How to Give Your Baby 'Godparents' Without Being All Religious About It

baptismI was baptized when I was a baby, and so was my husband. We both made our Communions and Confirmations, as well. Neither of us came from extremely religious households per se, but our parents liked them some traditions. We, on the other hand, do not.

Actually, correction. It's not that we don't like traditions -- quite the contrary; we have a couple of our own we're quite fond of. We're just ... not devout Catholics. At all.

Having a Christening for our daughter-to-be would seem weird. It would seem fake. Phony. Totally not us. Save for funerals and weddings (not our own), I can't tell you the last time either one set foot in a church. Dressing our baby in a pretty white gown, dousing her head in holy water, and receiving boatloads of cash (Italians give cash -- lots of it -- for these things) for something we have no attachment to just feels wrong.

But, I do really want her to have the special relationship of a godparent. So, what's a parent(to-be) to do?

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Choose godparents regardless -- just don't refer to them as "godparents." Tons of people now -- people who marry outside of their religion; people who aren't religious at all -- want to have some sort of ceremony introducing their baby to world and the people they love, but they don't want to go the traditional baptism route (hi). So they basically just have parties that contain a little bit of structure. (And they pick "godparents.")

There are a zillion names for these "coming out" parties, if you will: Glistenings; Sip and Sees; Naming Ceremonies. And they all basically involve inviting friends and family to a designated place to celebrate the birth of a child. They can be formal with speeches, passing around the baby, etc.; or they can be completely and totally relaxed. Think barbecue. Typically, I think you request for there to be "no gifts" at these events.

And then the godparents thing. Pick whoever it is you want to be your child's godparent (actually, ask), and just call them something else: Guide parents; Guardians; "Odd" parents; or make something up. Doesn't matter. What matters is your child will have that special relationship with someone, just like you most likely have.

Since there's really no right or wrong way to go about this, I think the logistics are subjective. For me personally, I plan on doing something sort of ceremonial for/with the people I choose to be my daughter's "guide parents." I don't want an elaborate party or anything, but something that says, "Hey, you guys are special to us" seems like it'd be nice.

So, if you're in a similar dilemma as me -- don't want to do a Christening, but want something -- don't sweat it. There are other options out there. And the best part of all is, you can kind of make it up as you go.

Did you have any kind of alternative to a Baptism? Do tell.


Image via Robert Bejil Photography/Flickr

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