To commemorate this special day, you don't need to spend a fortune. The goodwill generated by the ceremony itself tends to lend the party lots of energy, and it's usually a great time for family storytelling. Whatever your budget happens to be, consider these fun ways to celebrate:
- Choose a location relatively close to the church service. Your guests will spend more time celebrating and enjoying themselves and less time traveling.
- If you want to keep things simple, plan on having a brunch or tea. You can provide finger foods and refreshments instead of an entire meal.
- If the party is at a residence, make sure there'll be adequate parking.
- Arrange ahead of time for the baby's godfather to offer a toast. It's a good way to start the party on a festive note.
- Ask family members to bring their photo albums and scrapbooks. This is a great time to reminisce. Family history can be fascinating and help reinforce familial bonds for the next generation. If anyone in your family is active on ancestry.com, ask him to make a brief presentation about your collective heritage. You can also burn a CD of family photos to play a running slideshow during the celebrations.
- For spring or summer baptisms, hold the after-party outdoors. Natural settings are all about rebirth and renewal. Park, beach or backyard celebrations are fun and easy to plan. Some parks even have covered picnic areas available for rent with onsite electrical service and cooking equipment.
- Organize assigned seating and place photos of adult guests when they were children next to their respective seats. This one's a great crowd-pleaser.
- Since this is a family gathering, make sure to have entertainment for the kids, too. Outdoor sports like softball or lawn sports are fun, but you can also add a face painting booth manned by one of the young adults or even a crafting station where youngsters can color or make other paper crafts or projects.
- Arrange for a separate table for the younger kids, and decorate it with kid-friendly balloons and streamers. They'll entertain themselves (hopefully without too much squabbling) while the adults chat.
- And, as the guest of honor, your baby has the right cry if he wants to, but there are a few things you can do to keep him or her happy. If your baby is tired, let him sleep. If your baby is hungry, feed her. Follow your baby's lead on what he needs, and you may be able to keep the peace.
- American Catholic. "The Sacraments: Baptism." (3/6/12). http://www.americancatholic.org/features/special/default.aspx?id=30
- Mullen, Amy. "How To Plan a Baptism: Christening Ideas for Infant Baptism." How to Do Things. (3/6/12). http://www.howtodothings.com/family-and-relationships/a3365-how-to-plan-a-baptism.html
- Nap Time Productions. "Tips for Planning a Baby Baptism Party and Designing Baptism Invitations." (3/6/12). http://www.naptimecards.com/articles/art_baptism_planning.asp
- One Small Child. "How to Plan Your Christening, Baptism, Blessing in 9 Simple Steps." (3/6/12). http://www.onesmallchild.com/pages/How-to-Plan-Your-Christening.html
- Perfect Party Planning. "Christening Party." (3/6/12). http://www.perfect-party-planning.net/articles/christening-party.html
- Pretty Baby Gifts. "How To Plan For Baby Baptism Party." (3/6/12). http://www.prettybabygifts.com/baby-baptism-party-tips.html
- Sentimental Values. "Christening & Celebration Checklist." 3/28/06. (3/6/12). http://sentimentalvalues.com/christening_checklist.html
- Sugar Doodle. "Organizing Your Baptism." (3/6/12). http://www.sugardoodle.net/Primary/Leadership%20Helps/Baptism_Kit.pdf