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Archive for the ‘Christening Story’ Category

Plans are underway for the Christening in three months time of the latest members of the Danish Royal Family.

Born on January 8th to Princess Mary and Prince Frederik, the twins are currently called Lille Pige and Lille Dreng for “little girl” and “little boy”. Their names will not be revealed until the Christening, but this hasn’t stopped the Danish public speculating on the internet.

When you read the most popular suggestions, I think you will agree, it is probably preferable to grow up as a girl in Denmark.

The most popular suggested names for the girl are: Caroline, Sophie, Louise or Charlotte ….

And for the boy? …. Well …. Here we go: Gorm, Knud, Sven and Harald

Don’t you just love those Danes.

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Congratulations to Orthodox Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, on successfully Christening more than 500 children on one day, whilst celebrating Epiphany at the Orthodox Holy Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi. Families with three or more children could have their youngest child Christened in this annual ceremony celebrated on the new Orthodox date of epiphany – January 19th.

Whilst this is an impressive feat, worthy of a doffing of the cap from yours truly, Ilia II attains superhero status in my eyes for one simple fact …. he has over 7,000 godchildren – respect, my man, respect.

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Just returned from across The Channel where I attended my first French Christening. The lady wife’s youngest sister is married to a charming French chap and we were invited across to fly the flag and keep the British end up.

Interesting …. very interesting.

The service was a scream (in all senses of the word) with loads of mini-tadpoles getting the treatment from an over-excited flapping priest. After a while it became obvious that the priest was making it all up as he went along and the assembled parents, friends and relatives – although cooing and oh-la-la-ing as required – were definitely keen to hurry the ceremony along as quickly a possible … why waste valuable time when there’s some healthy celebratory food and drink waiting round the corner at the local restaurant.

Suffice it to say everyone was very charming (The French are either very charming or very rude – there’s nothing in between). My only faux pas was when one of the guests asked me if my wife was a meringue. And I, thinking something had been lost in translation, replied that she was watching her weight and that meringue would be the worst possible thing for her to choose. This was received a bit frostily, so I had another glass of fizz.

It was only when I returned to dear old blighty that I discovered that a Marraine is a French Godmother.

Oops.

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Well, the Grumpy Godfather has failed again.

How was I to know that the elegant holiday drinks party we had been invited to by some old friends was also doubling up as a birthday bash “for The Wrinkly Friends” of their 21 year old daughter … I suppose I could be forgiven for not cottoning on to that one. The idea seemed to be that the poor girl gets to have drinks with all her parents’ old cronies before high-tailing it out of there to go to the “real party” with her monosyllabic, rather scrofulous, boy friend at some local den of iniquity.

So, I’m forgiven for not realising it’s the little lady’s birthday party. What I’m not forgiven for is forgetting that I am her godfather. I turn up at the festivities exactly the same way I turned up at the Christening some twenty years earlier … without a present and without a speech prepared … and with distinctly less hair.

A warning to all future godfathers: Don’t worry about that Christening Speech, you’ve got at least 42 presents to find in the next few years and another speech to come.

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I woke up at about three o’clock this morning in a cold sweat. The old pension fund has gone down the tubes over the last week, all my savings are shot … what’s left of them after dishing out copious high quality Christening presents to legions of undeserving little monsters … and the mansion has slipped into negative equity for that added touch of schadenfreude for our smug neighbours in the next valley (sic).

Then, a ray of sunshine came into my blighted world, the heavy cloud of doom shimmered with a silver lining. One problem I had been grappling with was solved. I now knew what I could get young Toby for a Christening gift for next weekend … I could buy him a bank – there are so many around at the moment going for very reasonable prices. All I need to do is choose the nationality … mmmm his mother is Icelandic.

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Sometimes you can stand at a full-blown Christening production and find yourself open-mouthed in awe at the proud parents’ party-planning abilities. The whole thing feels like a celebrity wedding being featured in Hello magazine rather than a family celebration of an important rite of passage.

From the personalised Christening invitations with a soft-focus image of the wonderful offspring (who still looks like Winston Churchill in any light), to baby’s pristine Christening outfit including wee white booties with bows and a cute white bonnet, the parents have gone out of their way to ensure that the poor child will be cringing for the rest of its life. Serviettes with monograms, party favors for all the guests and an hour long photo shoot will etch the big day forever in the memory.

I was at a Christening recently where the Christening gifts were displayed on a table in the centre of the room as at a wedding. All rather embarrassing since I had turned up with a tongue-in-cheek silver chip fork for the little chap.

When they start dishing out the confetti you know they’ve gone too far.

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I’m not a great one for a long journey to a family Christening. The further you travel, the greater the chance that you will have to “make a weekend of it” and stay overnight, leaving you sorely exposed to the possibility of an agonising evening with Cousin Ronald – bulbous claret nose, lugubrious droopy eyes.

But can anybody beat travelling 10,000 miles just for a Christening?

I recently heard about a couple, Sophie and Daniel Buffey, who travelled all the way back from Mooroolbark, Victoria, Australia to the Worcestershire village of Claines just to get their son, Aston, Christened. Sophie was brought up in the village, but 10,000 miles for a Christening is pretty impressive.

Can anyone improve on this?

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