Baby rituals in Chinese culture are just as important to many parents as any other traditions. Unlike in western culture, baby showers take place after the birth of the baby and there is a big celebration when the baby reaches 100 days old.
Sometimes the revealing of the baby’s name is celebrated too, whenever that may be; usually done with the help of the grandparents or even fortune-tellers, this is important because many believe it will determine the baby’s character and finding a suitable name is often extremely hard. On the 100th day, another – usually bigger – party is thrown and the extended family and friends will get together for a full feast. Some parents still follow the custom of handing out eggs (usually dyed red) to guests, which symbolises well-rounded happiness and rebirth or new life. Either the full month or 100th day can be celebrated as a baby shower.
When the baby turns one, another feast and party is held. One of the traditional things to do is to fill a basket with a number of objects and offer it to the baby; the first thing the baby grabs is meant to signify what the baby’s future or career holds. None definitive examples include: a writer (pen), a teacher (book), a tailor (fabric), entertainer (microphone), chef (cutlery), doctor (stethoscope) or lawyer or government official (seal or stamp). Of course, this is more just for fun and games as we all know babies love to touch things and be inquisitive.
But if you’re a guest – whether a family member or friend, what is a good present to give a baby under the age of one? Many opt for the usual gifts of clothes, money, toys and books. Parents and grandparents often bestow more expensive presents such as gold or silver jewellery or bigger objects like a crib, bassinet or a rocking chair. If you’re looking for something even more unique and sentimental, Memory Makers are the leading company in personal keepsakes for babies.
Available at more than 120 Mothercare stores across the UK (after you book an appointment online), you can choose from having 3D casts of the baby’s hands or feet, SilverPrints (engraved jewellery), framing their first pair of shoes or Imprints and Outprints. The 3D casts can be framed or freestanding and both the casts and Imprints and Outprints can be a mixture of both hands or feet, hands and feet or one hand and one foot. If you have more than one child, you can have them all cast into one frame or even add your own. After going into the Mothercare store to get it done you’ll receive the gift within four short weeks.
Founded more than 10 years ago by Richard and Stella, Memory Makers was born from the idea of imprinting their nephew’s hand in clay they had at their house and giving it to Richard’s brother as a gift. Now they have grown to operate through Mothercare in the UK and Mothercare, Brown Thomas, Hamleys and Arnotts in Ireland with more than 250,000 of their imprints and other products sold so far. Imprints are currently their most popular product. The original piece of clay that your child touches is coloured and fired to highlight the imprint and then mounted in a custom made box frame; there are ten clay colours and five frames available to choose from, with the option of including a photograph with it too.
You can also have your baby’s Chinese name and message (for example, 100 days celebration or 1st birthday) engraved or imprinted on any of the gifts if you write or type it out for them, meaning this is ideal for Chinese babies and their parents and shows this company’s great interest in catering to an international and multicultural customer base. Memory Makers’ prices are very competitive and their products are expertly created to the very best quality by highly trained Print Takers and Craftspeople, meaning you will certainly be getting your money’s worth. 3D framed casts start from £85, freestanding from £130, Imprints from £60, Outprints from £66, SilverPrints from £75, and Small Steps (framed shoes) from £29. And if it’s not your baby, you can always buy gift experience cards from Mothercare for the parents to get it done themselves.
This article is produced by Nee Hao Magazine and sponsored by Memory Makers