This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million
This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million

Megan Burns

Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings
Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of Mink Hand and Foot Spa on mastering multitasking
With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of...

Lauren Heskin

Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids
Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids

Geraldine Carton

Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer
Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer

Sarah Finnan

Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend
Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend

Holly O'Neill

What to do when your boss is a bully
What to do when your boss is a bully

Colette Sexton

Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West Cork
Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West...

Sarah Finnan

8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend
8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend

Jennifer McShane

Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum
Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Should we really give children First Communion money?


by Grace McGettigan
01st May 2018
blank

Holy Communion season is upon us again and with that comes excitement for many little boys and girls. Rarely is that excitement because they’re eager to receive the Eucharist for the first time. Normally it’s more about the thick wad of cash that tends to come with it.

When I was a child, communion time in school consisted of boasting about your ‘total’ or bragging about what you’d bought – everything was designer label, everything was expensive. I hadn’t received near as much money as my classmates, and I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed everytime someone would ask. The teasing and laughing forced me to lie and tell them, “I haven’t gotten around to counting it yet”…  I wish someone had let those kids know that keeping a running total isn’t the best idea (not to mention telling everyone about said-total).

One in four receives more than €800

Traditionally, the ceremony is a big step in a child’s religious life – their first step since baptism. It celebrates a Catholic’s first receipt of the Body of Christ and paves the way for their Confirmation. But that tradition seems less important to people these days.

Now, a child’s Communion day revolves around money-filled cards, expensive clothes and bouncy castles. According to a survey carried out by Ulster Bank last year, the average child will pocket €570 from family, friends and neighbours. Think that’s excessive? One in four receives more than €800, while 13% are given over €1,000.

Call me Scrooge, but I don’t think that’s right.

Jesus who?

Once they’ve received their first Holy Communion, it’s expected children will continue to attend mass every week. But figures show mass attendance falling steadily. The 2016 Census shows a 6% drop in Irish Roman Catholics since 2011, while almost 500,000 people said they’d no religion at all. Not only that, the European Social Survey revealed only one in 10 young Irish Catholics goes to a religious service every week. If ‘Catholic’ families have no real interest in practising their faith (and only enter a church for a communion, wedding or funeral) why reward the child for nothing but dressing up for a nice ‘day out’?

Why not use it for good?

Things are unlikely to change – Irish children will probably continue to make a fortune on their communion day. But instead of leaving them to spend it on sweets and video games, use your child’s sudden acquisition of money as an excuse to open a bank account for them. It’s what my parents did for me and I’m grateful for it. While at the time I desperately wanted a new toy, hindsight has proved saving is smarter. The small amount I’d lodged in 1999 came in very useful during my college years.

Alternatively, encourage your little one to donate a small amount to a charity of their choice – it’ll help them realise how lucky they are and not to take things for granted.

Other options

Lastly, rather than gifting money, consider giving more thoughtful presents. Bake the child their favourite dessert, or promise them a day out to the park or cinema. Frame a photo of their special day and write a loving message on the back.

If money is tight, or you don’t agree with giving money to a seven-year-old, remember there are other options out there.

Photo: 

 

Also Read

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

rings
EDITORIAL
Rings that help you draw attention to your newly manicured nails

Rings to help you flaunt your fresh mani? Non-negotiables. Nail salons reopened their doors to the public earlier this week...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
EDITORIAL
I’ve been ugly and beautiful and the difference is depressing

When I was 12 I wrote a story about two girls who were best friends. One girl, the main character,...

By Sophie White

blank
EDITORIAL
Book gift ideas for every kind of reader

Anyone who said books and socks make for boring gifts has clearly never received a delightfully absorbing book or a...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
BREAKING STORIES
Supermodel Naomi Campbell becomes a mum at 50

The first-time mum shared the news on social media today.   Supermodel Naomi Campbell has announced that she has become a mother....

By Jennifer McShane

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Andrew McGinley: ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad.’

Following the utterly devastating trial of his wife Deirdre last week, Andrew McGinley spoke afterward of the love of his...

By Jennifer McShane