The ritual surrounding a christening depends on the beliefs of the parents. Catholics, and many Protestant sects, baptize an infant soon after birth.
Other denominations choose to have the baptism later, when the child is old enough to accept the responsibilities of the faith. In these cases there is often a dedication or naming ceremony.
The ritual may vary, but the party should always be a joyous occasion to celebrate with friends and family.
A christening or baptism party can be as simple as inviting everyone back to the house for a casual buffet lunch, or a full-scale party complete with caterer, decorations and cake in a local reception hall.
Gift ideas for the newly-christened depend on the age of the child, although normally the ceremony takes place within the first year. So usually the most appropriate gifts are those for an infant. That includes specialty religious items like crosses, rosaries, or personalized gifts emblazoned with the baby's name and christening date.
Around the Web, find more ideas for organizing, planning, and hosting a christening party, along with related guides to everything from choosing a christening gown, to learning about rich ethnic christening traditions passed down through generations ...
More about christening parties around the Web:
Organizing a christening - Informative U.K. site with the spotlight on pregnancy and childbirth, provides advice and tips on booking the service,
picking the godparents, choosing the christening gown and planning the party. UK-centric, but most of the information applies globally.
confetti - christening and naming ceremonies - UK party supply site with detailed tips from timing the invitations to how to keep your under-age guests amused with more on planning, locating and organizing your christening party.