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Author Topic: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?  (Read 6249 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2011, 11:02:57 AM »
I do understand the OP's point, that "baby shower" = "bring a gift" to many people, while a "meet the baby party" is at least somewhat ambiguous, though many may choose to bring gifts anyway, especially if they're coming from some distance and haven't gifted the baby before. But, at this point, I guess I wouldn't worry about it myself, especially since the phrase has already been posted publicly. Maybe if the host had referred to it as a baby shower in a private email, I would correct her, but at this point it might just come across like the OP is being picky over semantics that many people in that social group may not care about. I would consider this one of those times when the host has done something slightly off, but this shouldn't reflect badly on the GOH/mom.

Hopefully you will enjoy the party once it happens, and I'm sure you will be a gracious GOH (on the baby's behalf! :) ), send thank you notes for gifts, etc.. That should alleviate any "offness" that any of the other guests might have gotten from the host's incorrect "baby shower" wording. :)

Oh, and Lisbeth just posted with a good point--maybe it would be better to take any gifts and set them discreetly aside in another room. That way it won't have as much of a "shower" feel, and guests who didn't bring something won't feel bad. This might be a point to clarify with the host in advance so the host doesn't put you on the spot to open gifts or display them.
~Lynn2000

Kitty Hawk

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 12:37:14 PM »
As long as you don't expect the gift to be opened in your presence, that's completely fine.  It would only be acceptable to "expect" that if the party were a shower-and labeled as such by the hosts and honoree.

Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but here in Germany it would be expected that the present be opened immediately.

Lisbeth

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 12:47:52 PM »
As long as you don't expect the gift to be opened in your presence, that's completely fine.  It would only be acceptable to "expect" that if the party were a shower-and labeled as such by the hosts and honoree.

Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but here in Germany it would be expected that the present be opened immediately.

Often in the US, gifts can't be opened immediately-especially on occasions where there is no expectation of gift-giving, and even at some where there are.

In fact, the only occasions where gifts are opened are children's birthday parties and showers.  At any other occasion, including weddings, gifts are not opened at the event but afterwards, because it is expected that the hosts stay focused on entertaining all the guests collectively and not taking time out to open a gift, especially when others may not have brought gifts with them.
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Lynn2000

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2011, 01:42:53 PM »
Re: gift-opening, I would like to add to Lisbeth's explanation that if a large percentage of a group--but not everyone--brings a gift, and these are opened or displayed in front of everyone, it could make the people who did NOT bring gifts feel as though they're in the wrong, even though the occasion is not one where gifts are a tradition. So that's something to consider as well. If it was only one or two people bringing gifts, and the OP could contrive to step discreetly into the next room with just the giver, open the gift right then, thank them, and tuck the gift away, that might work out; but if 75% of the guests bring gifts, that could get awkward quickly. So whisking the unopened gifts away to another room as quickly as possible might be the better option.

I had never really thought much about it personally; then a co-worker joined our group who's from a culture where they do NOT open gifts right away. The office as a whole got him a gift for his wedding that was handed to him personally at work, and he thanked us graciously and then tucked it away, unopened and unexamined. Later at home he opened it and then thanked us again for the specific item the next day. That's just how they do things in his country, and it hadn't occurred to him that we were all waiting for him to open it in front of us! :)
~Lynn2000

Aggiesque

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 08:19:44 PM »
Quote
Hopefully you will enjoy the party once it happens, and I'm sure you will be a gracious GOH (on the baby's behalf!  ), send thank you notes for gifts, etc.. That should alleviate any "offness" that any of the other guests might have gotten from the host's incorrect "baby shower" wording.

Thanks! I'll try to, I have a hard time in social situations when I don't know people really well, and I do better when I have "rules" to follow- which is why this threw me for such a loop :)
Aggie

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TootsNYC

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Re: sigh... what happened to meet the baby?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 08:24:40 AM »
The name of the function may be important to you, but not necessarily to anyone else. 

For most people, a party for a new baby is a shower, no matter what else you may want to call it.  And I imagine that everyone is going to bring a present anyway.

Yep. And it may be that the invite didn't say "shower," but that this person simply defaulted to the most common term for parties held around the arrival of babies.

I got married in the Midwest and had the official reception there. But my ILs threw a big NY-style reception here in NYC a full month later. People who didn't attend the wedding itself still refer to that big reception as "your wedding."

They're lazy, and they're using default terminology.

I would say to the hosts, "I noticed you called it a shower--I hope people won't feel obligated to give a gift. I know some people react negatively to showers for 2nd babies."

And leave it at that.

I know the etiquette for showers for 2nd babies, and there are situations in which I'd be miffed to be invited to one. But there are also many, many people for whom I'd love the chance to attend a 2nd shower.

And, I'm a grownup; I know you've got and older kid and a high chair already. So I'm going to get you something smaller. Or, more useful (i.e., this baby was born in the spring and you don't have summer clothes in the right size, bcs Big Brother was born in the fall).