Significance of Return Gifts in Baby Naming Ceremony India
When is The Baby Naming Ceremony Held?
The naming of a new born baby is a ceremonial event in a lot of cultures. In India the naming ceremony usually takes place a few weeks after the baby’s birth and is celebrated with a ceremonial feast or a party involving friends and family. In Hinduism, the ceremony is conventionally known as Namkaran or Namakarana Sanskar. It usually takes place on the 12th day after the child’s birth.
In Christianity the naming ceremony, is also known as christening or baptism. It can be done any time after the birth of the child, preferably in infancy. In Islam, seven days after the birth is when the naming ceremony takes place, with both the parents deciding the name of the newborn child. It’s considered an important cultural and religious event in all communities.
Customs of Baby Naming Ceremony in India
In Hinduism, the period preceding the event is considered as a time during which the child is adjusting to the new environment and is vulnerable to contaminations.
To ensure that the mother and child remain safe and healthy, they are kept separated from the rest of the family and no one except a helper or the child’s grandmother is allowed to look after them. All celebrations in the family postponed for 11 nights.
On the day of the ceremony the house is decorated and sanctified. The mother and child undergo a traditional bathing ceremony. The child receives the blessings of the entire family and friends and an elaborate religious ritual takes place which is administered by a priest.
In Christianity the baby is accompanied to the church by friends and family where the priest performs a ceremony to bless her/him. The child is bathed in holy water. In Islam it’s a custom to sacrifice an animal, usually a goat or lamb, and distribute the meat to friends and relatives.
Why Return Gifting is a Common Practice in Baby Naming Ceremonies
Apart from the traditional aspect, baby naming ceremony is also a social event in the family. Having a party to celebrate the event is a modern tradition.
The nature of celebration may have changed, but one thing which has remained constant is the practice of giving return gifts to the guests attending a baby naming ceremony.
The birth of a child is always a cause for celebration in a household, and the main purpose of giving return gifts is to commemorate the event. Since the celebration is due to the baby being given a proper name, personalised gifts bearing the child’s name are great return gift options for the occasion.
Tips for Choosing the Right Return Gifts for Your Baby's Naming Ceremony
Age Group of the Invitees
The naming ceremony is attended by the entire family and also closest friends. Before deciding on a return gift, it’s would be a smart idea to take the ages of the invitees into account.
If your guests are mixture of people of varying ages, then a good idea would be to separate them into age groups. Take the average age of each group and use that to categorise them. A child of 10 and a woman of 60 will have different taste, so keep gifts suitable for all ages.
Bulk Purchase Can Be a Smart Move
Buying in bulk always helps save money. If you are ordering gifts online then bulk purchase can also help you eliminate shipping charges as most websites offer free delivery if you buy a certain amount worth of products.
If you are buying from wholesale stores or supermarkets, you can also avail discounts by purchasing things in bulk. Plus by ordering everything together you can avoid multiple trips to the stores.
Choosing Traditional Yet Unique Gifts
The naming ceremony is a traditional event. But that does not mean that your return gifts need to be boring. Choose unique return gifts for your guests. The idea is to make them remember the occasion, so choose things that people will actually like and use. You could gift religious idols, coin purses, ethnic bags and potlis or even something personalised.
Great Return Gift Ideas for Baby Naming Ceremony
If you need help deciding on unique and pocket friendly return gifts for your Baby Naming Ceremony then we have got your back. We have curated a list of appropriate but unique return gifts that is sure to find favour amongst your guests.
Personalised Keepsake Box
Gift your naming ceremony guests a box personalised with a photo of your baby so that they forever remember this happy occasion. You can order wooden customisable picture boxes from picsquare.com. These high quality wooden boxes have the photo printed on lid of the box and can be used to keep jewellery and other small knick-knacks. The interior of the box is made of soft fabric to protect your belongings. The box measures 5" x 5" x 2.5", with the your chosen photo displayed on the top lid measuring 3.5" x 3.5". Prices start at Rs.980.
Elegant Home Decor Artifacts
Small artifacts or home décor pieces are quite great as return gifts for guests who attend your baby naming ceremony. Get this beautiful metal Feng Shui symbol Tortoise Showpiece from Handicrafts Paradise. It measures 10.8 cm x 10.8 cm x 4.5 cm and is made of oxidized aluminum. Buy for Rs.335 from amazon.in.
Another great gift option is these wrought iron figurines from peppperfry.com. This black wrought iron statue Mini Mother Child Figurine by Chinhhari Arts measures 3 x 1.3 x 4.5 and is priced at Rs.279. It's a tasteful decor piece and will add an artistic touch to any home corner.
A keychain may be a small item, but a quite useful one at that. Giving out engraved key chains, can be a smart and pocket friendly gift option. You can get personalised photo key chains made from printvenue.com. These oval shaped key chains are made of wood and can be customised with a photo of your baby to turn them into a beautiful naming ceremony return gift. Buy it for Rs.199 a piece.
Decorative Agarbatti Stand
If you want to stick to traditional return gifts, but want something that is small and easy on the pocket then go for a brass agarbatti or incense stick stand. Buy the Fountain Agarbatti stand from theoneshop.in. It measure 7.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 cms and weighs around 80 gms. Perfect for daily Puja ceremonies, buy it for Rs.125.
Box of Chocolates
Chocolates are a universal favourite. It's hard to find an individual who does not like them. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of planning and ordering separate return gifts for people of different age groups, then opt for a box of chocolates.The Cadbury Celebrations box contains some of the classics from the brand like Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury 5 Star & Gems. It's a wholesome and delicious gift which is sure to please everyone from 5 to 50. Buy it from amazon.in for Rs.150.
Feng Shui Water Fountain Crystal Glass Ball
In Feng Shui crystal balls are believed to be a symbol of purity. They can apparently improve body energy, enhance vitality, drive out bad luck and maintain calmness. Buy the decorative Crystal Ball from Bridge2Shopping. This small crystal ball would make a fascinating home décor item and costs around Rs.285 on amazon.in.
Idols of Hindu Deities
An idol of a Hindu god or doddess is an auspicious gift that will find favour with the elderly guests. Buy the Murali Krishna with Kamdhenu figurine from theoneshop.in. It’s a semi handmade product made of oxidised metal and measures around 8 x 5.5 x 10 cm. It weighs around 110 gms and comes nicely packaged in a cardboard box. Buy it for Rs.139.
Cute Lord Krishna Fridge Magnet
Looking for a gift which is traditional, baby themed and yet with a modern twist? Well, this baby Krishna fridge magnet checks all the boxes. Made of magnetized rubber with a cute picture of Lord Krishna playing his flute with a cow buy his side, it really is the perfect return gift for the baby naming ceremony. It measure 9.5 x 9.5 cms and you can buy it for Rs.199 from amazon.in.
Customised Coffee Mug
If you want a gift which is simple, modern and useful, then go for a customised coffee mug from printvenue.com. These ceramic mugs weigh 329 gm, are microwave and dishwasher safe, and the printing is of high quality. You could put a photo, design, and/or text of your choice to make it special. Buy it for Rs.225.
Diary and Pen Combo
If you are not planning on separate gifts for men and women, then opt for something which can be used by everyone. A diary and a pen is a good gift option as its gender neutral, useful and easy on the pocket. It can be used by students, office goers, teachers, home makers and basically anybody who needs a place to jot down things.
Buy the Corporate Gift Set from Gold Gift Ideas. This set contains a diary, a pen and an apple shaped keychain all in a smart metallic colour. It's an useful gift which looks smart and professional. Buy this handy gift or Rs.349 on amazon.in.
The Many Different Types of Baby Naming Ceremonies in Indian Culture
India is a land of many different cultures and communities each with their own traditions, customs and unique way of carrying them out. The baby naming ceremony or Namakaran rituals are also a bit different in the various Indian states. In the eastern part of India the naming ceremony is carried out in a distinctive way.
People of Bengal follow the unique custom of putting potential names under lighted diyas. The diya which stays burning till the end decides the baby’s name. In the Southern states of Maharashtra, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, baby naming ceremonies are elaborate, and include ceremonial bathing and rituals performed by a priest.
A Day To Celebrate Your Little One
The naming ceremony for your baby is a special day. It is a day to celebrate the arrival of the little one and introduce the new arrival to all your loved ones. Make it memorable for your guests as well by choosing a thoughtful gift that they will be happy to receive.