In this tradition, the informant is a mother who gave her sons with St. Christopher necklaces as a symbol of luck and protection. St. Christopher, known as the patron saint of travelers, is believed to guard the wearer from harm and guide them through life’s journey. The necklaces are typically made of metal and feature a medallion with an image of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child.
The informant first learned of this tradition in Arkansas, particularly in Christian communities where religious symbols and beliefs are deeply rooted. The informant recalls seeing boys in her hometown wearing St. Christopher necklace when she was young. She always hoped to continue this tradition with her own children. The practice also happens to be popular in Southern California, where she lives now. St. Christopher necklaces can be found in many surf shops. In both regions, the necklace serves the same role as a symbol of protection and a reminder of the importance of faith.
The act of giving St. Christopher necklaces to sons serves multiple purposes. For the mother, it is a way to leave a lasting mark on her children, connecting them to their heritage and instilling the values she holds dear. A way to maintain a connection to her upbringing and the values that were instilled in her during her childhood in Arkansas. It is a tangible reminder of her love, care, and the protective role she plays in their lives. For the sons, wearing the necklace is a symbol of their connection to their mother and their family’s traditions.
Beyond the personal connection, this tradition also reflects broader communal beliefs. For example, highlights the interplay between religious beliefs and a token of luck.The necklace becomes a symbol of not just faith, but also a shared identity and sense of belonging whether it is worn in the surf or in small-town Arkansas.
The tradition of giving St. Christopher necklaces carry both personal and communal significance. It reinforces the bond between family members and connects them to a larger community of shared beliefs and values. A simple piece of jewelry becomes a meaningful expression of love, protection, and luck.