Babies. They're irresistible. And their arrival is a cause for celebration whether they’re the first or the fourteenth. When they’re the first, you need a lot of equipment and advice, and when they’re the fourteenth, you need a lot of help and support! One thing is certain, you need a party! This book celebrates the baby shower in all its forms and renditions. It also celebrates the shower hostess or hostesses. Your job is to create the kind of party that not only welcomes the baby but also welcomes the guests. Here you’ll find ideas that you can copy as is or modify to add your own polish and panache.
The baby shower was born in the late 1800s. In its infancy, showers were given after the baby was born because it was not considered fashionable for pregnant women to be seen in public. So Victorian ladies gathered for tea after the baby was born to bestow upon the little cherub handmade or silver gifts.
Wow, have times changed! Today, baby shower planning starts as soon as the blue plus sign appears on the home pregnancy test. Guest lists include boyfriends, girlfriends, and husbands, children and pets, coworkers, family, and neighbors. Showers come in the form of cocktail parties, barbeques, and sporting events, as well as the traditional teas and garden parties. You’ll attend them in homes and hotels, backyards and bowling alleys, restaurants and wine bars, and beaches and billiards rooms.
The modern hostess or host (yes, men can give a shower) doesn’t face the restrictions imposed from years past. Almost any party ideas can be transformed into a baby shower. And they aren’t just for moms and babies anymore, either. Husbands can throw a shower for their brother or best friend at a ballgame or over a hand of poker, and this book takes you through every step from menu selection to printing favor labels from your computer.
Shower invitations have also turned away from the traditional fuzzy pink bunnies, yellow duckies, and powder-blue rattles stuck unceremoniously onto cardstock. While custom or preprinted cards are still the most popular way to get the word out, electronic invitations are proving to be a force to be “invited with.” With a silver tongue and a few keystrokes, guests can get the “411” about the party delivered right to their hand-held PDA.
The gifts have changed, too! Though a handmade blanket or sweater is always sought after, the gift list has expanded to include jogging strollers, cribs, bedding, baby juicers, and more. New equipment has spawned a new vocabulary—co-sleepers, Pack ’n Plays, Boppys, binkies, Robeez, Pee-pee Teepees, and kangaroo pouches. Baby gift giving is now a multimillion dollar industry! Department stores have opened gift registries to ensure that babies get what they need. Within these pages you will find a plethora of ideas for giving group gifts, creating personalized treasures, and bestowing the ultimate gifts of time, friendship, and extra sets of hands.
Whether you mix and match ideas to create your own unique affair or you grab a theme and follow it to the letter, the most important element to the entire planning process is to enjoy the good fortune of a friend or family member and have some fun. A baby shower should be a joyous celebration of all the optimism and good wishes we offer up to new parents and the new life they are bringing to share with us. So let the planning begin!