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Thread: wedding and baby showers

  1. #11
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    Thanks for all the replies. I don't get bridal/wedding showers. Aren't people getting enough presents already from the people attending the wedding? I had a friend, who at age 50, had never once used her fine china for 12 people that she received as a wedding gift. What a waste! The baby shower I am invited to (and I will have to decline pretty soon) both parents are professionals, who make more money than DH and I ever made. Why they want people to buy presents for their baby is beyond me. They certainly can afford everything they need. The wedding shower I am invited to, the couple have been living together for two years, the bride's mother paid for their small house, they have a two year old son already and now they want a big, fancy wedding. Greed at its worst.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
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    Showers were a good idea when young newly marrieds and parents didn't have much to start out with. I attended one recently and it was a 2nd marriage for both. I sprung for two new towels because I think it's nice to have some "ours" stuff going into a marriage.

    I could do without the games though.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

  3. #13
    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
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    See, much though I like showers (if they are properly done), I wouldn't attend a shower for a second marriage. It's one wedding shower per person, not one per wedding.

    Etiquette's pretty clear on showers. You get one--one wedding shower, one baby shower. (Although exceptions are made if completely different, non-overlapping groups give you showers, say a family shower and a buddies-from-work shower.) The guests invited should be the people who would probably want to celebrate the event with you and give you a gift even if you didn't have a shower at all. So the guest list should be small. And in my circle, many showers are surprise showers, so the guest of honor doesn't get a chance to refuse. And you never, ever throw a shower for yourself or any family member, because that just looks like you are asking for gifts. So the recipients of the gifts are not the ones asking for the gifts--the host of the party is the one doing the asking.

    Showers are *supposed* to be given by a small circle of family and friends who genuinely want to celebrate your big life-changing event with you. The gifts aren't supposed to cost hundreds of dollars each. Showers are also about initiating the woman into a new phase of life--marriage or motherhood. The experienced women in the group are supposed to pass along gems of wisdom for dealing with husbands and babies along with the gifts. It's supposed to be a bonding time, as well as a time for giving gifts.

    Every shower I've attended, I would have been buying a gift anyway. So a shower invitation doesn't strike me as just an other opportunity for someone to hit me up for a gift. All other showers, I just decline the invitation, and maybe send a nice card if I'm so inclined.

    Yes, some people have distorted the original meaning of the shower. I'm frankly getting sick of hearing, "But we have to give her a second baby shower! Their first child is a girl and this second one is a boy! Everything they have is pink!" 1) The parents should have planned better and gotten unisex baby things the first time. 2) No baby deserves all new stuff, all the time. Reuse what you have, for pete's sake.

    And showers with guest lists of 70 or 90 people are not showers. They are gift grabs. And the games. Please just stop the games.

  4. #14
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    In the washer at this very moment is the cutest, handmade, all cotton baby quilt. Found at Goodwill. $3.99. In fantastic shape. My colleague is a super environmentalist recycler; he & his wife will be very happy that this gift is a recycled one. I'll wrap it in a recycled and reuseable bag for them, and it will outlast their baby as s/he grows, so they can pass it on too. WIN!

  5. #15
    Senior Member crunchycon's Avatar
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    Don't like bridal showers...didn't enjoy my own particularly, as I didn't get much that I could actually use and being the absolute center of attention for a couple of hours wasn't fun. Full disclosure - for my second wedding, our grad school buddies threw us a big party - potluck with a few modest gifts and lots of well-wishes -- a lot more fun and meaningful.

    For baby showers, I usually give a classic children's book as a gift - I'm childless, so I'm not schooled on what might be useful or helpful, but I am a librarian, so I know a bit about books and believe that every child should be read to from early days. I don't mind baby showers for the first child, as the people I know generally give gifts that are consumable or genuinely helpful. I do have a problem with a shower for second, third, fourth babies and I see lots of that around here.

  6. #16
    Senior Member leslieann's Avatar
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    Shower "traditions" seem to be regional. When I lived in upstate NY (real upstate, near Albany) it seemed that the shower included every female on the wedding guest list, a large hall or hotel, and very substantial gifts. Oh, and the shower was given by the bridesmaids with substantial help from the bride's mother. So yes, an absolute gift grab. This was not the experience I had growing up in New England (of course there is a generational difference there, too).

    Also the advent of the gift registry has made gift giving no fun at all. There is an entitlement feel to it: "Oh, I'm getting her her stroller, or her crib, or her what-ever..." and the "her" does not refer to the baby. Just like "she's having her shower..." as if it is a given. I guess I am from the school that Miss Celane described, in which the shower is a (nominal) surprise, the recipient is honoured and grateful and the gifts are small and maybe symbolic. That was a lot more fun. IMHO, of course. I really liked getting original or quirky gifts for people but now it seems like that's kind of, umm, unconventional. Doesn't stop me from doing it but I do think twice.

    My youngest son just became engaged, and I have to say, though, that I am looking forward to the number of social get-togethers I might get to participate in...good reasons to get together, when we all live far apart. But then, they are my immediate family. I don't get many other shower invitations any more. I think it is my age and stage in life.

  7. #17
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    When DH & I got married, we explicitly said no gifts, and only one person - my best friend - varied, and she had a wedding bowl made for us by another friend who is a potter, with our names & wedding date on it. It's my bread bowl. I forgave her for ignoring my request!

    In order to channel folks' desires to give, we put together a website of our top 3 dozen fav non-profits, and suggested people donate in our name. We got many lovely cards from non-profits with sweet messages. It's a fabulous alternative registry.

  8. #18
    Senior Member pony mom's Avatar
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    I don't like them. Most newlyweds live together and have all they need; the 'wants' are just stuff they think they should have---china, crystal, ice cream maker.

    I'm not a kid-lover so luckily I don't go to many baby showers, mostly because I have a small circle of friends who are child-free.

    Since I'm single and child-free at 45, I don't really expect a bridal shower if I do marry. Anyway, I don't feel right 'asking' for gifts on a registry. Asking for things, in general, makes me uncomfortable anyway (always hated trick-or-treating when I was little). However, supermarket and Home Depot gift cards would be welcome any time.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    My standard shower gifts are:

    Wedding - Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

    Baby - if a very close friend, I will give cute hand drawn certificates on plain index cards for a certain number of meals when the baby comes (usually 3). Otherwise, I'll do consumables: a gift bag with a package of diapers, baby power, baby bath & lotion, etc. I usually buy the Aveeno Baby Naturals products, and always get great feedback.

  10. #20
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    Most of the showers (wedding and baby) I have been invited to recently have all been co-ed (males and females attending). Don't know if this is common elsewhere but seems to be the norm here in SoCal. While I generally hate any kind of shower - especially the traditional ones where you play games and sip tea - I like the co-ed ones MUCH better. It's just a low key party of friends getting together to share a life experience - more like a birthday celebration than an old stodgy traditional affair. I don't have kids but would absolutely NOT have a shower if I did. Same with a wedding shower - didn't have one when I got married and liked it just fine. Although some of my ship crew members (was stationed on a ship in the Coast Guard when I got married) who were mostly all men, took me out on the town once I returned from my wedding and honeymoon. DH was stationed on a ship in another state and so we weren't together for awhile after we got married - eventually got stationed near each other.

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