Confirmation is an “event” in the Catholic and Lutheran faiths where a young adult re-affirms their baptism promises to live in their faith. That is the simplified version.
I’m not here to break down the Catholic sacrament or the Lutheran rite of confirmation in fine detail. You just need help finding a confirmation gift! If you are a chosen confirmation sponsor, family friend, or relative, get ready to enjoy my BIG list of confirmation gift ideas.
Let’s break it down: we’re dealing with teenagers, usually around 14-15 years old. Your mission is to find a confirmation gift a teen would appreciate. If this is an adult receiving confirmation, no worries – many of these gifts would suit them just as well.
The rules of confirmation gift giving
We’re all in this together, that’s the first “rule” to remember. This means the adults are exchanging secrets texts, emails, and phone calls trying to figure out what to give the confirmation kids. Stop laughing, this is for real.
Just a heads up, in the Catholic faith, traditional gifts would be a confirmation cross, Rosary beads, medals, and inspiring confirmation books on faith topics (great for Lutheran teens too) or a saint. If grandma yells dibs on the Rosary, you just respect it and get out of her way.
Honestly, there is a limited number of good confirmation gifts, and you don’t want to double up on it. Plus, if you have more kids coming down the pipeline, you want to get your “system” in place. Most people in the gift giving “ring” accept and know this and work together. Just pick up the phone and ask the other people what they are giving.
Do I have to give a confirmation gift?
Let’s start here. Confirmation etiquette would dictate that a gift is in order, but not from everyone.
A confirmation sponsor, parents, and grandparents should present a gift. That’s what I have experienced, anyway. Siblings, aunts and uncles, and friends should not feel obligated to give a gift. However, every family is different, and may hold different gifting views on confirmation.
Due to the pressure of our gift-giving culture, you may feel compelled to give at least a confirmation card or small token gift such as a keychain or bookmark.
I can’t speak for the expectations of every family. My personal mission is to just stop the insanity of meaningless knick-knack gift giving that clutters our lives and homes. If you think there is any possibility of embarrasment that you didn’t present a confirmation gift, then just get something small, especially if you are a guest and not a direct participant of the event.
Bottom line, if you feel compelled to gift the confirmation gift, or you’re especially close to the confirmandi, then let your feelings guide your decision to give a confirmation gift or not. Just let me add, it’s perfectly acceptable to give a card without a money gift.
How much to spend on a confirmation gift?
Good question. The price of a confirmation gift can vary greatly in price. For example, you can get cheap confirmation jewelery, or something with fine silver and gold. I would categorize confirmation gifts as one of those things where selection sets the price.
Sometimes for confirmation gifts, you get what you can get because of limited choices. There are not a plethora of confirmation-themed gifts to find in the awesome category. You can find gifts for under $20 like books, bookmarks, keychains, medals, posters, etc.
I came across some online forums where people mentioned giving watches as confirmation gifts. Wow. That could not have been cheap! It really depends on your financial standing. My 21-year-old daughter was the sponsor for her cousin. Believe me, a college kid has no business dropping $100 bucks on a confirmation gift!
One word about CASH. It is common for people to add some cash to a confirmation card. Although in this day and age of going “cashless” that may become obsolete. Some relatives (grandparents, in particular) may present a silver dollar, or other coins of value. This is a unique way to turn the gift into something more special.
I’m not crazy about cash gifts, but it can be difficult to find an appropriate confirmation gift short notice. You may not have access to a religious gifts store or don’t have the time to shop online or wait for the arrival of the gift.
Confirmation sponsor gifts
It is a very Catholic thing to have a confirmation sponsor. In the Lutheran faith, it’s highly encouraged. I like how the Lutheran Church of Hope phrased it:
The main role of a confirmation sponsor is to focus on the student as an individual and help their student grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. We believe young students today can benefit greatly from the wisdom, guidance and faith-filled encouragement of loving and trustworthy adults.
Personally, I don’t see it necessary to buy your confirmation sponsor a gift. In all of my gift-giving life, that was never a “thing.” I mean, somewhere the gift-giving roller coaster has to come to a stop!
Everyone’s situation is different, and you may feel compelled to give your sponsor a gift. One absolutely perfect gift are confirmation sponsor picture frames. I would keep the frame very neutral, but at a later date, present a photo of the confirmandi and sponsor together.
A cherished photo of the teen and their sponsor will certainly be important. My son chose his grandfather for his confirmation sponsor. You can bet that special photo with Grandpa is treasured.
Confirmation books and journals
“One of the coolest gifts I ever got was a lined blank journal – the giver wrote a note to me on the first page, filled the next pages with some inspirational quotes she had collected through the years, and encouraged me to continue keeping track of quotes, etc. on the remaining pages.” – Anonymous
Many refer to the teen years as the “age of self-discovery.” Journals can aid in getting those self-reflection thoughts down on paper.
There are so many great Christian books for teens. Try to find one that they will actually crack open and read! Get recommendations from other teens and parents.
If the confirmation candidate is Catholic, look for writings about his or her’s patron saint’s life story, biographies, or even movies. This is a great, direct connection with the teen.
Confirmation guest book
This one surprised me, folks. I guess some people must have some big confirmation parties if they need a confirmation guest book! Guest books are a time-honored tradition to collect the special thoughts and messages of your guests. You can purchase one from Amazon, or any cute notebook will do.
Confirmation memory book
Right along with a guest book, a confirmation memory book can contain all the special momentoes of the day. You’re going to need a place to keep the confirmation certificate and event photos, anyway. Maybe you can combine the confirmation memory book with the guest book?
Unique confirmation gifts
Everyone knows that I am a big fan and supporter of Etsy shops. InAweHandmade is an Etsy Shop with very thoughtful confirmation gifts, and other gifts for any faith occasion.
In particular, the little handmade books that InAweHandmade could be the special confirmation gift you are looking for. They specialize in handmade, spiritual, and personalized gifts. Look at these titles:
- “30 Great Truths About Me”
- (Name’s) Prayer Box
- Gods Promises for (Name)
They come spiral bound and are presented in a personalized tin. As far as I can see, they are pre-filled, but it appears that you can add extra pages on your own. I like this idea for a confirmation gift because teens are at a tender age when they need all of the encouragement and uplifting compliments they can get.
On your own you can come up with 20-30 cards of nice things to say about the confirmand, or add some inspiring quotes from anywhere, mixed in with faith-based quotes.
There are all kinds of cool Christian tshirts and cool Catholic tshirts that teenages would actually wear. Some are even a little encryptic and are low-key, like a small logo of WWJD (What would Jesus Do?).
Some tshirts are very clever and can bring a smile to a young person’s face. If you think that this is the type of gift that your confirmation candidate would respond positively to, go for it!
Confirmation posters and art
If you open the door to any teenagers bedroom, you’re sure to find posters plastering the walls. Why not add a confirmation poster to the mix?
If you are looking for something nicer, try a piece of framed art, or inspiring nature scene (if you want to keep things more “neutral”). There are artists on Etsy who can create personalized gifts, such as first names artistically drawn.
Confirmation photo frames
My two cents is to stay away from confirmation photo frames. I’m talking about metal photo frames, or resin frames that have a very clear confirmation/Holy Spirit theme. Confirmation picture frames are one of those types of gifts that are outdated the moment you give them.
However… you can turn this around to your advantage. Go for a personalized photo frame with just the teen’s first name on. Something that can be reused for other photo events. Let’s face it, in later years, those kids will look back and see themselves as awkward and probably will be hiding the photo!
A photo frame can also be used to frame the confirmation certificate itself.
Last words of advice on confirmation frames, don’t go for the 8″ x 10″ photo size. Keep things small. These life events stuff add up, swallowing us up in clutter over time. That’s not really a gift, is it?
Confirmation statues and crosses
When I think of confirmation statues, I think of a saint statue. There are not saint statues for every Catholic saint! I would give great thought before purchasing a statue for anyone.
Besides saints, a very nice statue of Jesus or Mary may be better. Some Catholics are very intentional about including religious statues in their home.
I came across an artist who made art blocks with angels and saints on. I was so taken with the beautifully modern artwork, that I purchased a St. Michael the Archangel art block for myself.
All Christians will accept a cross as a gift. Honestly, I never think of this idea. The truth is, many people overlook it. My sister-in-law was my daughter’s confirmation sponsor and she gave a really cool “Our Father” cross made out of olive wood from Bethlehem (see in photo below).
It’s not hard to locate your own cool cross a teen would like. Along the lines of contemporary Christian art, my favorite fine artist is Jen Norton. I mentioned the wood “block” earlier of St. Michael the Archangel. Ms. Norton’s artwork is very refreshing and vibrant. You can find her artwork on Jen Norton Art Studio on Etsy, or JenNortonArtStudio.com (the good stuff is on the Etsy shop!).
The tiny “cross in my pocket” idea has gained popularity over the last several years. It gives a discreet reminder of faith for those that are not comfortable with wearing religious articles. These crosses are designed almost to be “fiddle” widgets. They range in size from 2 inches or a bit larger.
The wood is sanded very smooth, and really does relax the mind to turn it over in the hand. Along the same line are “pocket stones” that can achieve the same purpose. They allow a person to be private about their faith, but also gently remind them of their connection with God on a daily basis.
Confirmation key chain
My personal favorite gift for confirmation are key chains. Why? Because that is usually the age that kids are taking drivers education, or thinking about getting a driver’s license. Personally, I am akin to the idea of guardian angels so I seek out guardian angel key chains. You can get them for car visors, too. What better way to make an uneasy parent feel a tiny bit better about a new driver behind the wheel!
Confirmation keepsake boxes
A confirmation keepsake box (this can also be in the form of a music box, or confirmation jewelry box, treasure box, or rosary purse/pouch are great ideas to hold little knick-knacks. The sky is the limit on this one. Of all this gifts, this has the most flexibility:
- purchase an antique box on Ebay
- hand down a box that has special meaning from a relative
- buy a box from an artist
- personalize the box, or find one with a special saying on the top
What’s nice is that a teenager is old enough to appreciate a more expensive gift than they could have when they were younger. Confirmation is a great opportunity to give a high-quality gift that will be appreciated.
Yes! You heard me right, confirmaton flowers! My mom struck gold with this idea. That was her signature move, waltzing into one of her grandkid’s parties, with a fun vase of fresh cut flowers, and some trinkets dangling in the arrangement.
Most kids have never received flowers before. If you’ve never given your child a bouquet of flowers, a flower arrangement or centerpiece is delightful. My mom went for the sparkly prism suncatchers that could be removed from the arrangement after the flowers were past their prime.
We’re used to flower shops around here providing cool things to poke into bouquets, but if not, plan a head and add your own find. One tip for flowers, it they are intended as a table centerpiece, be sure to ask for a low profile, shallow flower arrangement. You don’t want people peeking around the flowers trying to see each other!
Jewelry gifts for confirmation
Jewelry is a memorable gift of the confirmation day. My parents had given me a pair of opal earrings for confirmation. That really carries me back when I open my jewelry box and see it. Both girls and boys will enjoy jewelry, but make sure that they are “jewelry” people.
Confirmation jewelry comes in the form of necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins, and medals (earrings are sort of the exception, but you would understand if you knew my mom!). There is really something here for everyone, readily available with a religious confirmation theme.
Confirmation pins and medals
Confirmation pins and medals sometimes are presented as a gift of recognition from the church. Things like lapel or tie pins are perfect for this. Often these will be dove pins, a widely accepted symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Seriously, I never thought of giving a necklace to a boy. Recently, my adult daughter had the honor of being her male cousin’s sponsor. When I asked her what gift she thought to give, she thought about it for a few days and came back with the answer: a necklace. Her boyfriend wears a cross necklace (I did not know that) and she thought her cousin would be the type to wear it.
Here’s the photo she sent me. She made an excellent choice! Secretly, I had always admired the dainty cross necklaces I had seen women wear over the years. Nothing gaudy, just very simple and dainty. I often wondered how I missed out on that as a gift recipient.
When I cleaned out my mother’s estate, I was thrilled to finally get a cross necklace. Actually, it might not really be a true cross, but it is so attractive with a stone in the middle, that I wear it all the time.
Confirmation bracelet and confirmation charms
Here are some more confirmation religious gift ideas. Back in my youth, charm bracelets were hugely popular (and made for easy gift-giving). You can actually see a confirmation charm in the bracelet below. This bracelet style could get quite bulky and heavy (I even have some souvenir state charms I visited!).
These days, having smaller charms on a necklace or string bracelet is more trendy. There are plenty of options to select from designs and objects, or meaningful words stamped into metal. For example, “tough” or “strong” or whatever word comes to mind when thinking of your teen’s best attributes.
When I cleaned out my mother’s estate, I came across a St. Michael the Archangel medal. Personally, this held a special meaning for me. See the tiny silver cross from Mexico in the photo below? This is actually an earring (of monetary value!) that my mother had. It came from her honeymoon, since there was only one remaining, I added it to the Archangel medal.
As I stated at the beginning of the article… wow! Watches seems to be a pricey gift choice, but that’s what some parents or sponsors feel is appropriate. For boys, in particular, a watch seems practical. Boys may favor very little of the other confirmation gift choices.
As a gift giver, you can present a personalized gift by having the watch engraved. Jewelers will guide you on ideas on what to engrave, like maybe the date, or to and from. Engraved gifts really personalizes the gift, making it extra-special.
Catholic confirmation gifts
There are many items on this confirmation gift list that would work across multi-faiths. Items with religious symbols would be be a welcome gift to an confirmandi.
Confirmation rosaries, prayer bead, and other accessories are specific to the Roman Catholic religion, so I will address them here.
For Catholics, there are rosaries of every kind (you can even get them in your favorite sports team’s colors!). For non-Catholics, just a reminder that many religions use beads to count prayers (and that is the basis for a rosary). If that seems strange to you, that’s OK. If you were brought up Catholic, you probably have a few rosaries hanging around the house.
Many kids receive a first rosary after receiving the sacrament of 1st Holy Communion. I doubt it’s worn out, but confirmation might be the perfect opportunity to splurge for a higher-quality rosary.
There are so many types of rosaries, that I won’t get into them there. Don’t overlook the option of handing down a rosary keepsake from a relative, such as a grandparent who has passed.
Mini rosary or chaplet
Didn’t think you had choices, did you? I am a bit enamoured with any “mini” type of gift. Go ahead, hop over to Ebay and do a search for any of the following:
- mini rosary
- mini rosary locket
- mini rosary picture
- mini rosary book
- rosary tin book
Watch out for falling down the Ebay black hole! There are also prayer beads called chaplets and rosary rings. These can be purchased new at any Christian gifts store. Chaplets are sets of prayers that are a bit different than the traditional rosary.
Confirmation is a great way to introduce these types of unusual prayer gifts.
Rosary pouch or case
While you’re at it, splurge for a super-nice case to store the rosary in. I mean nice. Most rosaries come with a cheap pouch or case. Lots of opportunities here:
- get a metal case with cover and personalize it with engraved initials or name
- purchase a one-of-a-kind case made by an artist
- look for a real leather rosary pouch or case
- find a very unique, small vintage box on Ebay with a good back story!
Homemade confirmation gifts
Last but not least, feel free to make homemade confirmation gifts. This can take the form of artwork, crafts, bookmarks, etc.
You can even fill a jar with inspiring quotes and thoughts that connect with important confirmation themes.
This is a neat idea for a little brother or sister to contribute, such as a coloring page, etc. In the same spirit of “free” gifts, how about handing down a family heirloom? More on that in the next segment.
Unusual confirmation gifts
Have you ever thought of handing down a relative’s religious articles? Something from grandma or grandpa could mean a great deal.If you don’t have a relative’s, borrow one! There is all kinds of neat things from estate sales or on Ebay. Anytime you give a gift with a good story, you give two gifts!
A friend had given me an ornate cross necklace who had no idea what to do with it (after cleaning out an estate). His mother had a few religious articles and he just handed them out to friends. His conscious was clear, and his friends appreciated them. It’s a bit bigger than I care to wear, but it is so beautiful, it’s a gift to me to enjoy it when I open my jewelry box – not all jewelry has to be worn!
Vintage confirmation certificates are admired as art in their own right. They can make interesting photo collages are integrate well into curiosity boxes. If you have a teenager who has a fascination for history and old stuff, why not gift these items to someone who appreciates them?
Confirmation is not a finish line. It’s one step in life. Make this part of the journey memorable with a thoughtfully selected gift!