Saturday, May 5, 2012

Handmade for First Communion

Handmade, First Holy Communion bracelet
 For many Irish children, May is the month for First Holy Communion. I remember my own, at the age of 7. It was possibly one of the most important days of my young life, next to losing my first baby tooth.

Yes, I was heavily schooled in the religious significance and cultural meaning of the ceremony, but for many a young Irish girl, the social implications are not to be ignored either. We all know too well the pressure that kids can be under to have the right look, the right dress, the right accessories.  And of course,  the pressure is on the parents too then.

Though I felt a bit hard done by at the time, thankfully, my pragmatic parents would not enter the race for the most extravagant outfit or lavish gifts and celebrations. My Mum, adept with a sewing machine, made me a simple, knee-length, white dress. I yearned for a maxi so I could be a princess for the day and I wished I had tonnes of relatives living in Dublin so I could visit and collect 'Communion money' like my schoolmates. My dress may have been simple but it was in fact, very pretty and my mother hand-sewed little white flowers on the end of my veil. It was more than enough. In fact it was very special, even if I didn't fully appreciate it then. I did get a special silver charm bracelet though, which I treasured forever.
Simple seaglass pendant from Ireland
 I'm proud that I grew up with handmade. I'm lucky that my mother in particular, nurtured our creative side and sometimes ignored our desire to have 'the latest big thing'. (click here for a blog post about my handmade childhood posted on Etsy Ireland Blog in 2010).


  1. I like pearl bracelets, I made one myself yesterday with some leftovers. I also appreciated your memory, it must have been a great day!

    PS. the etsy ireland post about your mom is fabulous

    1. Ah thanks. My Mum was able to do anything crafty. She only paints now as she has arthritis but I think it's great to see her do it in her 70s.

  2. Beautiful bracelet!
    ..we are now preparing for my son's First Communion

  3. Oh big day for him and all the family. I hope it goes well!

  4. Really beautiful braclet. I had my sister's dress for my communion which was then passed down through several cousins, its amazing how much communion stays in your mind!

  5. Yep. I think my sister had the pleasure of wearing mine a couple of years later.