Let's face it: no one likes baby showers, unless you are the guest of honor. And even then it can be kind of awkward opening gift after gift with all eyes on you.
And let's talk about those baby gifts. Some of us are having children after we're already pretty well established these days. And we all research the heck out of everything before we even walk into the giant baby store. But times are hard, and most of us with a shred of decency would feel a little uncomfortable asking family members who might be dealing with seriously reduced income to buy us a $750 stroller or even the expensive glass BPA-free bottles.
Some couples are adjusting to the recession by throwing non-traditional baby showers. Some are doing co-ed parties with drinks and pool, making it more of a hangout occasion; others are asking only for diapers or books, or even for people to pass along their own no-longer-needed baby gear.
Other people are eliminating the gifts altogether, asking people to instead come with a promise of babysitting or a meal to be redeemed later. Or they turn it into a more spiritually focused event, asking guests to share prayers or hopes for the baby and mother as she prepares to give birth.
As grateful as I am for every single baby gift we received, many of which have become beloved treasures, what meant the most to me was the kindness and good wishes that came with each one. This new trend is a nice counterbalance to the awful, tacky, vulgar celebrity baby shower trend that some equally tacky, vulgar people feel they should emulate, with catered meals, fancy table settings, and an enormous guest list bearing truckloads of gifts.
These lower-key showers would also be great for second children or beyond; I know lots of people who flout the etiquette rule on second baby showers because they say every baby deserves to be celebrated. True ... and suggesting a shower with no gifts or small gifts would be an outstanding way to separate the gift-grabbers from the joyful baby-welcomers.
Would you have a no-gift baby shower?
Image via zAppledot (Jeremy Nicholson)/Flickr