04 May 2013
Recently, christening newspapers have become popular as one of the more interesting christening attributes. You can call it “Baptism Day” or “Christening News”.
Newspapers for christenings are usually prepared by the child’s parents or future godparents. This is more than just a wonderful recollection which captures the most important accents of the celebration, information about the child, words from the parents and godparents, greetings and so on; this is also a lovely attribute of the celebration, where information is presented in a fun and witty manner. The size of the newspaper can vary from 4 pages to 16, or even more. It all depends on how much imagination and time the people making the newspaper have.
If you know how to use computer graphic programs, you will easily be able to make the newspaper yourself. Naturally, laying out pictures and texts will take some effort. And if you are not on good terms with your computer, you can always ask the help of a skilled friend or acquaintance, or entrust this to a professional designer.
Further you will find a few ideas for the contents of your christening newspaper; this should get you on the right road, and everything else depends on your imagination.
Usually “Today’s News” is printed on the first page of the newspaper in large, bold letters, followed by information about where, when and who was baptized, and who the godparents were. All further contents of the newspaper revolve around this headline news.
The first pages of the newspaper usually include some information about the Sacrament of Baptism itself, with a short explanation of what baptism is and what its symbols are (i.e. what the candle, white garment, water and oil represent). Some information is given about old-fashioned christening traditions, for example: the baptism name uses to be read out in the church as loudly and clearly as possible, so that the baby would learn to talk as soon as possible; godparents weren’t allowed to get angry at one other during the christening because it was believed that this would result in a disobedient child; on the way to the church, godparents used to hand out cake to the people they met so that their godchild would be generous; the godmother was supposed to give her godchild as many presents as possible so that his or her life would never be lacking, and so on.
The newspaper also contains some information about the church where the child is being baptized. This includes a short history of the church, and one or two photographs to remember it by.
After that, the bulk of attention goes to the child who is being baptized. The newspaper often includes an address from the child to his parents, relatives and all adults in general. Here are a few examples:
“A letter to my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and everyone who knows me:
I am here! Invited into life by your love, blessed in heart and conscience, safeguarded by your wrinkles and elated by your smile… Raise me! Raise me in such a way that the winds calm, the sun shines, and the clouds do not cover it. Raise me properly. Put me to sleep gently, and punish me harshly. It’s all so easy and simple. I will grow up!”
“This is what I don’t want to hear from adults:
…stand quietly, walk faster, where are you running, hurry up, don’t touch, be careful, eat everything, brush your teeth, don’t get dirty, you’re already dirty, be quiet, apologize, say hello, come here, don’t get in the way, go play, don’t bother me, don’t run, don’t sweat, watch out that you don’t fall, I said you’d fall, now you’re going to get it, why don’t you listen to me, you can’t do that, you’re too small, let me do it, you’re already a big boy/girl, go to bed, get up, you’re going to be late, I’m busy, go play by yourself, get dressed, don’t stand in the sun, go out and get some sun, don’t talk with your mouth full…
But I always want to hear this:
… I love you, you’re so handsome, I’m so happy I have you, let’s talk a bit, let’s spend some time together, how do you feel, are you sad, perhaps you’re scared, maybe you don’t want this, you’re so sweet, you’re so gentle, tell me what you’re going through, are you happy, I like when you laugh, cry if you want, if something didn’t work out for you, who hurt you, who got you mad, tell me everything if you want to, I trust you, I like you, do you like me, when don’t you like me, I’m listening to you, I know that you love me, what do you think about that, I like being with you, I want to talk to you, I want to hear you out, tell me when you feel unhappy, I like you the way you are, we have a good time together, tell me if I made a mistake…”
The newspaper often includes information about the child from the time he was a bun in the oven, to his coming into the world, to the baptism itself. Ultrasound pictures or photographs of pregnant mom are sometimes included as well. Fun “excerpts from the baby’s diary”, when he was still just on the way, may be added. The baby’s birth weight and height, as well as what time he was born are listed, as are his most important “achievements” to date, i.e. when he started teething, took his first step, said his first word, etc. Sometimes cute notes are added when writing the child’s dossier in order to make the newspaper more fun. For example: build – a little man from head to toe, favorite activity – reconnaissance, motto “I’ll have the last say anyway”, and so on.
An important part of the contents of the newspaper is information about the meaning of the child’s name and baptism name, and how they came to be. In writing about the baptism name, it’s nice to mention who the saint is for which we have chosen our child’s baptism name. For by selecting the name of a saint, we get yet another personal guardian in heaven. It is believed that he constantly takes watch of us and mysteriously participates in our lives, so it is worthwhile knowing who the saint is whose name we have received or have chosen for our children…
Parents often hanker to know what their child will be like. For interest’s sake, the newspaper often includes information about the child gotten with the help of numerology and astrology: the child’s birth hour and birthday numbers are read to see what is in store, the child’s horoscope is presented, predictions are made based on the child’s first name or first initial, the life line and the Pythagorean theorem are analyzed, etc.
Another favorite for these newspapers is deciphering the child’s name by each letter, i.e. a list of character traits are thought up, each starting with a letter of the child’s name, for example:
The christening newspaper often includes a story or two, or an interesting, true-to-life, introspective story about children, child-rearing, and child-parent relationships, and so on. The newspaper in general contains many nice words about children, calling adults’ attention to what can be learned from them.
Often an important accent of the newspaper is the column containing congratulatory greetings for the baptized baby. This includes warm words and wishes from the parents, godparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other friends and family.
The newspaper can end off with a humorous classified section with various ads, for example:
Services: we break dishes, clean out cupboards, and rip passports free of charge. Contact (name).
Wanted: a free babysitter for weekends and holidays, as well as mornings, weekdays and all other days. Experience required. (parents)
Trade: Looking to trade empty candy wrappers for something sweet, and dirty diapers for clean ones. (child)
For sale: (child’s name) future and current temper tantrums. Large assortment: biting, complaining, screaming and many more. Cheap. (dad)
As with a real newspaper, the last page is reserved for horoscopes (humorous ones, of course), as well as a fun weather report for the christening day.
The entire newspaper is usually colorful, with plenty of cute drawings and pictures of the child, the parents, and the godparents. There should be mention – sometimes even in detail – of the parents, godparents, and other people who are close to the child, such as brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc.
In short, the aim of the newspaper is to gratify your loved ones, and to entertain the participants of the christening with fun, interesting and useful material. And the most important purpose of the newspaper is to preserve wonderful memories.
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