Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: Andicatt on November 14, 2013, 01:38:56 PM

Title: Baby Shower
Post by: Andicatt on November 14, 2013, 01:38:56 PM
I'm going to be giving a baby shower in a few weeks.  I have co-hosted a baby shower with my sister two years ago.  During that shower, my sister bought all the gifts for the games we played.  She ended up buying things like mini sized baby shampoo, lotion, oil. etc.  Everything that was to be given to the winners of the games ended up being handed over to the new mom.  Is this normal?  I always thought that the gifts won during games were actually something the player could use.  Help!!!
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Amara on November 14, 2013, 01:45:26 PM
I can't speak to baby showers, but I can tell you that gifts of lotions, shampoos, etc. that are given as gifts or prizes to me all get given away or thrown out. I use only fragrance-free products, very specific ones at that, and have no use for anything else. I am sorry because it was a waste on someone's part, but that won't make me use them. (For the record, I have no allergies. I just can't stand the stink of them.)
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: TootsNYC on November 14, 2013, 01:47:51 PM
That's my experience as well, that the prizes are a form of favor for the guests/present givers.

I think you can just decide unilaterally (you are the hostess! you are queen!) that this is what you want to do. Then choose prizes that fit that idea. Like, kitchen gadgets, or beauty products, etc. The less "baby" the gift, the more likely everybody will get the unspoken plan.

And then never offer any mechanism for "returning" them to the new mom. Also say things like, "you'll love having this!" or "for you!" nice and clear.

I've heard of people (guests) assuming that all prizes should be returned to the GoH, but you don't need to do that.



(also, don't twist yourself into knots trying to avoid all lotions, etc.; no prize will be perfect for everyone.)
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: gramma dishes on November 14, 2013, 02:02:20 PM
Are prizes essential where you live? 

I've been to a number of both bridal and baby showers where games were played, but they were just played for fun and entertainment.  I honestly don't recall a single time when "prizes" were given. 

For that matter, I don't remember the games even being set up to produce 'winners'.  Games would be more like:  Think up as many wedding related words as possible using only the letters of the bride's maiden name.  Then the results were shared with people crossing off words already suggested by others.  If one person had several additional words, everyone would say the equivalent of "Good job, Murgotrude!" but no prizes.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 14, 2013, 02:22:38 PM
I was at a coed baby shower once.  The baby was already on scene so it became a meet the baby party.  The hostess was quite creative in her games.  And the prizes went to the person who won the game, not to the baby mama.

I offer you this as a suggestion of a game:  The hostess bought, as her gift to the mom, all sorts of little things.  Socks, rattles, soothers, little baby toys, etc. and laid them out on a tray.  She then got the mom to walk around the room, showing the tray to everyone.  Then mom, and the tray, left the room.  Of course, we were all expecting to write down as many of the things on the tray as we could remember and we had all been memorizing as we were shown.  The hostess then said, 'Write down as much as you can remember about what mom was wearing.  Threw us all for a loop but it was fun.

Nothing annoys me more than winning a little prize and then being expected to turn it over to the GOH.  I won it; I'm keeping it!  And then the guilt trip starts.  Fortunately, most of my friends aren't like this and it has only happened once or twice.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: gramma dishes on November 14, 2013, 02:29:02 PM


...   Nothing annoys me more than winning a little prize and then being expected to turn it over to the GOH.  I won it; I'm keeping it!  ...


 ;D   LOL!  Thank you for your honesty!  I think a lot of us might feel that way but would be afraid to admit it!! 
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Andicatt on November 14, 2013, 03:02:34 PM
Thanks everyone!  This is actually a "meet the baby" party - my (first!!) granddaughter arrived Oct. 30 and she's the most beautiful baby in the world!   ;D   The "prizes" I've picked out are lotions and scented soaps - nothing you would want to put on a baby.  I'm defintely going to do the "baby stuff on a tray, what's the mom wearing"  - that's excellent!  I'm also going to give everyone 3 clothespins and every time someone says the word baby they loose a clothespin to the person who caught them and I'm going to get 5 different kinds of baby food, put some on individual plates and they have to guess what it is.   :)
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: lowspark on November 14, 2013, 03:03:58 PM
I've seen it done both ways and I agree: the prizes should be considered as party favors not as something to turn right back over to the GOH. If the host wants to give her baby shampoos and such, then include it in her gift. But if I win the game and then get a prize, all the fun gets sucked right out if I am then expected to turn the prize right over to someone else. Why bother with the prize at all in that case?

But you wanna know what I really think? Skip the games altogether. I never play games at showers I host. People are plenty busy eating and chatting and watching the GOH open gifts. Games are simply not needed, very few people really like them and they just make more work for the host. I've given a lot of showers and no one has ever come up afterwards and said "how come we didn't play games?"
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 14, 2013, 03:09:05 PM
Thanks everyone!  This is actually a "meet the baby" party - my (first!!) granddaughter arrived Oct. 30 and she's the most beautiful baby in the world!   ;D   The "prizes" I've picked out are lotions and scented soaps - nothing you would want to put on a baby.  I'm defintely going to do the "baby stuff on a tray, what's the mom wearing"  - that's excellent!  I'm also going to give everyone 3 clothespins and every time someone says the word baby they loose a clothespin to the person who caught them and I'm going to get 5 different kinds of baby food, put some on individual plates and they have to guess what it is.   :)

I don't think I'd do any more games.  The clothespin one doesn't really take any time because it is done while you are chatting with each other.  The tray one takes 5 minutes (unless you have a lot of people there).  I can see the baby food one taking you a lot of time to set up, though, putting food out on a separate plate for each guest, unless it is a smaller group.  I think it could be fun but you might not want to be pulled away from your guests for as long as this one might take to set up.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Andicatt on November 14, 2013, 03:18:18 PM
Not only is it meet the baby but meet the mommy too. Only a few of my FOO know the new mommy - I thought doing a few games might "break the ice".  I'll probably do away with the baby food one - that is a lot of time taken away.  If everyone would RSVP.... I'd have a better idea of how many will be there.  I think it's about 10 or so - not too overwhelming.    I just want to hold the baby again.   :)
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: lowspark on November 14, 2013, 03:25:00 PM
The last baby shower I hosted was a "meet the baby" party. And you know what everyone wanted to do? Hold the baby. Fortunately the mother was a-ok with that so it worked out fine. Between holding the baby and eating, there was really very little time left over except to watch Mom open gifts.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: BigBadBetty on November 14, 2013, 05:46:01 PM
I have never been to a shower where you were supposed to turn over your prizes to the mother. I would be really annoyed if that happened. I find shower games painful enough. I would at least like the chance to be rewarded.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: metallicafan on November 14, 2013, 06:54:49 PM


...   Nothing annoys me more than winning a little prize and then being expected to turn it over to the GOH.  I won it; I'm keeping it!  ...

I have never heard of having to return a prize to the GOH.  All the showers that I have ever been to, whomever won the prize kept it.


 ;D   LOL!  Thank you for your honesty!  I think a lot of us might feel that way but would be afraid to admit it!!
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: CakeEater on November 15, 2013, 06:05:49 AM
Thanks everyone!  This is actually a "meet the baby" party - my (first!!) granddaughter arrived Oct. 30 and she's the most beautiful baby in the world!   ;D   The "prizes" I've picked out are lotions and scented soaps - nothing you would want to put on a baby.  I'm defintely going to do the "baby stuff on a tray, what's the mom wearing"  - that's excellent!  I'm also going to give everyone 3 clothespins and every time someone says the word baby they loose a clothespin to the person who caught them and I'm going to get 5 different kinds of baby food, put some on individual plates and they have to guess what it is.   :)

She must be a completely awesome baby to have arrived on my birthday!

Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Andicatt on November 15, 2013, 07:36:05 AM
She is awesome!   ;D
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: cheyne on November 15, 2013, 09:14:23 AM
I attended my first baby shower in years just 3 weeks ago.  I won the game for guessing the size of MTB's belly and was given a set of pot holders as a prize.  I was excited to get the pot holders, as one of mine was AWOL and the other was pretty ragged.  I made a comment to the MTB about what a nice prize they were.

The teenage daughter of another guest won the next game, was handed her prize by the hostess, then directly told by her mother, "Go give that gift to MTB".  When the teenager gave the MTB the prize she (teenager) had one, I felt like a complete idiot going on about the pot holders.  I did not say anything to anyone, but I felt rather bad.  I couldn't even give them to MTB later since I had said how much I liked them and would put them to use immediately.  At the time I felt I had really messed-up even though I had never been to a shower that the guests gave back their prizes to the GOH.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided I wasn't rude to keep the pot holders.  I spent $60. on a baby gift and I don't feel bad about keeping a $4. set of pot holders.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 15, 2013, 09:32:28 AM
I feel bad for the teenager!  With the gift being potholders, it is obviously not baby related and the hostess of the shower wasn't expecting you to give them to the MTB.  What did the teenager win?  Was it baby related?

I just don't get this mentality at all that all prizes have to be turned over to the GOH.  I've been to Stag and Does, Jack and Jills, whatever you want to call them, where they run games to win money or prizes.  The only reason I play the games is for the chance to win something.  If I can't keep what I win, I'm not paying to play.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: lilfox on November 15, 2013, 01:12:20 PM
A friend threw a baby shower for me, I remember there were one or two quick and easy games - she supplied a few little gifts as prizes and none were handed over (or expected to be) to me.  Another shower I attended had some cute games including the tray one - I think we got bonus points if we could also write what the MTB was wearing, but the tray of items was definitely the main part.  I won one game and tied another, and there was no apparent pressure on any game-winners to give the prizes to the MTB.

So count me as another who would not only not expect to hand any prize back to the MTB, but would be really put off if the host or others "encouraged" that. 

On the games front, I do like the concept of having a few simple games planned, particularly if the attendees come from several different social circles, because they can work as an ice-breaker.  However, if the party is moving along and people are already really animated, I would save them for lulls in the conversation (and be ready to skip altogether if time runs short).
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: lowspark on November 15, 2013, 01:15:23 PM
I just remembered this. At a shower years ago, the hostess presented the winner and the GOH with the same prize for each game. In other words, she had two of each prize so that it was clear the winner got to keep hers but the GOH also got one. That was much better than expecting or pressuring the winner to hand it over to the GOH.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: lakey on November 29, 2013, 12:05:31 AM
At showers I've attended, prizes won during games were meant for the winner to keep. There have been occasional times when some of the prizes were meant to be given to the GofH, but the directions were pretty clear. Also the prizes were the type of thing that the GofH would need.

By the way, it is tough finding inexpensive items that people might actually like. One hostess succeeded at this by giving small African Violet plants as prizes. I don't know what they cost now, but at that time you could get them for a couple dollars each.
She managed to find some really pretty ones.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Teenyweeny on November 29, 2013, 04:42:00 AM
Not baby-shower related, but I'd always been told that it was bad form for the GOH to get a prize, even if they won it fair and square. The logic was that the GOH was already getting gifts, and shouldn't be greedy.

Why no, I'm not thinking of the time my mother made us do a replay of a game at my 5th birthday party because I won the prize. Not at all.  ;D
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Mikayla on December 06, 2013, 01:44:11 PM
I attended my first baby shower in years just 3 weeks ago.  I won the game for guessing the size of MTB's belly and was given a set of pot holders as a prize.  I was excited to get the pot holders, as one of mine was AWOL and the other was pretty ragged.  I made a comment to the MTB about what a nice prize they were.

The teenage daughter of another guest won the next game, was handed her prize by the hostess, then directly told by her mother, "Go give that gift to MTB".  When the teenager gave the MTB the prize she (teenager) had one, I felt like a complete idiot going on about the pot holders.  I did not say anything to anyone, but I felt rather bad.  I couldn't even give them to MTB later since I had said how much I liked them and would put them to use immediately.  At the time I felt I had really messed-up even though I had never been to a shower that the guests gave back their prizes to the GOH.

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided I wasn't rude to keep the pot holders.  I spent $60. on a baby gift and I don't feel bad about keeping a $4. set of pot holders.

Wow.  Just wow.

I'm glad you kept them, and that mom of MTB needs a muzzle.  Even if that was the original plan (which I think is pretty dodgy), she put both you and that poor teen in an incredibly awkward position, and that was completely out of line.

I'd love to know someday what the thought process is when people act like this. 

Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: gramma dishes on December 06, 2013, 03:52:01 PM
^^^  If I had been the Guest of Honor at that shower, I would have said "Oh no!  The prizes are for the people who won them, not me!"
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: barefoot_girl on December 08, 2013, 09:11:16 AM
^^^  If I had been the Guest of Honor at that shower, I would have said "Oh no!  The prizes are for the people who won them, not me!"

This is exactly what I thought - is the MTB not allowed to open her mouth or something during the party? If I was the GoH at my baby shower and people kept trying to hand me the little prizes, I think I'd be quite capable of saying "no, that's yours, you won it!"
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: TeamBhakta on December 08, 2013, 09:48:55 AM
Sounds like my sister's shower:

One time I was a special snowflake. My sister's friends hosted a bridal shower for her. One of the activities was a word game. Each person had to read out their word list after time was called. I was the last person to read and I had 40 words, which was more than everyone else. So after I'm done reading, the hostess says something about "Good job guys. Everyone was so creative! And the winner of the prize is....(Bride to be), you won! Yay!" I was thinking "What ? She only came up with three words. That's lame, Hostess  ???" When the hostess pulled out the prize, the ugliest "free with purchase" candle and change purse that ever existed, I went "Okay, that prize was so not worth the special snowflake trip just now.  ;)"
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Julsie on December 08, 2013, 05:10:48 PM
Andicatt, congratulations on the new grandbaby!!  What a wonderful blessing!

I've never heard of the custom of giving the prizes to the GOH, therefore, it's wrong.  I'm with Teenyweeny.  It's bad form for the GOH to take the prizes because she is already the fortunate receiver of so many lovely gifts.
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: Mikayla on December 12, 2013, 11:13:01 AM
^^^  If I had been the Guest of Honor at that shower, I would have said "Oh no!  The prizes are for the people who won them, not me!"

Oh. But of course :)

I totally agree, but I can also see where the GOH might feel awkward over-ruling the hostess on *her* event and rules. 
Title: Re: Baby Shower
Post by: jaxsue on December 12, 2013, 12:29:57 PM
Thanks everyone!  This is actually a "meet the baby" party - my (first!!) granddaughter arrived Oct. 30 and she's the most beautiful baby in the world!   ;D   The "prizes" I've picked out are lotions and scented soaps - nothing you would want to put on a baby.  I'm defintely going to do the "baby stuff on a tray, what's the mom wearing"  - that's excellent!  I'm also going to give everyone 3 clothespins and every time someone says the word baby they loose a clothespin to the person who caught them and I'm going to get 5 different kinds of baby food, put some on individual plates and they have to guess what it is.   :)

I once made a baby shower host angry when I declined to take the clothespins. Why did I do this? Because I'd been to a shower for and by the same people before and, to be honest, people got downright obnoxious about this game (screaming and grabbing at the clothespins). I politely declined, but she took it very personally. So, as long as it's okay if someone declines to participate.

There's another game that I enjoyed; nursery rhymes with fill-in blanks. I aced that game.  :)