Miss Debrett on... Attending a Christening
This is, first and foremost, the parents'
despite appearances to the contrary. The
baby at the centre of the event is likely to
be at best bewildered, and very possibly
positively outraged. Many a priest's
blessing has been drowned out by
Your role, either as guest or
main player (ie godparent),
is to radiate effusive excitement
and awestruck delight about the
new baby. Greet its every burp and whimper with enthusiasm, gloss over its more unfortunate behaviour, exclaim over the beauty of its dress, shoes, shawl etc., and compliment the parents extravagantly on the choice of name.
Yes, it's exhausting, but unavoidable. Boredom and irritation must be masked at all costs. Christenings in some ways mark an end rather than a beginning; they are the climax of the honeymoon period that follows the birth of a new baby. For a few glorious months, new parents can revel in praise, excitement, compliments and effusiveness. The christening is the final throw of the dice - a ritualised celebration of the baby's birth…
Throw yourself into it, because what follows may seem anticlimactic - excitement and joy cannot be sustained indefinitely and new parents eventually must come down to earth and confront the day-to-day work of caring for a small, demanding baby.
It's your role to help them defer mundane reality for just one more day…
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- Radiate effusive excitement and awestruck delight about the new baby.
- Boredom and irritation must be masked at all costs.
- Help new parents enjoy this final celebration before mundane reality kicks in.