mom and dad get the “grown up” engraved bible with the name and date of communion. Money and a small toy would be appreciated by the parents and the kid.