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Baby shower etiquette - don't know what to do

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#1 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

My extended family live very far apart, so it takes an event for us to get together. When DH and I announced our pregnancy, i got a lot of questions about when I was going to have my baby shower. I didn't really want one, because in the last 2 years I've had a wedding and a big 30th, and we are also better off financially than most of ur friends and family, so it seemed wrong to be asking for presents. I also wanted to see the family, who we don't see often enough and I miss.

So we compromised, and are having a unisex BBQ to celebrate the imminent arrival of our child. We've invited friends as well as family. The invite just calls it a baby celebration, and there is no mention of presents. But I have now heard from mum that most people have contacted her and asked what to buy us, so I gave her a list.

Now here is my dilemma. At a traditional baby shower, one of the highlights is watching the mother to be open her presents in front of everyone, and cooing over the tiny socks. I don't want anyone to feel like their gift wasn't appreciated. BUT we didn't position it as a ban shower, and I don't want anyone who doesn't bring a gift to be made to feel uncomfortable - after all, we weren't expecting them.

I might be over thinking this, but I really don't know what to do. Any advice?

#2 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

QUOTE (Rawr @ 24/11/2012, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretend you like the gifts.

Huh? I'm not sure I understand - why wouldn't I like the gifts? I'm worried about opening presents in front of the whole group, and therefore making people who didn't bring one feel uncomfortable.

#3 baddmammajamma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

Edited by baddmammajamma, 24 November 2012 - 09:05 AM.

#4 Futureself

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

Simple - just don't. Have a table, or designated spot, for anyone who brings a gift to place them at the bbq and then just open them later. I had a champagne brunch(with some menfolk there too) for my shower and didn't even think to open gifts there as I find it odd.

I do think it is particularly important etiquette wise to ensure you write a thank you card as soon as possible mentioning each gift personally if you go this way though. That way everyone feels their gift was acknowledged and appreciated original.gif

#5 EsmeLennox

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 07:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

This is what I would do.

#6 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

Baddmammajamma has it in one.

If you have their email addresses a photo of you holding said gift with the goofy "Awwwww.... little tiny socks!" smile would be good too.

#7 CharliMarley

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

Baby showers have only been in vogue for the last 20 years or so and before that, people who wanted to buy you something, did so and brought it around after the baby was born or brought it to the hospital. This I think is better than a baby shower, which to me is a present expectation and not everyone can afford all these parties and present giving, especially if you have had big parties this year. I would decline the baby shower and just let people give if they want to and not feel obliged.

#8 wish*upon*a*star

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

Agree with PP.
Thank you notes are lovely original.gif

#9 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:23 AM

Thank you notes it is! Thanks all.

#10 BBV

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

I would open them later, if ppl are offended because u didn't open them at the BBQ - bad luck! And coming from the point of view of someone who didn't bring a gift as the invite stipulated no gifts, it was very uncomfortable when all gifts were opened at the shower!

#11 Feral Mozzie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:17 PM

QUOTE (BBV @ 24/11/2012, 12:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would open them later, if ppl are offended because u didn't open them at the BBQ - bad luck! And coming from the point of view of someone who didn't bring a gift as the invite stipulated no gifts, it was very uncomfortable when all gifts were opened at the shower!

That's what I was thinking.

#12 JustBeige

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 24/11/2012, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Give a heartfelt thanks in person when/if a loved one hands you a present.

Then open the gifts after the event and write heartfelt, prompt thank you notes.

Enjoy your time with your family and friends!

This is what I would do also.

Just make sure your mum is onboard with it all so she can also answer the "when is she opening the presents" questions

#13 lamarque

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

Yep open later.  I hate it when presents are opened in front of people.  

I've been burnt though.  This couple had an engagement party and had a registry for it.  There was an $800 coffee table on the list and the party was a BBQ.  I don't mind registry for wedding but not for engagement.  Anyway ours was the third coffee maker to be opened - it was excruciating and highly awkward.  laugh.gif

#14 50ftqueenie

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

Sitting around watching presents get opened is usually my cue to quaff champagne and attack the cheese board with gusto. Believe me when I tell you no one will be disappointed if you open the gifts later.

#15 elle-M

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

Definitely don't open presents until later, it's your BBQ you can do what you want.

For our engagement party years ago we didn't want any presents (for similar reasons you mentioned in your original post) so we specifically said on the invite "please no presents". I despise baby showers for the reason that they are purely all about presents.

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