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Marisa Mackle: Finally, we're having my boy's christening

The priest, my ex and all my family are getting together soon. Imagine that! All of us in the same room celebrating. Already I feel a migraine looming.

I've put off the baby's christening for so long it's embarrassing. But a couple of weeks ago I set the date. I contacted the parish priest who congratulated me on Gary's birth. "Thank you," I said, declining to inform him that the birth was a good 16 months ago and Gary would even be able to pour the holy water over his own head.

Then I had the difficult task of choosing the godmother. I asked a neighbour who she had chosen to be godmother. "My sister was the main godmother and then my best friend was the second godmother," she explained. I was amazed. "Who do you think you are? Elton John?" I gasped. Actually I didn't say anything but I don't think godmothers are like bridesmaids and that you should be able to have as many as you want. I had to decide on just one. I'm godmother to both my sisters' sons and wouldn't be able to choose between them, so that honour instead went to my best friend Roxanne. I asked the brother-in-law to be godfather. Once that was sorted I had to think of the catering. One guest had asked if we'd be going to a restaurant after church.

"We won't," I said. "We're in a recession now so it's all back to mine for food." It's a bit extravagant inviting everyone to a restaurant for a christening. Then I was trying to figure out what Gary should wear. If I stuck him in a Christening robe at his age, he'd never forgive me. I finally got him a white linen shirt and matching trousers. Perfect. I still have a couple of things to get, like a christening candle and a shawl. While online I also had a peek at a discussion about christenings in Ireland. People were wondering how much money to give the priest and the sacristan. Some gave E100 to the priest and E50 to the sacristan. Some gave nothing claiming that priests get paid anyway and that's their job. I think I'll offer something in between. I've also still got to buy a cake and Champagne. Holy God, christenings don't come cheap!

Marisa co-hosts a kids' creative writing and drama summer camp in Dublin this July. www.bigsmokewritingfactory.com


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