Traditionally, Jewish families do not receive gifts prior to the birth of the baby. Therefore, many friends and family members use the bris ceremony as their first opportunity to give gifts to the newborn baby. Though Jewish custom does not require gifts on this occasion, most people do not show up empty-handed.
Ask the family if they would like help preparing for the ceremony as part of your gift. Because the parents only have 8 short days to plan the ceremony, consider baking a dessert or other Jewish delicacy as part of your gift.
Purchase your baby gift from the parents' registry, your local Judaica shop, synagogue or other specialty store.
Wrap the present as you would any other baby gift.
Attach a card with a meaningful note. You should write, "mazel tov," which means congratulations.
Look for a gift table or area when you arrive at the bris ceremony. If found, place your gift on the table. If there is no such area, hand your gift directly to one of the parents before the ceremony takes place.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have already given the baby a gift, do not feel obligated to bring one to the bris. However, a small token gift, such as a bib or stuffed animal, is perfectly appropriate.
- Though it is thoughtful to give a baby gift with religious meaning, it is certainly not required, nor even expected, if you are not Jewish. Any gift suitable for a newborn baby boy is appropriate.
- Do not be offended when your gift is not opened in front of you. The bris ceremony does not involve gift opening, and most parents choose to open the gifts after their guests have gone home.
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