There are two distinct memories I have of my First Communion day. The first is the joy and anticipation as we lined up before Church in our beautiful First Communion dress knowing that at this Mass I was going to receive Jesus into my heart for the very first time.
The second memory, was having a friend brag to me later that day that they received more money in gifts than I did. I remember thinking as a little kid… “Well the day isn’t about the money” But thinking back on the moment it reminds me of the importance of giving meaningful religious gifts.
Watching my own children grow and a godparent and I often struggle with the thought… “How do I get a unique gift that has significance, but the child will also enjoy?” My life got much easier after writing Bible Characters for Advent it has been my go to gift for religious events. Now it may seem odd to give a gift named Bible Characters for Advent for a First Communion gift. But there is no Holy Eucharist without Christmas.
During Advent we walked through all the moments of Salvation History from the moment God created the earth till Jesus birth on Christmas day. But we also looked at all the moments in the Old Testament that told us what to look forward to with the coming of Jesus. Like Jesus giving us his Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.
Now my son won’t be making his First Communion this year being only 3 years old… But everytime we go up to Holy Communion he tries to make a dive for Jesus crying out, “I want Jesus! When can I have Jesus??” Now I want child excited about his First Communion… but my joy is usually masked by the fact that I’m terrified he is going to tackle the priest on his quest to receive Jesus.
But for the wonderful children who are making their First Communion… Bible Characters for Advent makes a wonderful gift. The simple illustrations and short stories are great to recap what was talked about during the Gospel at church, or as a springboard while looking at a particular Bible story.
As a parent, godparent, aunt, uncle or friend you have an incredible opportunity to share something when a child you know makes their First Communion. Don’t help them win the cash contest… Give something that reflects the significance of the day. A gift that will help them grow closer to Jesus who they will be receiving for the first time on this very special day.