Post # 1
I have never heard about a secular naming ceremony until today. My Mum told me she’s been invited to one for a friend’s daughter – when I asked what it was she said you take a gift for the baby, go over and coo over them for a while, and welcome them into the family/friends circle. Now I can understand in that situation… kinda. The baby is only a month old and is their first, so the ‘welcome’ bit is fine. Though expecting gifts is a little odd to me – isn’t that what a baby shower is for? And also what everyone does when the baby is born anyway?
But then she told me about another of our family members who is going to hold a ceremony for their daughter – who is three. She’s already been christened so I don’t see the point, and it’s not like there’s one family member who hasn’t met her in three years! I guess I don’t see any point when she’s this age except to ask for gifts.
I’ve done a bit of research on them but can’t seem to come up with anything – but nobody else online seems tothink how I do so I’m convinced that I’m missing a big, main point about this. I’m not trying to attack anyone who has had or been to one of these – I just want someone to explain it to me?
Post # 3
@ZebraPrintMe: I’m going to follow because I love all the new things I learn on the bee, never heard of this one before!
Post # 4
They’re getting to be more common in Aus, they are in replacement of a christening/baptism and actually have a small ceremony like part introducing the child maybe a reading lighting of a candle , it’s Done when parents don’t feel they want to choose a religion for their child and want them to be able to make their mind up. Gifts arent normally a massive deal but as any party like this they are kind of expected even something little,
Post # 5
i will be raising my future child secularly and i would never do this kind of ceremony, just sounds pointless to me
Post # 6
A secular naming ceremony? Sounds like a gift grab to me!
Post # 7
I’m in the UK and my DH and I were recently invited to one of these ceremonies. It was sweet but I did sturggle to understand the point of it.
It seemed to be in place of a christening but surely the christening is meant to be about the vows maade/traditions followed/religious belief, whereas this seemed to just be about getting together to wet the baby’s head/gifts. We all knew the name of the baby before the ceremony.
Post # 8
This sounds like one of these things contrived to reconnect us to the fictional time when we all lived in harmony and supported one another selflessly, before religion, government, and media ruined everything.
If it was a friend, or family member, of MINE, I’d go, and I’d take a card. If it was some ancillary familial connection, I’d send my regrets.
Post # 9
@ZebraPrintMe: I think it’s fine for non-religious people to have a naming ceremony to introduce the kid to everyone. If religious people can have a big baptism party (where it’s pretty common to bring gifts) I don’t see a difference, really.
But a three year old? That’s super odd.
Post # 10
@Duncan: haha. don’t we wish were back in those good ole days!
Post # 11
I don’t understand it either but then again where I live we’ve never even hear of it. We are big on baby showers. I guess I could understand if they didn’t have a shower and wanted to have a party to introduce everyone to the baby girl.
I’ve always thought when I have a kid I would love to make a little album of the baby shower. With pictures of everyone who goes and also pics of the gifts and a little note of who gave them and a pic. I think it would be cute for the baby when he or she is grown to see who was there for us and celebrated his or her life even before the baby was born. I would have loved something like that!
But yeah. That’s about it. We are not big on wedding shower, house warming parties etc.
Post # 12
This is the sort of thing I can only see justified as a “meet-and-greet” after the baby’s birth, moreso if the couple hasn’t already had a baby shower. In that sense, you wind up combining the two events and just holding it after baby’s birth – I don’t mind a gift-giving event in that event.
But I get SO tired of the “gender reveal,” the “Baby shower,” the meet-and-greet, the christening, etc. How many times can you grab gifts over the course of one pregnancy and one delivery? While I realize the common consensus is, “You don’t have to give gifts for all of those events,” it exerts strong social pressure for a person to do exactly that. A wedding is not technically a necessary gift-giving event either, but the vast majority do give gifts then.
Post # 13
In my experience, these are held instead of showers. Some people have religious beliefs or since you said it was secular, superstitions about holding an event for a being that it not yet born. Are you sure there was a baby shower?
Post # 14
@ZebraPrintMe: They are basically a non religious cristning really.
Christnings are a time for all family and friends to get together to see the namining off a child so why should a child not have this event because the parents aren’t religious.
I’m all for them it’s definitely what i will be doing when i have children.
Post # 15
@ZebraPrintMe: We acually do this in the Mexcican Catholic Church. It’s called a “presentation” and you take your (usually) 3-yr old child, dress them up, and the priest “presents” them to the congregation. It’s after baptism but different because its presumed that the child may not have been attending church prior to the age of 3 because they were too little (hellooo crying babies in church! so annoying!). Now that they are 3 they are ready to participate in the actual worship, start learning prayers, and folow along with the adults.
Usually the family just invites close family members since the child is being intro’d to the church community, not the family! It woudn’t be out of line to have a brunch or bbq with family after —any excuse to get together with family! But I’ve never heard of one where presents are required. It would be nice, but a little out of the ordinary. If presents are given they tend to be religious (a necklace with a crucifix, children’s bible, etc)
Post # 16
@renwoman: love your perspecpective of learning without judgment!