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The Mainstream Media Endorses Entitlement

I’m pregnant with our first child and have been excited at all the information that I am learning to prepare for our special one!  I recently had this e-mail sent to me from a popular parenting magazine and was so glad that I follow Etiquette Hell!

It’s no wonder more and more people think it’s okay to throw their own baby shower when articles like this show up!


Under the question:   Who should throw my baby shower? it reads: “If you’re really into party planning or everyone else in your life is just too busy, go ahead and plan your shower yourself — just ask a friend to send the invites and gather the RSVPs”.

So basically, if I don’t think my friends are going to step up and give me all the stuff that I deserve as a new mom, then it’s okay for me to throw a party and say, “GIMMEE!!” Sheesh!

Thanks for all you do to educate people on etiquette! 0406-16

The sense of entitlement is not diminishing and the media is an accomplice to the growing expectation that one deserves to receive gifts from people by any means necessary.  We are slowly becoming a nation of people who habitually have their hand out expecting to be given things that our ancestors worked hard to provide for themselves.


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  • Anna April 7, 2016, 8:44 am

    This isn’t as bad as the “virtual” baby showers, which are basically just emails asking for gifts.

    For the uninitiated, a virtual baby shower is when you receive an e-vite with some kind of cutesy message, the notification that the email IS the baby shower, and the information of where the parents are registered.

    • GeenaG April 7, 2016, 12:21 pm

      Sometimes it’s the only kind of a shower someone can have. My DIL was going to go back for her home city which is an 8 hour drive away for her baby shower. However she has been put on bedrest 5 months into her pregnancy and she may remain on it. She is not allowed to travel and can either have a online/ FaceTime shower with her family or none at all.

      • Dee April 7, 2016, 12:45 pm

        GeenaG – Nothing bad will happen if there isn’t a shower. The baby will be born just the same. The expectation that there needs to be a shower or else is the problem. Many babies are welcomed into this world without a shower and it makes not a lick of difference to their existence.

      • Ally April 7, 2016, 12:50 pm

        I think your DIL’s situation is different, though. It sounds like there was a plan for a shower – even if it wasn’t close enough for invites to go out – but she essentially had to cancel for her health. Those close to the mom-to-be would probably send a gift anyway. She technically is not having a shower, but is having those who love her sending her well wishes and gifts, and will be using technology to thank them as close to in-person as it gets.

        I think it’s something else entirely where the point all along is still receive gifts but getting out of hosting, like Anna mentioned.

      • Kat April 7, 2016, 1:11 pm

        I think making the effort to connect via FaceTime makes this better than what Anna is describing. I’d say that’s okay.

      • Lacey April 7, 2016, 1:38 pm

        But…it’s still just asking for gifts and not providing any hospitality for your guests. Why is it ok?

      • Lacey April 7, 2016, 1:39 pm

        In that case, couldn’t a friend arrange for some close friends and family to go to her? The online thing isn’t her only option.

      • Cindy April 7, 2016, 3:22 pm

        I have a friend who was put on bedrest well before she was due but after the invites for the baby shower went out. All the invitees were notified that the shower was postponed because obviously, the mother-to-be couldn’t attend. The shower went forth after the baby was born, and baby was even able to attend. Everything worked out fine that way.

      • AnaMaria April 7, 2016, 5:42 pm

        I’m guessing this mom-to-be must be terribly lonely but probably doesn’t want a room full of people surrounding her when she is so limited in what she can do. The FaceTime shower sounds more like a way to cheer her up than a demand for gifts.

  • Ashley April 7, 2016, 10:18 am

    It goes on to say it’s okay to throw a shower for any child after the first child as well.

    This whole article reminds me of a woman I know who planned the shower for each of her three kids, then talked about the showers excessively on Facebook.

    Stuff like “We’re X number of days away from ________’s shower! Please let me know if you are coming” (note, this was broadcast even to those who weren’t invited)


    “We’re X number of days away from _____’s shower, and I still need someone to bring ____, ______, and _______” (fill the blanks in with any food item you want, and it wasn’t ever ASKING people to bring them, it was always “I NEED”)

    Drove me nuts. Thankfully I think she’s done having kids now.

    • AppleEye April 8, 2016, 5:37 am

      I may be in the mimority, but I think it’s ok for a friend to throw a small, no-registry ‘sprinkle’ type party for a second child, just to celebrate and maybe help stock up on consumables like diapers and wipes. On the other hand, I know someone who planned and threw her own showers right up the 5th kid (one kid every 10-12 months, so they were very close in age and they were all the same gender), and for every shower she had a huge registry full of $100 diaper bags and so forth. Facebook invitations, publicly posted her registry. She never could understand why people didn’t go.

      • Ashley April 8, 2016, 11:25 am

        Oh don’t get me wrong, if people want to gift diapers and necessities (Because you can never have enough burp clothes), that’s just fine. But this woman was doing full on showers with full on registries.

        And another woman I know did the same for her two kids, and she picked like, THE MOST expensive stuff she could. Then she posted the registry once a day on Facebook. She had the kid two months ago and she’s STILL posting the registry, saying “For those who couldn’t make it to the shower but still want to help ______, here’s our registry!”

      • Amanda H. April 8, 2016, 8:31 pm

        This is why when people insisted on having a party for my subsequent children, I insisted that we needed nothing (four girls, and we kept all the clothes and things from previous kids so we weren’t hurting for anything), and if anything I’d rather just have a get-together to socialize and eat snacks. Especially for my most recent, who was born about seven months after we moved several states away and thus such a party would give me a chance to get to know other ladies better. Each time, a few people still brought gifts (and I dutifully sent thank-yous), but for me, all I wanted was a fun hour or two with people I wanted to get to know better.

      • Tiff May 4, 2016, 3:00 pm

        If people choose to give a gift upon the birth of subsequent children they should do so without needing someone to set up a ‘sprinkle’ or diaper shower for second, third or more children. Setting up any gift giving party is putting the expectation out that gifts are required, no matter how inexpensive the gifts being expected are.

  • NostalgicGal April 7, 2016, 10:47 am

    Oh the gimmefests. It doesn’t matter what it is anymore, if something happens in your life or going to happen, everyone expects a tap to open and they be flooded with everything they need and want (most often now it’s forget a gift, money, lots of it, now, and if you’re lucky, please.)

    I recently lost a vatload of weight, reversed some health issues, and turned into nearly a new person. Someone came to me and told me I need to throw a party sort of thing to ‘celebrate the new me’ and register for some gifts. NO I Don’t! They seemed majorly surprised at my shock. But it’s a life milestone! May be, it is, but why do I need gifts (and to lay out for a party?) Uh…

    As it is here the quinceanera season is underway and the usual trying to find people to ‘sponsor’ their daughter so they can throw lavish events. They tend to rival a wedding…(not always but I’m not related to anyone here, I barely know any of these people and no I won’t give them $4k worth of pew bows or table and chair decorations with fresh flowers integrated)

    • Lerah99 April 7, 2016, 11:24 am

      I have a friend who got gastric bypass and lost over 200lbs.

      She threw a party and sent out invites that included suggests for the types of presents she wanted:
      – Gift cards to Macy’s, Dillards, JC Penny’s etc… because now she doesn’t have to shop in “fat lady” stores.
      – Money to go to her excess skin removal surgery.
      – Money to go to her “I’m finally skinny so I’m going on a cruise” vacation.

      At the party she only had bottled water, a veggie tray, fruit salad, cheese and crackers.
      She thanked everyone for coming. Invited them to eat.
      Brought out a life sized cut out of her right before surgery so she could stand next to it and everyone could ooooh and ahhhh over how skinny she is now.
      Then she opened presents.
      She thanked everyone for coming and ushered us out the door because she had to get ready for a hot date that night.

      All in all, the party lasted 45 minutes from start to finish.

      Losing a huge amount of weight is an incredible accomplishment. You should get support and love from your friends and family just like you would if you trained for and ran a marathon or climbed Everest or did any other really difficult but fulfilling thing.

      But to throw yourself a “I’m skinny now; give me presents and money” is a little over the top.

      Also, I can’t believe people expect you to just give them thousands of dollars in your products and services. That is crazy.

      The quinceaneras in my area don’t tend to be that elaborate. They are on par with a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. So there may be a rented hall, a dj, and a buffet. But no one is dropping thousands of dollars on flowers and decorations.

      I can’t imagine how hard it is for working families to try to “keep up with the Joneses” if that is the typical quinceanera party in your area. People could save for over a decade and still not be able to afford it.

      • Amanda H. April 7, 2016, 1:33 pm

        My sister, a freelance cake decorator, got asked to do a quinceanera cake for an event. Thankfully she was actually paid for her services, rather than expected to do it for free as a “sponsor.” Knowing my sister, she would’ve flat-out refused to do it for free. She doesn’t have the time to spare to be giving away free cakes.

      • Mizz Etiquette April 7, 2016, 1:49 pm

        Ugh. Super rude (about your friend)

        I hope she’s gained some class with that weight loss.

    • UKHelen April 7, 2016, 11:30 am

      I’d never heard of quinceanera season but the pix I’ve found all look like weddings. Surely, as with a wedding, you have what you can afford – why on earth would anyone ‘sponsor’ you? It’s a lovely idea to celebrate a young girl, but to someone who’s never heard of it, it looks a bit OTT. That’s fine if you can afford it but if not, don’t ask.

      NostalgicGal, many many congratulations on your weight loss.

      • NostalgicGal April 8, 2016, 11:24 am

        TY. It aged me and I will not have skin reduction, partly because I can’t afford it. However, the health gain is what I was after and that is my payoff and ‘thank you to me’ for it. Thank you again for the congrats.

    • Amanda H. April 7, 2016, 1:29 pm

      See, I can understand throwing a party to celebrate your weight loss. Some people just want to share big events like that with their friends. Where the line should be drawn is at the “register for some gifts” part of that suggestion. Not every party needs gifts, people. Sometimes a party is just to have fun, celebrate something, and maybe get to know people better.

      • kingsrings April 7, 2016, 11:47 pm

        I’m in the process of losing weight and shaping up right now, too. Maybe I should throw myself a shower for it! It would certainly save me a lot of money on all the new size clothes I have to buy! ; )
        I have definitely heard of women throwing their own baby showers. I’ve known some of them! Their excuse for doing so is that nobody else stepped up to host one for them, so they had to do it themselves. And they say how else were they supposed to get all the stuff they need for their baby? Definite entitlement that they deserve and are owed all the baby stuff.

        As for the quincaneras, I thought that this was something that the family had put money aside for years for? And that other non-immediate family members chipped in for as well? That is how Bar and Bat Mitzvahs go. They’re not entitled to free stuff either. If you can’t afford it, then don’t throw one.

        • NostalgicGal April 8, 2016, 11:14 am

          My weightloss ‘party’ is consisting of firing up the sewing machine and redoing some of my old clothes and some thrift store finds. That’s good enough for me. 200# is a major accomplishment but nobody is OWED a cruise OR a new wardrobe for doing it. Some help for extra skin removal should be included in the care one receives after the surgery.

          Quinceaneras are huge affairs here. I do award ribbons and such, and henceforth ran into it badly last year when people showed up wanting all these decorations; and wanted me to LOAN them (and spring for the fresh flowers that went in some of it) ‘for advertising and exposure’. When that didn’t work, I was asked to sponsor the girl. I had five of these in one morning and one family left incensed and rattled off to another one showing up (venom, fury, and fire) over I dared to turn down sponsoring their precious. (I went to the Padre and he shut this down). They also were trying to order stuff to be picked up the next day when this was 6-8 weeks worth of get supplies and make the items… not even the flower shop could get their flowers in that fast. This year I just had the Padre make some early announcements and make sure to inform parents as they planned, that sponsorship is an HONOR not a shakedown. (how they could afford $30-50k for a quince THEN a wedding in a few more years is beyond my comprehension)

          • Just4Kicks April 8, 2016, 2:34 pm

            A cut out of her former fat self, (I’m not fat shaming, btw, I am overweight myself), to stand next to and take photos?!?
            Just when I think I’ve heard everything….turns out I haven’t!

          • Leigh April 11, 2016, 8:34 am

            NostalgicGal You have accomplished something amazing, and I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you, and I would celebrate for you and with you if I could!!!

    • Snowy May 3, 2016, 9:21 pm

      I’m not having kids, I don’t want to get married, I don’t get birthday presents, and I graduated from college a long time ago (with no party). I’ll also probably be a renter my whole life, so no housewarmings. In the meantime, I’m giving people gifts for kids, weddings, second weddings, graduations, grandkids, milestone birthdays, housewarmings…

      So sometimes I fantasize about throwing a Carrie Bradshaw-esque “me” party, registry and all. (Not that I will, but it’s kind of fun to fantasize about!)

  • JD April 7, 2016, 11:09 am

    This does seem to be getting worse all the time. People declare it’s fine to give yourself a shower, wait a year to send a thank you (if ever), and ignore rsvp’s, as if the World Council on Etiquette had called a meeting and decided such abuses to be correct. These people never seem to think the converse — that THEY then owe someone else a gift at every self-serving party, don’t need a thank you for what they give, and can be ignored when requesting rsvp’s.
    Of course, I could be speaking too quickly — it seems like we’ve had some submissions in which people seem just fine with the idea of being abused by their friends in that manner, up to a point, anyway. I think an rsvp suddenly becomes important to even the most etiquette-challenged person when said person has to pay a caterer.

    • NostalgicGal April 8, 2016, 11:15 am

      Your last sentence, SO TRUE! However the clue-by-four only seems to work for the once, when it’s the own person’s pocket being dinged. It very quickly fades as soon as that painful bit passes.

  • Wild Irish Rose April 7, 2016, 11:13 am

    I found the suggestion that gifts can be opened later grating as well. My son and his GF recently had a baby shower (thrown by her mother–welcome to e-hell, Mom!) and they didn’t want to open the gifts there. I told them both that there were guests who had traveled over an hour to attend, and they needed to open the presents right then and there. They kept dragging their feet but finally, after we’d been there about TWO HOURS, they got around to opening the gifts. Now if I could just get them to send out those thank-you cards . . . .

    • Ally April 7, 2016, 1:03 pm

      Oh my, good for you for putting your foot down. I would hate that. As a guest who puts forth the effort to buy and wrap a present, and then travel to a shower, I LOVE seeing my presents opened, plus seeing everyone else’s too. If you (general) are going to throw a party where the whole point is receiving presents, then shouldn’t the whole focus of the party revolve around seeing ~and thanking~ people for said presents?

    • AnkhMorpork April 7, 2016, 2:30 pm

      I don’t know – I kinda agree with the article there. That is the WORST part of any shower – Wedding or Baby. Sitting there while they open gift after gift. So dull. I would much rather play a stupid game or sit around and talk or do ANYTHING rather than just sit around and do nothing but watch gifts be opened. I really wish not opening gifts at showers could become more in trend. I even hated doing it at my wedding shower – everyone starring at me and all I could think was “do i look excited enough about this cake set? I don’t want to look not excited even though I’m never gonna use this thing – I better grin even more!” Nope Nope Nope. No one that I know likes being in that seat or watching it.

      • Mark2 April 7, 2016, 5:56 pm

        I agree!I loathe watching gifts open. Besides being boring, I hate it if I’ve gotten some real practical gift and the bride/mother/birthday kids reaction is just okay, but someone else gives something super cool and then nothing else matters. I rarely have parties where I expect presents to be brought but when they are, I tell my kids to either wait to open or do it only in the givers presence.

      • Toni April 7, 2016, 6:07 pm

        I agree…it is dull dull dull. Yawn.

        And in these days of registries, there is really no surprise about anything.

      • Lerah99 April 8, 2016, 8:58 am

        I’m the exact opposite.
        I LOATH several of the popular baby shower games: melted candybar in the diaper, blindfold feeding people baby food, who can drink the bottle the fastest without using their hands, etc…

        My favorite part is watching the mom-to-be open the gifts.
        I love seeing what everyone brought.
        I love seeing the mom-to-be so happy and thankful.
        To me, that is the shower.

        • Amanda H. April 8, 2016, 8:38 pm

          I rather dislike those shower games you mentioned as well. Bleh. I prefer shower activities that encourage socialization more, or involve giving advice to the mom-to-be. Games like making as many words as possible out of the new baby’s name, or guessing the size of the mtb’s belly. Though the guess-the-baby-food game was entertaining when not blindfolded and when the attendees could talk about what they thought was in the containers.

          But when I attend showers, I find it most fun to see what cute baby things the mtb gets, and socialize with everyone while it’s going on.

      • Ashley April 8, 2016, 11:27 am

        But the whole point of the shower is the gifts to congratulate the couple?

  • Izzley April 7, 2016, 11:52 am

    Loath as we may be to admit it, etiquette does change, as do expectations about events.

    When I was planning for my wedding (2009) I thought it was tacky to put registry information on the invite. I did not include registry information. I received a spate of flustered inquiries from nearly half the invitees – friends and families alike about where the heck was my registry info? Why didn’t I include it on the invitation? If I see in the info on an invitation *now* I shrug and think, yeah, it’s helpful that it’s there. I’ve never thought of anyone as acting the “gimme pig.”

    I don’t think I’d be offended if I was invited to a friend’s own shower. I hardly even know anyone’s physical address anymore – I usually get my invitation to events through FB, which might be a little hard to coordinate by someone else. One friend planned their own event because they didn’t want to expect anyone else to do it for them – the friend thought THAT expectation was rude.

  • Cleosia April 7, 2016, 12:42 pm

    The “give-me-something” people are everywhere. I recall awhile back someone on a funding site asking for donations so they could go on vacation. I haven’t been on a vacation in way too many years (decades, actually) because I don’t have money to spare for that kind of thing. I certainly am not going to fund somebody else’s luxury item.

    If you have the money to spare, fine, enjoy your vacation. But don’t go begging compete strangers for the money as if it’s your due.

    • JD April 8, 2016, 10:16 am

      Amen! Years ago, our high school was silly enough to let the senior trip be a week long cruise to the islands or the coasts of Mexico (I’m in Florida). Of course, many kids couldn’t afford to go on such a long cruise, so the school would hold fundraisers, the main one being simply going around asking for money. I was a single, self-supporting, struggling bank teller making a nickel over minimum wage, and two well-dressed senior girls approached my window asking if I’d like to donate to the senior cruise. I said no, thank you. They raised their eyebrows and said in shocked tones, “But it’s for the SENIOR CRUISE! Don’t you want us all to be able to go?!” I replied that I couldn’t afford to take any vacation, but if I ever did get the money, I would be paying for my own, not a stranger’s, sorry. They left, no doubt calling me a name that starts with a B.

      • Just4Kicks April 9, 2016, 2:44 am

        @JD: Good for you, I applaud your spine.
        When my older sister was a senior in high school, one of her friends parents rented a beach house at the Jersey Shore for her daughter and pals (no adults) for a week.
        All the kids going had to pony up $200.00 for food and expenses.
        My sister gleefully told my parents, and asked for the money.
        My folks pretty much had a stroke and said “NO WAY”!
        But….but it’s SENIOR WEEK!!! Why not?!?
        “First of all….your dad and I do not have money to take a vacation this year, and you expect us to hand you $200.00?!? Uh….No.”
        “Secondly….No adults?!? Uh….No.”
        Then my sister pulled the ultimate faux pas, she asked her friends mom to call my folks to talk them into letting them go.
        I was pretty young, but, boy oh boy….do I remember THAT phone call and the aftermath!
        My folks were FURIOUS!!!
        ….And the boy my sister was dating got drunk and fell down a long flight of stairs, breaking an arm and a leg and knocked all his front teeth out.
        My mom said after she heard about that incident, “uh huh….NO ALCOHOL would be there you said, your dad and I aren’t that dumb”!!!

        • Just4Kicks April 10, 2016, 11:38 am

          The boy who got drunk and fell down the stairs was at the beach house my sister wanted to go to.
          The mom who called my mom to chastise her for not letting my sister go, was VERY adamant in that there would be NO alcohol at the beach house. Yeah….right.
          She further insulted my mom by saying “I’ll give your daughter the $200.00 to go, since your daughter said that was the problem”.
          To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mom so mad at my sister because she went crying to this mom about what “meanies” my folks were they wouldn’t let her go.
          I asked my sister later that day, “Did you REALLY think you would be able to go, just because Lisa’s mom called our Mom?!? All THAT did was paid mom off even MORE!!!”
          I barely ducked in time to miss the shoe my sister winged at my head. 🙂

          • Just4Kicks April 10, 2016, 11:39 am

            ….piss mom off even more…..not paid….Oops.

    • Cat April 13, 2016, 10:56 am

      I was leaving a grocery store when a young girl, who was reclining in a lounge chair, called out to me, “Hey! You want to send me to New York?” She did not bother to rise from her prone position. Her mom was seated next to her.
      I bit my tongue to keep from replying, “Only if you promise not to come back.” and simply said, “No.”
      She looked to be around ten years old. Amazing.

      • Just4Kicks April 20, 2016, 2:29 pm

        @Cat: Unreal. I do love your response, the one you wanted to say! 🙂

        My kids aren’t perfect, but the entitlement of some kids these days floor me.
        My daughter was playing with one of her pals at our sons baseball game a few weeks back, and this girl walked up to the field, and was supposed to call home when she got there but didn’t.
        Her mom was worried, and drove up to the field to make sure she got there okay, and said “That’s WHY you have a phone! Use it please, I was worried.”
        The mom and I were chatting, and this girl says to my daughter, “Hey! I can come to your house on Friday and sleep over! Friday it is! I can’t wait!”
        “Um, (my daughter’s) dad and I aren’t sure what the end of the week is looking like right now, my daughter will let you know if that fits into our schedule.”
        Then they walked away and I heard this girl say “oh my God! We are going to have so much fun Friday night when I come over!!! You know, we should invite girl A and girl B too!!!”
        Well, holy hell….really?!?
        I saw my daughter look over her shoulder to see my reaction, and she got the “raised eyebrow”….my daughter knows what that means, and later said to me “yeah….I know, no sleepover….I can’t believe my friend just kept going like she didn’t hear you!!!”
        Turns out, we did have plans, and I was pretty glad about it.

  • Dee April 7, 2016, 12:52 pm

    The whole shower issue is a problem that should have been resolved during childhood, when Mom and Dad talked to the kids about etiquette and so on. It’s odd, to me, that so many people enter adulthood not knowing proper etiquette for common events. Having said that, it is impossible to teach kids these kinds of lessons when the modern trend to exclude them from all formal events (weddings, showers, funerals) is so prevalent. So many people deliberately exclude children from family events and then wonder why those kids, when grown, don’t have a clue about realistic expectations regarding milestones. That part of their education is lacking, a void waiting to be filled by materialistic entities, such as this magazine. We create our own monsters and then complain about them.

    • NostalgicGal April 8, 2016, 11:32 am

      I remember attending showers for relatives when young. I learned to behave, be polite, and what was expected by doing (started going along about school age). It was ‘being with the ladies’ and an expected part of growing up. I also seen Mom buy gifts, we would wrap them and put the card with it…so what was expected and how to go about that as well. IF smalls are brought they should be at the point where they can be well behaved for a few hours, and not through a naptime! And feed the kid (one wedding shower I remember mom packed me PB&J and a little carton of milk, I ate that instead of the “foofery” that had been fixed for the grown up guests).

      • Jazzgirl205 April 12, 2016, 5:56 am

        I’m rather churchy and took my dd to church every Sunday since she was a baby. One benefit of this is that children learn early on that there are some places where they must sit quietly and listen or at least speak in a very low voice. Once they learn this, they can be taken to the symphony, the ballet, gallery shows, and grownup events. It is also good to explain what is expected behavior beforehand.
        When I see a child who continually throws tantrums and acts up in public, I feel sorry for them because they can’t be (or aren’t) taken to nice places and are therefore missing a pleasant chunk of life.

        • AnaMaria April 12, 2016, 10:35 pm

          Yes, being a church-goer had a huge impact on me as a child! I’m 29 now and my parents still like to brag that my brother and I had no trouble sitting through a meal at a restaurant or any formal event- we practiced every Sunday! I can remember in grade school, I could NOT understand why some of my peers could not just sit down and zip it when the teacher was talking- now I realize that most of those kids were never made to practice sitting still or being quiet!

  • PatGreen April 7, 2016, 12:52 pm

    One of the reasons I feel bad for younger people. They get articles like this. They see a friend do it. They suppose it’s acceptable. And if an older person tells them they are not supposed to host such parties their friends assure the person in question that times have changed and etiquette rules along with them. Here is my reminder to new parents, teach your children to not ask for gifts when they are young, don’t release them upon the world half taught.

  • Lisa Hughes April 7, 2016, 1:16 pm

    I’m most amused by the idea that it’s okay to plan your shower yourself — just ask a friend to send the invites and gather the RSVPs. It makes it look as if you’re NOT planning it.

    • Agania April 7, 2016, 7:15 pm

      This totally! Be crass enough to plan your own party but skirt the crassness by getting a friend to appear to host by sending out the invites! Just shows that the writer of the ‘advice’ column knows exactly that etiquette is being violated but has found a way to hide it.

    • Aleko April 9, 2016, 2:23 am

      And, of course, saddles the friend with all the work.

  • Kate April 7, 2016, 1:23 pm

    I’m conflicted about this. Baby showers are a very western concept. Culturally, my family throw their own parties, pay for their guests, etc. So we’re fine with technically throwing our own baby showers (which only my generation started doing since we’ve lived in the US), but with help from a friend or relative maybe. All food, refreshments, games, etc., to be provided/paid for by the person throwing their own party.

    • Pk April 8, 2016, 11:03 am

      It’s the same in our culture too! I’m an Indian living in the United States and in our culture baby shower is called ‘Godh Bharai’ and it’s always paid for and thrown by either grandparents or parents themselves. And the gifts are never expensive! Maybe in the $25 – $30 range.

      Different cultures have different etiquettes and I think this diversity is beautiful. Not strange.

      More about Godh Bharai – http://www.babycenter.in/a1018734/igodh-bharaii—indian-baby-shower

    • NostalgicGal April 8, 2016, 11:20 am

      My mom’s extended family, they would pool the baby (cra…) stuff, and whoever needed it could collect it and use it, then it would move on. My bassinette had been a cousin’s, and it went past several others after me… Stuff got occasionally added, or at times replaced, and we had to eventually get a couple of some things to join the pool. Onesies that will be used a few times? Lots of those… etc. Showers often yielded things like diapers and true useful stuff, and the gathering of the pile to be turned over to new-mom-to-be. The glass bottles I used, had come from a couple of cousins, mom had to buy a few, and they went onwards after I got past that… she did keep all my cloth diapers and they were dustrags until after I left home…

  • JesBelle April 7, 2016, 3:15 pm

    Let’s do like Finland and have a baby box instead.

    • Ashley April 8, 2016, 11:28 am

      I actually saw an article that shows that it’s becoming more and more common. It’s not to the point where the government or hospitals are giving them out but many more places are doing it all over the world. I wish I could remember who posted it, I’d dig it up and post it.

  • not my usual pseudonym April 7, 2016, 3:53 pm

    In reading this, I’m wondering if I made an etiquette faux-pas. A friend offered to throw me a baby shower (I’m expecting my first child); however, she recently had her own baby. Knowing that the first few months can be particularly hard, especially for first time moms, and, as a result, that she would likely need to do a lot of prep to get her own home ready for a party, I offered that she could host it at my home. Was that wrong?

    • AnaMaria April 7, 2016, 5:47 pm

      I’ve attended plenty of showers in the mom/bride-to-be’s home that were hosted by someone else. Most of the mom/bride’s friends will know how to find her home more easily and then the gifts don’t need to be transported.

    • Mark2 April 7, 2016, 5:59 pm

      No. I see no reason why you can’t offer your home.

    • caverat April 7, 2016, 9:42 pm

      hosting it at the expecting mother’s home is totally reasonable, IMO. That’s exactly what we did when we threw my best friend her baby shower. After all, you wind up being a pregnant woman with a bunch of stuff to lug home. Why not have it there already? We were still most definitely the people hosting it though, not her!

    • Becca April 8, 2016, 9:48 am

      Offering a venue is completely acceptable. This will also make it nicer for folks who may not know her as much as they know you, it’s a little daunting going to someone else’s home that you only know through a mutual friend in my experience.

    • Cat April 13, 2016, 10:33 am

      It’s fine so long as it is not a surprise party. I have an image of being pregnant, in my bathrobe and having decided to take the day off and not do the normal housework when, Surprise! Here come all my friends to surprise me with a baby shower.
      Just kidding, of course. I know you would not do that.

  • FunkyMunky April 7, 2016, 11:36 pm

    I just got a baby shower invitation wherein I was instructed not to bring a card, but to write a message in a book and give that instead of card (because cards are “wasteful and just get thrown away”).

    I’m stumped, since not only do I know a lot of people keeps cards as keepsakes, but I usually give books as gifts; am I supposed to give two books, one as my gift and one as my ‘card’? Does a book not count as a gift if it’s being used as a card too?

    EvilMunky sort of hopes the mum-to-be receives twenty copies of the same book as ‘cards’; being written in, they won’t be able to be exchanged or returned.

    • Becca April 8, 2016, 9:55 am

      My mom loves cards and gives them every birthday, her friend’s grandchildren now all have one for each year that their mom keeps in their scrapbooks. They always say “This must be D’s gift, it has a card!”, apparently cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past and we never even realized it.

      I still can’t get over how tacky it is to request this kind of thing. If you want to start a tradition of writing in a book, then do it and share it with others hoping it catches on. You don’t tell others what to do like that!

      I’m giggling over copies of the same book, one year for my birthday my friends all got me the same book because it was a supermarket special on my favorite boyband of the time. It was hilarious because it was so unplanned and nobody saw it coming.

    • Caitlyn April 8, 2016, 12:30 pm

      I like it when they request books, because I’m an avid reader and love to cultivate that interest in children. However, if I’m bringing a book, that’s my gift, not as a “card” in addition to the gift! But I usually give a book without being asked, and this really is dictating what present people should get you (a registry is okay because they still have a choice, but limiting it to books only seems a little presumptuous).

    • kolobok April 8, 2016, 2:25 pm

      I recently attended a course for soon-to-be first time parents offered in my community. At one point, one of the women there suggested to the group that, “if you haven’t had your baby shower yet, ask the guests to bring a book signed with a message instead of a card. We got a great library for our baby this way!” I guess this is a pretty common tactic now.

      (I’m actually getting the opposite kind of flak: I’m getting pressure to register, but I refuse to because I don’t like the idea of registries at all).

    • Snarkastic April 18, 2016, 5:42 pm

      I think the point is that the book with your message in it is the gift. It’s a nice thought that the child will have a personalized library.

      • Orange Sherbert June 2, 2016, 8:30 pm

        A friend (Aunty D) always gives a selection of ‘little golden books’ as shower gifts, she writes a lovely message in each one to the child to be, and some of these children are now almost ready to have their own children and seem to be very excited by the Aunty D’s not so subtle questions about which are their favourites.

        Maybe this is what your friend means?

  • AS April 8, 2016, 9:00 am

    Where I was brought up, the mother of the mother-to-be threw the baby “shower”. BUT, there was no expectations of a gift! Baby showers (for the lack of a better word when translated to English) were held during the 7th month, to welcome a new baby. It was also a time to pamper the expectant mother, by cooking all her favorite food, and dolling her up for the day. I think back in the day when women did all the house-hold work and took care of the family, even when pregnant, this was a day when she could sit back and let her mother and aunts pamper her. The only gifts that she received were a lot of advice!

    (NOTE: I’m not trying to say that one culture is better than the other. I’m just pointing out the difference).

    The link submitted by OP says that baby showers are to welcome a baby, but then proceeds with all the gifts that are expected.

  • barb April 9, 2016, 8:14 pm

    why is it alright to throw a birthday party, housewarming, or wedding for yourself or a family member, but not a baby shower? I just don’t get the distinction.

    • Shannan April 12, 2016, 9:41 am

      Weddings are OK because those are ceremonies. The gift-giving usually happens at the shower and whatever is brought to the wedding is opened later. Birthday parties for yourself are never OK past childhood. Not sure about housewarmings.

    • Kai Y. Lowell April 12, 2016, 7:56 pm

      It actually is not proper etiquette to throw your own birthday party, as our dear admin has said many times before.

    • lakey April 13, 2016, 1:08 am

      The problem is that it is rude to ask people to give you gifts. When I throw a party for myself, and that party’s main purpose is to give me gifts, that is rude. When I throw myself a baby shower, I am basically telling people that they owe it to me to supply me with all the stuff I need for my baby. They don’t.

      A wedding is different, the ceremony, not gift giving, is the center of everything. The couple or family host a party afterwards as celebration of the event. You are not required to give gifts, but almost everyone does.

      In my area very few adults throw birthday parties for themselves where gifts are expected. The last birthday party I attended for an adult had virtually no gift giving. I don’t know anyone who throws house warming parties.

      If you don’t have anyone throwing a baby shower for you, most of your friends and relatives are going to give you gifts for the baby out of the goodness of their hearts, not because you expect it or ask for it. I always give baby gifts to friends and relatives who are having a baby, whether there is a shower or not. If a friend of mine is getting married in a low key ceremony, or for the 2nd or 3rd time, I give them a gift. They don’t ask, and they don’t expect it.

    • Cat April 13, 2016, 10:49 am

      It’s not all right to throw your own birthday party. You especially cannot demand that your friends pay for the birthday party you have planned.
      Housewarmings do not require a gift beyond a plant or a bottle of wine.
      You really have to have your own wedding. It’s not something someone else can do for you. Arranged marriages are unusual here.
      Baby showers are more of a gift grab. I have even been told what I am going to bring to a baby shower. Sorry, if I give a gift, it is of my choosing. You buy what you want; I buy what I want to give you. Most friends will bring a gift to celebrate a birth even without a shower being given.

    • Lacey April 13, 2016, 2:07 pm

      Showers are the only party that have the sole purpose of giving gifts. You’re basically not allowed to ask for gifts for yourself. And some people (myself included) do think it’s tacky to throw yourself a birthday party unless you’re paying for everything and have no expectation of gifts. For weddings, a gift is traditionally given, but it’s still not ok to expressly ask for or expect one, and hopefully you’re providing more food and entertainment than you would at a shower. It’s just that it looks and feels like you’re just asking your friends to give you stuff if you host a party of which the ENTIRE point is to accumulate stuff. Personally, I actually dislike showers thrown by anyone for that reason.

  • Barbarian April 12, 2016, 7:33 pm

    I have had coworkers who got so many gifts at the first or more showers that the office would ask “Let’s have a book shower for the baby”. No thanks. If they have everything they need, then I am not contributing. One coworker had her third child in three years. The office wanted everyone to contribute to a spa outing for the new mom. No thanks.

  • Green123 April 13, 2016, 4:08 am

    As a British person, I am utterly bemused by the trend for baby showers.

  • Cat April 13, 2016, 10:42 am

    I stand amazed at the number of people who think it correct to throw their own birthday parties, baby/wedding showers, and demand that people celebrate their greed with gifts.
    As I have said before, I have everything I need and, if I truly want something, I buy it for myself. What I want for celebrations is cake! The glory of a freshly baked cake with butter cream frosting and decorations! I want my friends to sit around a table and to forget our diets for one day. Let us eat cake!

    • Green123 April 15, 2016, 4:44 am

      In the UK, we don’t really have baby showers or wedding showers, thank goodness.

      But planning, hosting, and inviting friends to ones own birthday party (as in, ‘I’m having a party at my house on Saturday at 7pm, there will be food and drinks and party games, please come’ OR ‘I’m going celebrate at Thingybob Restaurant / Bar on Thursday at 7.30pm, please come and join me’ is perfectly normal. In the party at home scenario, most people would bring a bottle; in the bar/restaurant scenario, people would expect to pay for their own food and drinks, and would probably buy the birthday boy or girl a drink too. Most people would bring a birthday gift, or at the very least a card, to either gathering.

      In the UK workplace, however, for the most part it’s the birthday boy or girl who brings in cake to share on their birthday.

  • Lacey April 13, 2016, 2:08 pm

    I mean, unless the bride or mother-to-be is actually in a bad financial situation or something. That’s never been the case of any shower I’ve gone to, though. I still need someone to explain why I have to give a bride both a shower and a wedding gift.

    • Girlie April 14, 2016, 11:46 am

      I guess a shower is meant for “showering with gifts”.. so the whole point is a present. But at a wedding, a present is not required- it is just given with love, if you want to. They’re inviting you to celebrate their nuptials, not to get a present (although I know these days with honeymoon registries, “cash only please”, etc, it seems like otherwise..”)

  • Girlie April 14, 2016, 11:00 am

    Thoughts on this.. baby shower buzz is going around for me (currently pregnant) and I’m dreading another type of bridal shower, which was over 60-70 people for mine and lovingly thrown by community/friends (about 12 hostesses). I REALLY don’t want another huge shower, but I do want to do some kind of small celebration with my immediate family and best friends. Is it a faux pas for my mom to host something for our immediate family and best friends? About 25 people. It’s the only way we can avoid the huge over-the-top shower, which would then require hostesses and the same list of over 70+ people being invited. We come from a community where it’s extremely hard to cut the line because if you invite one person, you have to invite their cousin, best friend, aunt, sister, mother, etc. It’s nuts.. so the only option was to cut it just at family and say bridal party from our wedding with mom hosting it. Thoughts??

  • Liz June 13, 2016, 3:42 am

    Twenty years ago, we celebrated Australian mothers-to-be with an office collection (if a working mother), or friends would collaborate. None of this entitlement!

    Move on to now, and it’s showers, and hens’ nights and expectations of gift after gift after stripper after gift! (And not necessarily in that order…).

    Dang it! Get married if you choose to, buy a house if you can afford to, have children if you can – and want to. Stop expecting me to fund your choices.

    (Just as a note, and it’s NOT bitter: We couldn’t have children, due to his chemo and radio therapies. We didn’t get married – it would have been too much. But I loved him, he loved me, our friends loved us (mostly), our families didn’t approve of either of us, but that would have been truth for any of our chosen ones.

    We loved each other. We loved/ I love our friends. I still treasure our one engagement present – which was given with love, and no ulterior motives. And no reason to bring anything to our party (some time ago, now) than yourselves, because we love/d you too.