First Communion. One of the most important religious moments in a young child’s life. But this special event is more than just a pretty white dress and attending church an extra day. It’s a rite of passage that brings the child closer to God. And although this holy sacrament is usually celebrated in Catholic churches, there are Protestant ones that celebrate it as well.
Traditionally, Catholic children receive their First Communion around 7 or 8. In other Protestant faiths, it’s between 8 and 14. The event traditionally takes place some time after the Easter season.
If you’ve been invited to share in this special tradition, it’s time to decide on a gift. The good news is that any strict rules regarding First Communion in the past have eased up.
But what First Communion gifts can you select that the child will truly treasure?
The truth is that First Communion is one of the hardest events to shop for. You want to choose something that is meaningful, but not something everyone else will get.
Do I Need to Bring a Gift?
As with any other event, a gift isn’t necessary or a requirement for attendance. Taking the time out to be present for this special moment in a child’s life is enough of a gift. I still remember who came to my First Communion celebration. It was that special to have all of our family and friends gathered together.
A First Communion gift is a nice recognition of a child’s achievement for accomplishing this special milestone. In the Catholic Church, preparing for First Communion is a two year journey in their faith. They attend special classes, mass every Sunday and on holy days, retreats and memorize prayers. For a little one, this is a lot of work.
Bringing a gift to celebrate their accomplishment makes their day even more special. But the choice is up to you.
How Do You Choose the Best First Communion Gifts?
Choosing First Communion gifts that really mean something to the child can be hard. Especially when there are so many over the top knick knacks that will only collect dust.
When selecting a gift, try to find one that commemorates the spiritual importance of the celebration. This is not the event to give video games or Lego sets. Even gift cards – especially ones to the local ice cream shop – aren’t the best.
Instead, choose something that has meaning. Picking a gift that reminds the child of this special day in the future is a great idea.
I also love First Communion gifts that help the First Communicant continue to grow their relationship with God. Since First Communion is centered on the child’s personal relationship with God, these kinds of gifts help this connection blossom in the years ahead.
So, What Do you Give a Child for First Communion?
After hosting two First Communion celebrations in back to back years (thanks to the pandemic), I have created a list of my favorite First Communion gifts. Some of these gifts my kids were lucky to receive and others are ones that I’ve found recently. Lucky for us, we still have a number of First Communion events to go between family and friends. So, there will be others to share these First Communion gifts with in the future.
The biggest difference between a children’s Bible and adult Bible is the complexity of the stories. In a children’s Bible, stories are written in a simpler version for younger readers to understand. The font size is bigger, sentence structure is shorter and each story includes engaging illustrations that help make them more accessible to little minds.
One of my favorite children’s Bibles is The Catholic Children’s Bible – The Good News Translation (affiliate). Another option is this International Children’s Bible (affiliate). It has an adorable lamb on the cover and can be personalized with your child’s name and event date.
Photo courtesy of Rosary Garden Cathy (affiliate)
A rosary is a scripture based prayer that Catholics recite to connect with God. Part of preparing for your First Communion is learning the rosary. So, rosary beads are a beautiful gift that become an important part of a young Catholic’s prayer life.
There are many beautiful rosaries to choose from. This one is made from pearl rosary beads and includes the child’s name on it (affiliate). Or this one carved from olive wood might be good for a boy Communicant (affiliate).
And even though I said no to Lego sets, this Lego inspired rosary might be a good option for some kids (affiliate). As I always say, it doesn’t matter what we use to help us pray, as long as we pray. My little received a glow in the dark rosary during preschool which has been following us around all of these years.
One of the gifts my daughter received for her First Communion was a little box to keep her rosary in. Rosaries are beautiful, but can be long and tangle easily. Especially when they are thrown in a drawer.
Instead of giving the rosary, consider a pretty box or dish to keep it in. These cross shaped ones can be personalized with the child’s name and event date (affiliate). Or this little handmade clay dish would look beautiful on a dresser (affiliate).
Statue of Mary
When my son was preparing for his First Communion, the only thing he kept asking for was a statue of Mary. Mary is a mother figure during the preparation and he was becoming closer to her.
I was so excited to find this beautiful Mary statue made from olive wood from the Holy Land (affiliate). It now sits upon his dresser and is a wonderful reminder of the journey he’s taken in faith.
Another gift that my son received was a cross to hang by his bed. It had a prayer for First Communion on it to remind him of his special day.
There are lots of different crosses that you can gift for First Communion. This olive wood one has the Lord’s Prayer carved on it (affiliate). Although we try to say this prayer during dinner each night, it’s a good reminder if a child forgets the words.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a cross to display, a handheld prayer cross might be a good option (affiliate). You can have a favorite psalm or Bible quote engraved on it. This is a great alternative to praying the rosary and kids will like to keep it close to receive strength from God.
Book of Saints
One of the beautiful ways that Catholic children discover their faith is through the study of saints. These heroic men and women can serve as examples to all of us on ways to live our daily lives.
Encourage the discovery of the saints and all of their good works with a book about Catholic saints. Try Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace and Courage or Loyola Kids Book of Saints (affiliates).
If you do gift a book, be sure to write a short inscription in the inside cover. This makes the book a special keepsake.
A Picture Frame
One of the traditions we did with our kids was to have formal First Communion photos taken. Since First Communion has wedding like qualities, I thought that photos of them all dressed up and with family would be special in the years to come.
Even if the child doesn’t have professional photos taken, there will still be photos from their First Communion. Give a beautiful photo frame to display one of these pictures. Here are two of my favorite styles. I love the quilted look of this one or the mother of pearl finish on this frame (affiliates).
If you snap your own photo of the child on their big day or even a photo with you (or your family), send it after the event. This might be a nice photo for them to display in the frame.
Saints Backpack Pull
I learned about Tiny Saints awhile back and fell in love with these adorable little saint tokens. You can use them as key chains and backpack pulls. Add one to the top of your gift for a fun gift topper.
This First Communion gift idea is one that I hadn’t thought of yet. And I absolutely love it.
Every Christmas, my kids love our family nativity set. It would be so nice for them to have one to display in their rooms too.
This manger scene statue carved from olive wood is a beautiful option (affiliate). Or a set with wooden figurines to arrange is a more tactile option (affiliate). Kids will love setting up the individual figures at their rightful stations. Just make sure to emphasize that it’s not a toy.
This was one of my littles favorite First Communion gifts. Based on the phrase “May your faith always guide you”, this beautiful gift is a replica of a marine compass (affiliate). It can be customized any way you wish and serves as an important reminder of God’s love for you. Especially when you’re on an adventure.
My little was lucky enough to receive two compasses for his First Communion. One is displayed on his dresser to remind him of God’s strength each morning. The other is in his adventure backpack. It’s been very helpful on hiking trips and other grand adventures we’ve gone on this year.
Perhaps a less traditional First Communion gift, a puzzle is a great activity that you can do together as a family. When picking one out, select a design that is religious in nature. This cross version or stained glass window with St. Francis of Assisi are pretty and challenging (affiliates).
One of the things that we received from my grandmother after she died was her carved wooden angel. I placed it by my little’s bedside to look over her while she slept. It’s a wonderful reminder of her great grandmother and all of the love that she shared during her lifetime.
A carved wooden Angel of Light makes a graceful First Communion gift (affiliate). Kids learn a lot about their guardian angels and an angel statue can serve as a reminder of this important friend. This faceless one that’s praying is a gorgeous option.
Or instead of an angel that watches over the child by their bedside, how about a pocket guardian angel to help guide them through their day (affiliate). This wooden one can be carried in their pocket. It would be a great gift to give strength during difficult moments.
Another option is one to hang on their window. A sun catcher angel will dance beautiful colored light around their room and shine on them (affiliate). We received one of these and it’s one of my favorite window decorations. It also is a pretty reminder of God’s love each day.
Encourage reflection and giving thanks with the gift of a gratitude journal (affiliate). This beautiful journal layout provides space daily to record what your grateful for and other activities for self-exploration.
And to make your First Communion gift extra special, include a special fountain pen to make writing more fun. This personalized wooden pen with their name on it would also be a great gift. Their name inscription also guarantees that it will never be lost again.
Give the child a place to keep all of their prayers with this beautiful handmade prayer box (affiliate). They can keep it on their nightstand to write down their special prayer requests. Then, they can read through their prayers and see how God has answered. It’s also the perfect size for a gift card.
Photo courtesy of Alison B Illustrations (affiliate)
Commemorate their special day with a custom piece of wall art. This art piece by Alison B Illustrations showcases your child at the altar as they receive their First Communion. It can be customized with your child’s name. (affiliate)
Another First Communion art gift idea is this customized First Communion poster. Add special things about your child and their First Communion photo. It’s a beautiful print to display during your child’s First Communion. Then, add it to their scrapbook or frame it after your event.
God’s Promises Book
Remind the First Communicant about all of God’s promises to them with this beautiful handmade board book (affiliate). Pocket sized, they can take it everywhere to remind them of God’s love. It’s even customized with the child’s name to make it extra special.
Although the classic cross and chain is a gift reserved usually for mom and dad, there are lots of other jewelry pieces that you could give. For one good friend, we gifted a pair of beautiful pearl earrings. If the child has her ears pierced a pair of cross earrings or their birthstone make a beautiful gift (affiliate).
Another piece of jewelry to consider is a First Communion charm bracelet (affiliate). Choose one with religious charms or add their name to help commemorate their special day.
Another jewelry gift idea is to start an add a pearl necklace tradition. I learned about this during my daughter’s Baptism. Basically, each important milestone, Christmas and birthday the child receives a pearl. Over time, they receive enough pearls to fill a necklace or bracelet.
Before choosing to start an add a pearl necklace tradition, ask the parents if this is something that they’re currently doing with their daughter. If so, it might be an idea to add a pearl to it as their gift.
Wallet or Purse
If you decide to give money, tuck it inside a wallet or purse. It’s the perfect way to give the child the gift of money and something that they can use to keep it safe.
Also, consider including an additional dollar bill with your gift. Add a note that says “Always carry a dollar for those in need.” Or with this wallet design, you can have the phrase engraved in the inside fold (affiliate). What a sweet way to remind kids that we need to share the wealth.
This First Communion music box was a gift from my child’s godparents. It sits on her dresser now and she loves to play it while she gets ready in the morning. It also serves as a beautiful reminder of her important day. What a great keepsake gift.
When selecting a music box design, choose one that plays a classic song. Both of these music boxes play “The Lord’s Prayer”. The child can recite the words while he or she listens to the song. (affiliates)
A musical snow globe also makes a wonderful keepsake gift. This one features a praying girl or boy (affiliates). It plays the song “The Lord is My Shepherd” and can be customized with the child’s name. It’s a beautiful piece to display on a dresser or shelf as a reminder of their big day.
Remind the Communicant that he can be a humble builder of God’s kingdom with this junior tool set (affiliate). It includes everything the child will need to start building no matter what the project – a bird house to an ark. Include a wood working book for kids to get them started on their ideas.
Another creative First Communion gift idea is a gardening kit. It’s a great way to encourage kids to grow God’s kingdom. Plus, First Communion is usually an event held in the spring, so they can go outside and use it.
Choose a flower growing kit that kids can paint and plant to get their creative juices flowing (affiliate).
Or how about a craft to make for their garden? This DIY Stepping Stone kit let’s the child get creative and make a commemorative art piece to mark their special occasion.
Encourage all of the saints to pray for the Communicant with this sweet Saints pillow from Meyer Market Designs (affiliate). It’s a great accessory for their bed, reading corner or window seat. And what a great reminder of the saints strength and love for us.
Photo courtesy of Meyer Market Designs (affiliate)
Prayer and Saint Cards
One of the things that the kids did during their First Communion preparation is learn prayers and study different saints. Give the gift of prayer with this set of prayer cards. They are great way to study different prayers and reminders of God’s love. You can even purchase them laminated on a key ring to keep them durable (affiliate).
If your focus is on saints instead, check out this wonderful set of Saints Cards (affiliate). Each card features an illustration of the saint and a quote. Choose a laminated set and keep them on a key ring. Encourage kids to read them often as reminders of their faith.
These adorable Saints dolls are a sweet First Communion gift that kids will love to hug (affiliate). The best part is that on the back is the printed prayer that matches that saint. So, they can practice their prayers at the same time. A great way to continue their learning without even trying.
Is your Communicant a reader? If so, this pretty stainless steel bookmark would make a nice way to mark their page (affiliate). Each bookmark is customized with the child’s name and event date. Pair with a Bible or other Christian book selection for easy reading.
Can I Just Give Money?
Giving money for First Communion is another traditional gift option. It’s potentially the easiest gift option and you might even think that it’s more appropriate.
According to Our Everyday Life, the amount of money you give can vary based on location. In some areas, $20 is common. In other places, amounts usually go up to $50.
When considering how much money to give, think about how close you are with the child. Grandparents, godparents and other close relatives might give more money than a neighbor.
Also, consider where the event is being held. For a sit down luncheon at a restaurant, consider giving a little bit more than a casual open house style event in someone’s home.
When giving money for First Communion, choose a special way to deliver it. Pick a card with a gift card or money enclosure inside. Or a special box such as the prayer one mentioned above or this cross shaped box would be a beautiful (and useable way) to present you gift (affiliate).
You can also add a little token with your money gift. Slip your gift inside a Bible, gift with a new wallet or frame in a First Communion picture frame. Kids will truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and creative gift giving.
Love these ideas for First Communion gifts? Be sure to pin it below.
Looking for more ways to make your child’s First Communion special? We have collected all of our favorite ideas for hosting a beautiful First Communion celebration here. It includes everything you need to know to make your celebration a memorable occasion.
And if you’re planning a First Communion party, be sure to visit our First Communion Celebration Shop. There’s lots of designs to make your First Communion extra special.
Do you have a favorite First Communion gift that I didn’t mention? Be sure to share it in the comments below. We’d love to add it to our list.