Author Topic: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?  (Read 6963 times)

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BabylonSister

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 02:39:16 PM »
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?

Like I said - I think we're at the point where it creates more problems than it solves.  The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.
 


You neither throw your own shower, nor demand or even request one.  You wait for one to be offered.


And yes, guests can decline but they shouldn't be put in that position in the first place.  It's very greedy to throw for yourself a gift-based party.

Twik

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2013, 03:51:55 PM »
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?

Like I said - I think we're at the point where it creates more problems than it solves.  The party 'planner' plans a party to the complete distaste of the 'guest of honor', or creates hard feelings by inviting the wrong person or not inviting the right person, or something else goes wrong.  The whole scenario creates complications that could be eased by just having the person who the party is for planning the party.

Or, if it's that complicated, you could just skip the shower entirely.

It's simply not permitted, under common etiquette, to throw a "GIVE ME PRESENTS!!!1!" party for yourself. If your friends cannot be trusted to (1) come up with the idea themselves, and (2) put it together so that it isn't a complete disaster, then yes, you are going to have to skip having a shower.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2013, 04:08:33 PM »
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

Eeep!

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2013, 04:14:16 PM »
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly. 
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TurtleDove

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2013, 04:19:01 PM »
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.

WillyNilly

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2013, 04:45:55 PM »
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.

The problem is the word "shower" though.  Its not an arbitrary word, it means something, and in reference to a party it means "bring a gift".  So maybe your family doesn't think that way, but that doesn't change the larger population's definition and understanding of the word (and quite frankly it shouldn't). So guests who don't know your 'not the real definition of shower just the definition we like to use' and take the word at face value, they will feel directed to bring a gift. And there will always be a few of those guests - co-workers or neighbors, or someone recently married into the family or a new friend - so really the only reasonable thing is to play to the common usage of the word.  If its just a "hey lets celebrate" party, bill it as such, and contrastingly if you bill it as a "shower" know you are asking for gifts.

yokozbornak

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2013, 05:12:20 PM »
I think the registry information at the bottom is a dead giveaway that this is a gift grab. 

I don't think anyone has an issue with a party hosted by the parents so everyone can meet the baby.  I actually think it's delightful thing to do.  If the party is truly about celebrating and meeting the new baby, though, there should not be a mention of a gift registry.

oopsie

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2013, 05:38:23 PM »
The expectant mother also created a Facebook invitation. It was funny to read the notification "Expectant Mother invited you to her event Expectant Mother's Baby Shower."

 ::)

I have RSVPd my regrets but with my congratulations.

TootsNYC

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2013, 06:21:04 PM »
The reason it's tacky is because it's self-serving.  The purpose of a shower is to receive gifts.  So the couple who throws their own shower is basically telling their friends and family they want them to give them a present.  A birthday party for anyone over a certain age (like 12 or 13) does not require all the guests to bring a gift.

I really just can't get caught up in this anymore.   What is the problem with people who don't wish to buy presents declining, and people who do wish to buy presents accepting?   Why is it so much better to say "I want you to buy my best friend a present" than "I want you to buy me a present"?    Why is it OK to say "I want you to throw me a party"?


The problem is because most people feel obligated to accept a social invitation. In fact, the only *socially acceptable* reason to give when you  turn down an invitation is because you have "previous plans." Because anything else comes across as "I don't want to spend time with you."

I suppose if we just all regarded showers as fund-raisers, it might help--but even w/ flat-out, blatant fundraising, it's not polite to confuse that with a social obligation.

Ceallach

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2013, 06:29:53 PM »
I'm 39 weeks pregnant and nobody has thrown me a shower, despite that it wouldn't occur to me to throw myself one.    Will DH and I throw some kind of celebration?   For sure, if we're up to it!   But a shower inherently implies gifts, and that to me is an incredibly tacky event to initiate in your own honour.    People may say it's semantics, but it's not.  It's about expectations.  Sometimes a subtle detail *is* the difference between polite vs. impolite.  For example, any verbal request can be worded in a way that's rude, or a way that's polite.   The overall outcome might be the same, but 1 is rude, 1 is not.  An invitation is the same.  Yes, it's still an event and people will still most likely bring gifts, but 1 is appropriate, 1 is not. 

I don't understand this expectation that a shower is an entitlement of some kind.   I also didn't have a wedding shower, and I survived!   (And no, I'm not a social pariah,  :P I've just moved a lot ever since I was a teenager so my friends are spread far and wide). 
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peaches

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2013, 07:02:12 PM »
There is nothing wrong with throwing a party to celebrate something in your life.  That's pretty much exactly what parties are. Sometimes the "thing" in your life you are celebrating is happening to someone else, sometimes its happening to you, either way, its a perfectly etiquette-following, acceptable, polite thing to do.  Its never ok to request, or even really imply, guests must give you a gift though. You can ask they give a gift to someone else, but you can't ask they give a gift to you.

So for expectant parents to throw a party celebrating "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family by having a party" that's totally cool, gracious in fact.  But once they slap on the word shower - party speak for you must bring a gift to shower the guest(s) of honor - its stops being ok, and is greedy.  Because it means it's not about "whoo-hoo we're super excited to be pregnant and want to share our joy with friends & family" but rather "whoo-hoo we're super excited we're pregnant, now what can we get in gifts?"

My thoughts exactly.

I don't disagree.  I just think the focus on gifts is not present, at least not for me or my friends or family.  None of us needs anything from anyone else to support our children, and I am trying to remember if the word shower was used for my celebration when I had DD, but the focus was never, ever about the gifts.  It was about celebrating with the people who would be and are a part of DD's life.  None of us through our own parties, but again, while I am pretty certain everyone did bring gifts, I doubt any of us would have noticed if they didn't.

I'm glad you value your guests for their friendship, but it remains a truism that showers are gift-giving parties.

That's why I shouldn't give my own shower.



DottyG

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2013, 07:06:47 PM »
I was going to agree with Shoo's comment.  But then I saw lowspark's edit.  I agree with this even more:

Quote
I have a policy that if I don't get a thank you for any kind of gift for which a thank you note is appropriate, you're not getting any more gifts from me.

Mammavan3

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2013, 07:53:18 PM »
I must say I am somewhat taken aback by the idea that is somehow more efficient to throw one's own shower and thereby avoid having the wrong guests in attendance.

My experience has always been that the guest list is vetted or provided by the GOH. 

Throwing your own shower would be tantamount to a friend walking up to you and handing you a wish list of presents and asking you to purchase one for her.

Emmy

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2013, 12:57:15 PM »
I don't think it's appropriate to say "I want you to throw me a party," either, turnip. I mean, if you're such a jerk that no one wants to throw you a party, then that's your own fault. (All yous general)

I think that statement is quite unfair.  It may be true in some cases, but certainly not all.  I imagine there are some people who are givers and have always been the bridal/baby shower party planner yet everybody is 'busy' when it their turn to have a shower.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, if the bride or mom to be never brings up a shower to their friends, people may figure somebody else is planning it and not bother to ask.  Among people I know, it was traditional that the bridesmaids throw the bridal shower.  I do agree that besides the bride informing the hosts of the guests to be invited, she should not make demands about the party.

If somebody doesn't have a shower thrown for them, I don't think they have to let the event go by without a celebration.  There are engagement parties, parties to introduce the baby to friends, and other parties to celebrate the event that the couple can throw for themselves.  I just think they should avoid a term like 'shower' where it implies that gifts are expected.

I think turnip has some good points.  It does seem ironic that is OK for a friend of the bride to ask for gifts on her behalf and yet it is not OK if a bride does it.  However, these are just social norms that are expected of people.  I think it is equally if not more rude to demand friends throw a fancy, expensive shower, with every detail dictated by the bride or mom-to-be than just throwing one yourself.  The bride or mom-to-be makes out in that deal, she gets the gifts, doesn't have to pay the cost of the shower, and doesn't look tacky because the shower was thrown for her.

Cami

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Re: Expectant couple throwing their own baby shower?
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2013, 04:49:00 PM »
As time goes on, I am tending to turnip's viewpoint in re showers and celebratory parties. I really don't see much REAL difference between hosting your own gift grab or someone hosting it for you. In the end, a shower is a gift grab not matter who throws it and IMO it's nothing more than a very thin social pretense that confers dignity or honor upon the gift grab when ostensibly hosted by someone else.

So, no, I wouldn't look down on someone hosting their own shower any more than I look down on someone hosting their own birthday party. 

If someone wants to do the work, why shouldn't they have a party? I can attend or not as I so choose. Honestly, my attitude is life is too short to split hairs like this and if there's cake and/or alcohol, just tell me when and where and I'm happy to show up!

I also find the statement that one wouldn't have an offer to host a shower or party as proof of being a jerk to be quite an interesting assumption itself.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 04:50:40 PM by Cami »