Paderborn / Magdeburg – To be honest: who knows all the neighboring children and relatives exactly – and so exactly that he finds a suitable communion or confirmation gift for them? For fear, not to find the right present, many like to give a gift of money. But a few bills do not necessarily have to be a fix.
Are gifts necessary at all? Yes, says at least Matthias Micheel Bonifatius work of the German Catholics in Paderborn. “Gifts add value to a celebration and make it clear that it’s about something special,” he says. He also thinks that the money should not be rejected in principle: “Everyone has to know that for themselves.” In his experience, however, not so much money is given away, at least in First Communion, as in confirmation and consecration: “Many people are more inclined to personal matters at this age.”
Neighbors donate no more than 20 euros
Often there are many religious gifts in the first communion – for example, candles, hymnals or rosaries are still given away as a gift. If you are not religious yourself, you do not have to be ashamed of the worldly, says Micheel: “Communion gifts do not have to have any religious background, books are almost always suitable at this age, so you should simply choose literature appropriate to your age.” A good guideline for neighbors or some distant relatives is a gift value of 10 to 20 euros. It should be no more.
First Communion children are on their big day about nine years old, to confirmation and Jugendweihe, however, it goes with about 14 years. At this age, money is much more popular as a gift than at first communion, says Kathrin Flecken from the Saxony-Anhalt regional association of the Jugendweihe association of interests: “For many young people, there are already sizeable sums together.”
With good reason: “The young people often have specific goals to save on, which can be a vacation, a computer or a moped driving license,” explains Flecken. Here is worth a call to the parents before the gift choice: If there is such a concrete desire, makes a gift of money the teenager may be more enjoyable than anything else.
“Gifts of money can help to make long-cherished wishes come true”
Inge Rümmele has also had this experience: “I have always been against money gifts,” says the author of the book “Confirmation Celebration”. “Until my own children have gone to the Confirmation.” Since then, she says, “Gifts of money can help make long-cherished wishes come true, which causes great joy.” In addition, gifts of money also emphasize an often forgotten aspect of confirmation and consecration: Admission to the adult group, where self-determination should be the focus.
Of course, this joy does not have to come from giving away money. Especially with closely related children or godchildren, shared experiences can be great gifts – whether excursions, concerts or football tickets. “The confirmand should always be able to feel a message in a gift,” says Rümmele. That could be a simple “I like you” or even the sign that someone has thought about him. That is why money gifts always include a card with a personal dedication or perhaps a souvenir photo – or an entire album.
As a general rule: Gifts should always fit the Communion or Confirmation. Well suited are all things that the recipient really good use or ‘consume’ – books, money or experiences are among them. Other things that exist in gift shops, but often not so much. “I myself have received insanely many collection cups for confirmation,” remembers Rümmele. “They ended up as polterishes someday.”