It has long been a tradition for Christian children to be gifted cross necklaces to wear. Starting from the earliest ages, the cross is a beautiful symbol of faith, love, and protection for the blessed innocence of youth.
Many infants receive their first cross pendant as a treasured baptism gift. Other children get theirs a bit later as a birthday or Christmas present from someone dear to them. And some are fortunate to receive more than one cross through their early years, which they can choose to wear at different times.
And crosses are certainly not limited to Christians. Crosses are more than just a religious symbol. For many, the cross symbolizes personal strength and strong values, and for others it is a fashion item in a lovely shape with a long history. There are several different types of cross necklaces available to choose from, such as the traditional vertical cross, Crucifix, and Celtic cross.
One of the more recent variations on the traditional cross is the side cross necklace. These lovely pendants are attached to the chain at the top and bottom of the cross stem. This results in the cross appearing to be lying down on its side.
Regardless of religious belief, many people consider this horizontal orientation to be a lovely alternative for young people, as the cross can more easily lay flush to their skin on their smaller necks and bodies. And because they are not dangling off the chain, they are less likely to get caught in something or be pulled off.
(Please be extra careful with necklaces for infants and toddlers. While it’s lovely to give one as a gift, necklaces can pose a choking or strangling hazard. It is best to have them wait until they are a bit older to actually wear any necklace.)
Whether you are looking are a necklace for your own child or as a gift to another child who is dear to you, you will want to select something very special, which can be cherished for a lifetime.
Here are 3 tips to help you in your selection process as you are shopping for just the right sideways cross necklace.
1. Consider the age, gender, and size of the child
Is this cross going to be for a girl or a boy? Is the child an infant, a toddler, a young child, or a pre-teen? The child’s age and size is important when selecting a cross pendant. Those with smaller frames and shorter necks will typically look and feel best with a small sized cross pendant. These are darling for any baby, and can look especially dainty on little girls. Also be sure the chain is long enough to fit comfortably around the neck, but short enough not to hang loose and risk getting twisted or yanked.
2. Determine the type and color of the cross
Crosses come in a variety of styles, and can be very simple or more ornate. Although you can find sideways crosses with diamonds or in a detailed shape, the most sought after for children tend to be crosses with simple, straight lines. Yellow gold is top pick for any infant, and for girls of all ages. White gold or silver is often more popular with young boys.
3. Personalizing the cross
There are a couple of ways you can customize the necklace to give it a more individualized touch.
- Engraving – This is a little more challenging for very small, thin crosses. But if the one you select has enough room for a bit of graving, this is certainly a special touch to consider. Adding a date, a name, or a meaningful phrase can add exponential sentiment to this gift.
- Birthstone – Some manufacturers let you select a cross with a single small gemstone in the center. These are more popular with girls. Select a gem in her favorite color, or her birthstone, for a bit of extra sparkle. A white pearl is a beautiful choice if you don’t know her birthdate or favored colors.
- Chain – Although the cross itself is the focal point, different styles come with different chains. Delicate thin silver or gold chains that match the cross are great for children of any age. Older kids might also like the fashion look of a leather cord. These are fun because they are often available in different colors, and so girls especially enjoy matching these accessories with their outfits.