Published at Monday, May 15th, 2017 - 17:47:03 PM. Baby Shower. By alek.
Baby Shower Planning Guide - Great Baby Shower Ideas Great baby shower ideas-from cute invitations and easy, shower menus to clever themes and party favors. Baby Shower Etiquette When should the shower be held? A baby shower should be held four to six weeks before the due date, unless the honoree prefers to have it after the child is born (for example, if her religion encourages this or if she has chosen to keep the babys sex a surprise and doesnt want gender-neutral gifts). Who decides who is invited-the guest of honor or the host? Since the host bears the expense of the party, it is up to her to determine the number of guests shes comfortable accommodating. If the shower is not a surprise, the host should give the honoree that figure and ask whom shed like to invite. For a surprise party, the honorees college roommate trumps the hosts book-club buddies (sorry). How many guests are too many? A shower should be an intimate affair, not a gathering of anyone and everyone the honoree has ever known. Limit the guest list to close friends and family. (Hint: It should not come as a surprise to anyone on the guest list that there is a baby on the way!) Keep in mind that if your home can hold only 20 people comfortably, inviting more is doing no one a favor. Should the invitation include registry information? Many shower invitations do, but that can make the shower seem like a bit of a gimme-fest. Better yet, keep registry information off the invitation but feel free to pass it along if guests ask you for it. Or have them contact the honorees family or the honoree directly. If youre close enough to the mom-to-be that youre throwing her a shower, you should try to make an appearance at one of the other showers if your schedule permits. However, if any of these showers requires a train, plane, or lengthy car trip to attend, it is completely acceptable to decline politely, guilt-free. Whether you attend additional showers or not, theres no need to bring or send a second gift, since hosting a shower is like a second gift in and of itself. But if you feel uncomfortable arriving at a shower empty-handed, come with a small token, like a gift certificate for a manicure or a childs storybook. How much should I spend on a gift? As with any gift, how much you spend should have more to do with your relationship with the recipient and what you feel comfortable spending than with an arbitrary, "customary" dollar figure. Traditionally, the family of the mother-to-be takes on the more expensive, utilitarian gift items, like cribs or kitchen appliances, while friends bring gifts that are more creative, personal, and, yes, inexpensive. If youre not a family member of the honoree, a basic rule of thumb is to spend no less than $30 and no more than $50 on a baby-shower gift, bearing in mind what other gifts you plan to purchase. The guest of honor doesnt want a typical ladies-only, afternoon affair. Are there other ways to celebrate? Try opening up the event to husbands and male friends, and ask guests to bring themed personal gifts, like entertainment tickets, items to stock a bar, or, in the case of a baby shower, food to fill the freezer. And remember-theres no rule that says the honoree has to open her gifts at the party. What if the guest of honor starts making other demands about the party? The honoree surely has plenty on her mind and is probably in full-throttle decision-making mode. Try to be patient. If its simply that she must have lilac napkins or her mothers ginger-ale punch, make every attempt to accommodate her. But if she is pushing you, say, to invite more guests than you feel comfortable hosting, then you are within your rights to gently let her know why you cant give her what she wants. Baby Shower Planning Tips When it comes to lifes biggest events, you dont get much bigger than the birth of a baby. And so it follows that the shower leading up to this occasion should be appropriately meaningful. Happily, this does not require slaving over a fantastically elaborate spread. To truly honor these new beginnings (and elicit oohs and aahs from your guests), all you need is a little creative vision and a few personal touches. Choose Fun Invitations Make your baby-shower invitation into a mock library slip for the mom-to-bes "Great Expectations." Write the party details on a vertical index card, stamp the books (er, babys) due date at the bottom, and mail the card in a coin envelope. (Everything to make this invitation is sold at office-supply stores.) Decorations & Setup The Simplest Bouquet Long considered mere filler (and unwanted filler, at that), babys breath is strikingly lovely on its own when gathered in a large, airy bunch. Sold at most florist shops, its inexpensive and neutral enough to work in any setting. Drop a generous handful into a tall ceramic or glass vase. Alternative Seating If you dont have a dozen extra chairs lying around (or room to set them up if you do), provide throw pillows or ottomans for the (younger, more limber) guests to sit on. And, if possible, limit the gift-opening portion of the party to one hour or less. Any longer and all guests can start to get antsy. Double-Duty Decorations To give your shower a garden-party feel, buy small pots of thyme and slip in Popsicle sticks that identify the herb (and, thanks to a play on words, announce the upcoming big day). Bonus: The plants double as party favors. Personalized Favor Idea Block letter stamps turn a stack of blank matchboxes into custom favors. (You can find blank matchboxes and stamps at party-supply websites.) If you wish, make extra for the couple to use at their own parties. And try customizing some paper cocktail napkins, too. Pretty Place Settings For a baby shower, its childs play to turn ho-hum white napkins into little bundles of joy. To make this sweet take on the napkin ring, knot a narrow ribbon around a plastic rattle, then loop the ribbon around the folded napkin and finish it off with a bow. Gifts as Centerpiece Instead of splurging on an elaborate (and probably expensive centerpiece, let the guests gifts do the work. Stack presents on the coffee or buffet table for an instant, eye-pleasing still life of patterned papers and pastel bows. The Activity A successful shower game is easy to play, appeals to all ages, and does not overly embarrass the honoree (or, worse, her mother). Wrap-Up Opening the presents is the easy part. Helping the honoree pack them back up-and doing it quickly and efficiently-is more challenging. Group them: Arrange the gifts in labeled shopping bags or boxes according to type (baby clothes in one, toys in another; linens in one, kitchenware in another). When the honoree arrives home, shell have an easier time unpacking all the loot. Carry them: When a shopping bag is stuffed with presents, it can be difficult to grasp both handles at once. Make it easier to carry the bag by fashioning a sturdy handle out of packing tape. Cut a 16-inch strip of tape and fold it in half lengthwise, adhesive sides in, so that it is still 16 inches long but half as wide (and not sticky to the touch). Thread the strip through the bags handles. Tie the ends of the strip above the handle and seal them together with more tape. This loop is your new handle. Ship them: If the guest of honor lives in another town, have a supply of shipping boxes and labels on hand so the gifts can be sent directly from your house to hers. That way, she wont get stuck with excess-baggage fees on her flight-or a car too full of boxes to fit the people shes traveling with. Stuff them: Dont have an economy-size carton of packing peanuts stashed in your garage? Then use the discarded wrapping and tissue paper from the opened presents to cushion fragile items before the guest of honor lugs them home. (Even if the breakables are nestled safely in individual boxes, stuff extra padding between boxes to safeguard against jostling.)
A Peep Into Baby Shower History Baby shower history has rather obscure origins about how it all began. Since time immemorial, mankind has been celebrating the creation of a new life in the womb of a woman in one form or the other. Even the people in the Stone Age must have been elated at the prospect of adding another member to their family. Their celebrations, although not very overt, must have been heartfelt. The Origins There is no historical record of the origins of baby shower celebrations but most ancient civilizations had some form of baby shower history. The Roman, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese histories do reveal certain types of celebrations to announce the beginning of pregnancy. These celebrations were in many cases accompanied by a feast where the guests were served sumptuous meals and in return the guests and invited family members would shower handmade gifts on the expectant mother. Probably baby shower history had its origins in these celebrations. Recent Baby Shower Origins Modern baby shower customs have evolved from ancient traditions but the full impact of these customs can be traced to the end of World War II. With the advancement of technology and the evolution of life, social norms and customs have also changed and we have come a long way from the earlier methods of celebrations. Whereas the ancient civilizations were handicapped by the lack of modern amenities and the celebrations were very crude and haphazard, modern baby shower customs have become more organized. Moreover, each country has its own system to celebrate baby shower. Even within a country, different communities are now celebrating baby shower in different ways although the underlying theme remains the same. Essential Difference Baby shower history shows that this practice got a fillip only after World War II. Moreover, there has been a fundamental change in baby shower customs. Whereas earlier baby shower history shows that the celebrations consisted mainly of showering baby shower gifts on the mother and her newborn baby after the baby was born, the trend has now changed and the celebrations are now held about a month or two before the expected birth of the baby. The other major difference is that earlier celebrations were limited to women-only parties where only close female friends and relatives were invited. We have come a long way from there and now all members of the families of both the father and mother and friends are invited, irrespective of the gender. Baby Shower Gifts Although the practice of showering gifts on the mother and her child is nothing new, the way it is done and the types of gifts have changed with time. Moreover, the celebrations have also become more modernized. People from different strata of society celebrate baby shower in different ways and with different levels of expenses. Those who cannot afford to spend much money have low-key celebrations and they also benefit from the various gifts that they receive. These gifts are mostly for the expectant baby in the form of clothing, toys, baby linen, diapers, bibs, bottles and sometimes gold ornaments and silver utensils. Irrespective of baby shower history, the main theme of these celebrations is to express happiness and welcome the impending arrival of a new member to the family, society, nation and world at large.
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