First Reconcilication Gift Ideas

Today I decided to tackle a reader question from Julie in Minneapolis:
I have a 2nd grade son making his first reconciliation you have any ideas or gifts (do you give gifts for that???) on how we can celebrate it? document it? they are just doing it during the school day so there is nothing sponsored by the church ..just wondering what people do for that..thank you!!
I was reading this email and thinking that as Catholics, we tend to wait for first communion to celebrate. I consulted this topic with my favorite Catholic forum and on my facebook page. I got some response that first reconciliation was more of an "inward accomplishment" so therefore not calling for the same celebration that other sacraments do. Given that I've never heard of a "First Reconciliation Party", I thought most other Catholic must feel the same way. Even so, first reconciliation is a sacrament, and could still be recognized as a mile stone... no?

Have you guys heard of first communion banners? (I'm pretty sure I was the last Catholic on the planet to hear of them). Anyway, I think it would be super cool to give your child a craft set to make his or her own First Communion Banner as a gift after their first reconciliation. That way, it can be a gift, but because they also use it at the First Communion it becomes a memory item for both! Catholic Child Catalog has quite a collection of first communion banner kits you can order. I like this "Lamb of God" one! Isn't it beautiful? Everyone can be a successful crafter with these easy-to-use kits!

A First Reconciliation certificate would certainly be a nice way to commemorate this special occasion, and you can print a free first penance certificate here! (Isn't it great to find stuff for free online?!)

I got sooooo many replies from families that went out for ice cream after their child's first reconciliation that I'm going to go ahead and proclaim it a Catholic tradition! (Do I have the authority to do that?) No matter. Whether you spring for Baskin Robbins or make Sundays at home with the kids, take it to the next level by making it symbolic- eat vanilla ice cream because it's white for "purity". :-)

Ok, I'm excited about this first reconciliation gift idea that came from a facebook fan- Give your child an eraser! I thought this was such a cute idea! I've seen these erasers "for big mistakes" at the Dollar Tree. This is a great way to recognize the sacrament in a symbolic way without filling your house with more dust collecting trinkets, or breaking the bank. This might be a cute gift idea to send to your God child for their first reconciliation. Let them know you haven't forgotten their important religious day!

If you're more of the "trinket kind", (and I know us Catholics like our trinkets) I like this Act of Contrition Wall Cross. It's classy looking and keeps the Act of Contrition in mind, which is awesome. :-) Anything with the act of contrition on it would be a great idea (such as a holy card or a wall plaque).
Act of Contrition Wall Cross - 5.5 inch

If nothing else, make your child a special dinner. You know, lay down a nice table cloth, put out some pretty china, the works! Just because you're waiting to break out the cake and balloons for your child's first communion doesn't mean you can't celebrate your child's first reconciliation. Anyone have one of these red plates? Crack that baby out of the china cabinet! Whoo hoo! ;-)
Waechtersbach "You Are Special Today" Red Plate Gift Boxed with Pen Red #4991271903P - Serving Plates

How does your family celebrate first reconciliation?

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS. Photobucket


  1. We give a nice book to help prepare for First Communion. Then out to dinner or ice cream. :)

  2. Those are se great ideas!
    I had ice cream after my first reconciliation.
    My mother always made sure our first reconciliation was a special day. She always recommends her friends and her students' parents to make that day special for the kids. I plan to keep up with the tradition but will spice it up with a few of the ideas on this post.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the big eraser idea!!! My daughter is making hers tomorrow. I know the church is having a little reception afterward for the families. She also gets to choose her favorite dinner and I bought her a cross from the Catholic bookstore.

  4. We make sure that we get to take our child alone to their First Reconciliation (which is a big deal in a family with 6 kids) then we go to reconciliation too after them. Then we take them out for a breakfast at someplace they chose. Which is huge since we never go out to restaurants for breakfast. Then we spend the time just being together and talking about their experience and how they felt about it. It is something they all look forward to and those that are done, remember!

  5. Our school/church makes it an event in the evening and all the families go. We got her a new dress to wear, it was really nice. Then we did go out for dinner.
    I just found this blog and I just love it!!

  6. Perfect timing. My daughter is making her first reconciliation tomorrow. I love the certificate as our church says they won't have them due to the confidentiality of the sacrament. I also love the ice cream idea and think it should be a tradition. I did order her a pin and charm from The Catholic Company. I love your blog! Keep up the great work!

  7. At the Catholic school where I work the parents sneak into the classroom while the children are at confession. The room is decorated with white helium balloons to signify their pure souls. Light refreshments are served and they get to wear fancy free dress clothes to school that day. A very big deal at our small school. The entire school goes to mass on that day and the students receiving the sacrament are recognized and prayed for by their schoolmates. It is a very special day.

  8. We give our kids the book "Today I Made My First Reconciliation" book by Dianne Ahern. It is a combination story book (about two second graders who learn the true meaning of reconciliation) and memory book, because there are spaces to record the date, memories of the event, paste photos, etc. I think most Catholic bookstores would carry it; Amazon does too. There is a companion book for First Eucharist called "Today I Made My First Communion." Makes a nice set to remember those two special days!

    My daughter made her First Reconciliation in December. We also gave her a "Reconciliation Story Bracelet." It has different symbolic charms and colored beads along with a card that explains the meaning of each.

    My daughter's first reconciliation was in the morning, so we went out for lunch at her favorite restaurant.

  9. Thanks for linking to my banner post. :)

    For First Reconciliation, we have given the kids a small something that they've been wanting - a book, a game, whatever. Nothing huge, but maybe in the $20 range.

  10. I've seen your site recommended on our Catholic mother's group and recognized it while I was searching something for First Communion. OK, I know this is Confession but I was several pages from my first search. I love your idea about the ice cream and I agree that it should be a Catholic tradition! My youngest is about to take his quiz with the pastor for his First Confession/Communion so I'd like to ask all of you to pray for him till his test on February 11. I'm the one who's nervous.

    He doesn't like ice cream but we can sure do something else special - he likes white chocolate! That'll work.

    Thanks for the great ideas - I'm bookmarking your site!

  11. HAHAHA.....I JUST found out about these banners! The Man was "yeah-they're really common." ;) Thanks to your post I found out we may be able to hang ours at our church. My children don't go to CCD as we have their Religious education built in at home-they will get their first communion at a regular mass, so I thought-What do i actually DO with the banners?! And you have such fun ideas for the other things...thanks! You've made this new adventure for me, as a mom, very exciting and much more fun.


Thanks for your comments! They're the icing on my cake ;-)