1st Birthday Naming Ceremonies are Extra Special   (and here's why)

by Jennifer Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant  ©  (09/11/2019)
Categories:  | Naming Ceremonies|
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Three tier birthday cake
                    with pink, white and blue icing, the numeral 1 and a
                    teddy bear on the topA naming ceremony has much in common with a birthday celebration, so celebrating the two at the same event makes a great deal of sense, symbolically, emotionally, and financially!

In my family we make a big deal of birthdays - to the extent that, for all the years my sister and I lived on two different continents separated by the International Date Line (Australia and the US), we would phone twice, on two consecutive days, to say Happy Birthday - just to make sure that we said it on the correct date on each continent.

So I was shocked when someone I've known for years and years casually confessed (without any sense of it being a confession or that there was anything strange about it) to not even knowing the birthday of three of his four siblings, the exception being the sibling who happened to be born on Christmas Eve, despite the fact that they are in regular contact and have an annual holiday together. 

A person's birthday is the one day when we celebrate the fact of that person, that they were born, that they exist, that they are part of our lives, because on a birthday we aren't celebrating anything they have achieved, anything they have, the one day when everyone is equal, regardless of status, achievements, or anything else this world of ours regards as a marker of success.

 And, in many ways, a naming ceremony serves the same function. We celebrate the child, welcome them to the world and to their community of family and friends, and publicly commit to their welfare, going so far as to appoint special adults (godparents, mentors, sponsors) to support the child as well as the parents.

Benefits of a First Birthday Naming Ceremony


Combining your child's formal naming ceremony with the celebration of your child's first birthday delivers a lot of benefits.
  • Having a double celebration doubles the likelihood that everyone invited will turn up, particularly if travel is involved
  • Guests will be more confident about the protocols and customs around gift giving, cards, etc
  • Your child's personality is rapidly developing and becoming evident, so your child will be sitting up in your arms and contributing to the fun of the ceremony, rather than just being a passive recipient, which is what happens if the naming is held when the child is just a babe in arms
  • Your child's daily routine is more predictable, making it easier to schedule the event at their "best" time
  • Your child will be less likely to be overwhelmed by the number of people present
  • Given the usual gap between siblings, if there is an older sibling he/she will be more mature and therefore more competent to take an active role in the ceremony
  • The ceremony can be slightly longer and therefore more personal information can be included, and more people mentioned, celebrated, and given a role in the ceremony
  • Combining the celebrations means only one event to organise at a time when your hands are full being parents of a young child, and that also means only one set of expenses
  • You can include a cake smash in the celebrations! (Choose a cake with more than one tier, such as the one above, so you can remove and use the top tier for the cake smash, while still being able to cut and serve the other tier(s).

Thanks for reading!

Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                    have the best ceremony ever
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