The Anti-Gimme Office Baby Shower

by admin on October 13, 2011

Just when you think the world has been overrun with gimme pigs, you see this:

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy October 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

I don’t understand the problem….she isn’t asking for any gifts here.


lkb October 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

Maybe not the best, etiquette-wise, but as no gifts are required I don’t see any harm.
I rather think it’s kind of nice to reach out to the relatively new employee in this way.
I also think it’s nice of the guest of honor to decline gifts.


Ann October 13, 2011 at 10:37 am



LovleAnjel October 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

That sounds like a really fun office in which to work.


lkb October 13, 2011 at 10:45 am

Sorry — I didn’t see the Admin’s note above the photo or even the headline until this minute. When I first saw the photo I thought it was to disapprove of it. I’m sorry. Please forgive me for misunderstanding.


Yvaine October 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

Heehee! I like it. I know it’s not technically proper to say no gifts, but this is so good-humored and entertaining that I can’t bring myself to mind. I want to go to this shower.


Kimberly October 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m confused. I don’t see anywhere that this is a “gimme” pig.

While I think the note itself is tacky, it is clearly stating no gifts, just to celebrate the impending birth with bad coffee and cake.

Although, if this is the case, why would you need 2 1/2 hours to do so? Are we to bring our own lunch and drinks? Or just pop in for some cake and give congratulations and leave?

Was this the mom to be’s idea or the person who wrote the tacky invite?


Green123 October 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

That’s really sweet. I hope there really WAS cake and I hope mum-to-be and her colleagues enjoyed a lovely event and the coffee wasn’t too awful!

(TBH if this had been posted up in my office I might have got the mum-to-be a very small token gift, or clubbed together with some colleagues to get something small but nice – perhaps something for herself as she’s soon to be a very busy lady!)


m October 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

Very classy indeed.
How much do you want to bet that people are going to bring gifts anyway and be happy about it too.


Library Diva October 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

Kris and Issy sound like fun people. It’s a nice compromise, too. If you have a good work environment, you naturally want to commemorate everyone’s milestones, but it can get tricky when it’s for someone the group is still sort of getting to know, or if everyone’s in the same life stage and it seems like there’s a new baby or a wedding every month. A good way to handle it with humor and grace.


Hemi Halliwell October 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

I think it’s kind of cute. Plus, it’s a hand written invitation! πŸ™‚


Margaret October 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

I bet this mom-to-be is going to be getting presents anyway from people who genuinely like her.


Dorothy Bruce October 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I like this girl already. She seems like a considerate co-worker. And with twins, she’ll need all the support she can get.


vanessaga October 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I find that kind of nice. She wants her coworkers to share her joy but not empty their pockets? Having as a coworker, a woman who has had 4 kids (and counting) one for each year she worked there a baby shower for each, that seems very refreshing.


Amber October 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Yay! I’m so pleased that someone is willing to not make a cash grab!


Laurita October 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

This is nice to see after all the horror stories.


AS October 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Sounds like the party organizer either wanted honor the MTB, or just an excuse for an party. But MTB thought it was tacky to ask for gifts from people she had known only for 2 months, and agreed on such a condition. The party organizer had a strange way of inviting people.


Brenda October 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for posting this. I’m feeling much cheerier, now.

But I’d probably still get a little something, like booties or a couple of onesies, and a card.


SV October 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Love this! Celebrating the happiness and joy of new arrivals does not always have to include a gift, especially for coworkers. Wonderful and thoughtful πŸ™‚


Snowy October 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Lovely! A very nice change of pace.


LeeLee88 October 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I like how they’re not even asking for people to pony up for refreshments; the “bad coffee” line gave me a laugh πŸ˜€ We could use more Moms-to-be like Isolde in the world!


Powers October 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Easy way to avoid getting gifts — don’t call it a shower! Then you don’t have to say “no gifts”.


karen October 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Oh, I’d definitely get her a gift- something little like a carton of diapers or a silly onsie.

However, I’d give it to her at another time so others didn’t feel bad for not bringing anything.


Ali October 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I was thrown a surprise office baby shower organized by my male boss and 20-something female coworker who had never been to a baby shower. I don’t even know whose idea it was!

I got many gifts, some handmade and although I appreciated it immensely, I was very embarrassed as I didn’t know most of the women very well (there were a few people whose names I didn’t even know) and most have grown children so I will never have the opportunity to reciprocate at a similar event. I do try to make an effort to give everyone a holiday card and a trinket or treat of sorts every year but I still wish that it had just been a nice gathering sans gifts.


gramma dishes October 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Personally I think this is great!

Honoring the mother to be in a very casual atmosphere with no gifts expected. Doesn’t get any better than that.

And I also like the way it was just written on notebook paper. Very appropriately informal.


Debbi October 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I love it, I would love to go, and I would definitely buy a gift because she is NOT a gimme pig! It would be fun!


Calli Arcale October 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Kimberly — either the long period is because they want to do shower games or, more likely, it’s just how that company does these sorts of events. At my company, we do things like that for major anniversaries. Cake is purchased and for the first half hour of the period, there is socializing and general friendly harassment of those being honored (not a roast, really, but someone is assigned to say nice things about each honoree and introduce them to the crowd). People can attend that part or not, it’s up to them, but the cake sticks around for a couple of hours before any remaining cake is discarded, and people are free to come and go. For the last hour and a half or so, there’s generally nobody hanging around. People come in, grab a slice, and then go off to whatever they’re doing.


Xtina October 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Yes, every so often we run across this ray of light and symbol of hope for good manners and appropriateness in the world. I love the humor. And I bet people will (happily) give this girl a gift. I would!


Aje October 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I like it.


Katy October 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

@Kimberly- it’s the ‘anti-Gimmie pig’
I love this idea. When I had my second daughter recently I told everyone no gifts. Guess what? I’m still writing thank-you notes for all the cute little clothes we got. But I’m glad no one felt obligated to give anything.
I want to work at that office. It sounds fun.


alex October 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I think this is sweet. I would actually probably bring a gift, because I am sure with twins she could use all the help she can get. They probably did it so last minute as so people would not feel obligated to get gifts or anything, which was really nice.

I know it is tacky to say no-gifts but I think in this instance it totally works. πŸ™‚


josie October 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

That lady needs a frozen casserole….or 6!


MellowedOne October 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I *think* the admin was trying to show an example of someone who WASN’T being a gimme pig. I don’t think the invite was to show yet another gimme pig, but to show someone who…refreshingly..wasn’t being one.



June October 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I like it!
At our office, some people have duties over the lunch hour, so the length is probably to accommodate everyone. And that’s always a welcome sign, too!
Thanks for sharing, OP!


jen a. October 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I love the comment about stealing the money for the cake;) Generally I’m not big on this kind of thing, but I would have gone to this shower simply because it sounds like it was organized by fun people.


Just Laura October 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

@Kimberly- it’s the β€˜anti-Gimmie pig’

That’s not what the original title said, and I can see where Kimberly was confused. It has since been changed.


admin October 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

No, the title has not been changed.


Clair Seulement October 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

This is great! I’m just afraid that some dim bulb will probably take it to mean that mentioning gifts on invites is now OK…


Kate October 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

My thought on the length of time was perhaps the company doesn’t have everyone on lunch at the same time – maybe for the purposes of ensuring somebody is always at the phones for clients?

Very sweet. Nice to see somebody not obsessed with recieving gifts C:


jayne October 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

This is how “office showers” used to be in the “good old days” before everybody got so greedy. We would all gather and celebrate a co-worker’s marriage or pregnancy and if there was any contribution required, it was usually just a dollar or so to cover the cost of the cake and refreshments. If there was a gift, it was usually a group gift with everyone contributing just a few dollars towards it. That’s why etiquette originally made the exception to say it was okay to invite people to office bridal showers who weren’t invited to the wedding itself. (Obviously baby showers are different – you aren’t invited to the birth – and so naturally I cut them more slack than the office bridal showers. )

Now it seems that office showers have morphed into major gift giving occasions. Not being invited to a wedding is one thing – nobody should reasonably expect that all co-workers would get invited. But being expected to cough up the money for an expensive shower gift when you don’t rate a wedding invitation is another thing entirely. I just recently received several e-mail invitations to office bridal showers that included links to their registries – the invitations even stated that the bride would greatly appreciate it if all gifts were purchased off the registry. Right, as if I am going to spend $50 or more on someone I hardly know, never talk to, and who obviously doesn’t consider me important enough to invite to her wedding. I honestly don’t get that type of entitlement.

I’m more generous with office baby showers, assuming that I have a relationship with the co-worker in the first place. If I had received the posted invitation, I would probably have been so overcome with admiration that I would have given her a gift regardless, especially considering that mom needs two of everything. What a sweetheard that mom-to-be is.


Lynne October 14, 2011 at 12:41 am

I especially like the way that they labelled it “impromptu” — I don’t know how much warning it really was, but the sort of, “Oh, by the way, here’s this last-minute thing” really reinforces the message that gifts are not expected, because surely you wouldn’t even have had time to prepare for it….


Kimberly October 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

Ahhhh… I get it. Sorry, I read it wrong.

Yes, I agree, so nice and refreshing in this day and age.


Stepmomster October 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

So nice! I would have gone to that one, and would have gotten her a gift. I adore shopping for babies!


Cashie October 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I’m having a hard time understanding why some people think this invitation is tacky or strange. It’s hand-written (gasp, no one writes hand-written invites anymore!) and whimsical. It gave me a chuckle. I like it, and I wish I worked with people like this. My thoughts on the length of the ‘shower’ are that the office probably staggers its lunches so it is allowing everyone the opportunity to grab a piece of cake and bad coffee. πŸ™‚


Michelle October 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I love this! Also, agree with Cashie et al. about staggered times to attend based on work requirements – though specifically, I read “been with this branch two months” to indicate a bank of some sort!


Enna October 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

I like this kind of Baby Shower. Would take it as a way to get to know my collegues if I was the Mum to be.


Mabel October 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Yay Isolde! For not being a gimme pig and yay to her mother for giving her such a cool name. πŸ™‚


MW October 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

Re: Jayne

I completely agree with what you wrote about wedding/baby showers. It has definitely become a major gift-giving thing. At my last job, the showers were incredibly generous. Getting an invitation showed me how that was possible. My other jobs usually requested a donation of around $5 for modest gifts and since I made a whopping $8/hour I thought this was a fair request.

However, these other office showers totally surprised me with constant requests of donations of at least $30. I love to be generous but frankly can’t afford to on the scale that they expected. I made $10/hour while the majority of my co-workers made over $50,000/year. I didn’t expect an invitation to every wedding since I only had a passing aquaintence with many of them but when I said I could only contribute $5, I’ll never forget the look of shock and incredulity. No, I wasn’t being cheap but I don’t even make a living wage!! Contributing to the social club which was “optional” was hard enough on my budget let only giving more than I donate to church for people who can well afford to buy their own mixing bowls.

My other memorable wedding shower memory comes from my husband’s cousin. Her registry list included expensive and bizarre items (like a $150 ravioli maker) and frankly I was shocked I was even invited to the shower since we are not close. I thought I was being unfair and maybe she wasn’t the self-centered jerk I always thought her to be. I should have known that it was just a “gimme” thing. We scraped together enough to buy her a nice gift worth $50 and I sat there and pleasantly smiled while she was even more insufferable than usual at the shower. I was talking to my sister-in-law when the bride-to-be came over and started talking to her about the bachelorette party right afterwards! I was so taken aback , I said nothing but I was infuriated that I was good enough to invite to her shower and give her and her fiance who’ve been living together for years an expensive gift but not good enough to come to the bachelorette party or the wedding. I never brought it up again but she she had a baby shortly afterwards, and I was invited to a “meet-the-baby” shower, needless to say, I passed on that.


MW October 26, 2011 at 8:46 am

I should also add that my sister-in-law was not close to the cousin either and we shared a similar opinion of her.


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