Author Topic: Gift question about BBQ/shower  (Read 2978 times)

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wellisawstar

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Gift question about BBQ/shower
« on: April 20, 2013, 10:44:54 PM »
My sister is having a baby this fall. Rather than a baby shower, she wants to hold a co-ed barbecue for friends and family. She is not registering for baby stuff, but she suspects that people will want to give her and her husband presents for their impending newborn. She mentioned that she does not want to open the gifts at the party.

I'm pretty inexperienced with showers of all types, but my understanding is that gifts are usually opened during the party. Is the etiquette different for more laidback showers? Does it not matter as long as thank you notes are sent?

delabela

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 11:05:47 PM »
It would be weird to me to go to a shower and not see presents opened.  I'm not sure who's throwing the party, but whoever that is should probably not call it a shower.  It can always be just a party.  Alternatively, they can have a welcome baby party after the baby is here. 

Shortylicious

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 09:57:25 AM »
I'm in the same boat as you are....I've been asked to host a baby shower for a 'laid back' family member. It'll be a co-ed party with a long guest list. They want to have 'craft activities' to make something for the baby and I've had to remind them that they will be expected to open presents- which given their guest list could take over an hour. Yes, I know watching someone open gifts is mind numblingly boring but it's an opportunity to show gratitude to the gift giver and give them a chance to feel connected to the new family member. I think to not open presents during a shower would be bad form.

AliciaLynette

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 11:06:05 AM »
I think the issue here is that she's not having a 'baby shower', she's throwing a barbecue for friends and family before the baby comes.  Just because she's pregnant and having a party does not make it a baby shower.  Therefore, if anyone brings a present for the baby, it should be put away and opened after the baby arrives/when the nursery is being finalised.

Just don't mention the baby on the invites, and that way if anyone tries to turn it into a specifically baby-orientated party, just take the gifts and say "How lovely of you to bring this, we'll put it in the nursery for when the baby comes.  Now, have you had enough to eat/spoken to Auntie/beandip."
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camlan

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 11:42:10 AM »
What is this non-shower BBQ being called? What are you inviting people to attend? Is this a "Come celebrate that George and Martha are having a baby! BBQ at 5," or "Martha's having a baby and we're having a party!"?

If it is not a shower, don't call it a shower. The problem comes that there really isn't a simple term for a party to celebrate a pregnancy without gifts that everyone will be familiar with. I would be very careful with the wording on the invitation to make sure people realize that it isn't a shower. And I'd be very careful about how the party was talked about--no hint or mention of shower, gentle reminders that the Guest of Honor doesn't want gifts, telling people who ask about a registry that the GOH didn't register on purpose because she doesn't want gifts, etc.

I think that if you don't call the party a shower, then you are technically in the clear about opening any gifts that might show up after the party and not in front of the guests. Only at showers, and children's birthday parties,  is the gift opening the main event, so to speak. Everyone involved should do a lot of talking about the party, "Oh, Sue and Sam don't want a shower. But they do want to celebrate! So they are having a non-shower-type party--everyone's invited!" Just because someone brings a gift to a party does not mean that the gift has to be opened at the party--just as a hostess gift of food or drink at a dinner party does not mean that the food or drink must be served at that meal.

This doesn't mean that people won't bring gifts. And some of them may be upset that their gift wasn't opened in front of everyone. But if they were told the party wasn't a shower, then they need to deal with their upsetness by themselves.

But it might be easier, in terms of gifts, to wait until after the baby is born and then have a "Welcome the Baby" party. Because I think a lot of people are going to hear "party to celebrate a pregnancy" and think "shower" and "I guess I have to bring a gift."



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NyaChan

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 04:17:55 PM »
I agree with prior posters - your sister is having a BBQ while she happens to be pregnant and has explicitly said that she does not want it to be a shower.  Her mention of the gifts is merely her acknowledging the reality that when people go to a party thrown by a pregnant person who has not yet had an actual shower, they may bring a present.  She has no obligation to open those presents at the party.  No etiquette violation IMO.

magician5

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 05:45:50 PM »
Hmmm...

Gerber pureed ribs?

Baby's first charcoal grill?
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wellisawstar

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 09:47:57 PM »
What is this non-shower BBQ being called? What are you inviting people to attend? Is this a "Come celebrate that George and Martha are having a baby! BBQ at 5," or "Martha's having a baby and we're having a party!"?

She is calling it a shower. It's like, hey, it's a shower, come eat BBQ and hang out.

kudeebee

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 11:34:54 PM »
What is this non-shower BBQ being called? What are you inviting people to attend? Is this a "Come celebrate that George and Martha are having a baby! BBQ at 5," or "Martha's having a baby and we're having a party!"?

She is calling it a shower. It's like, hey, it's a shower, come eat BBQ and hang out.

If she is calling it a shower, then people will bring gifts.  If it is called a shower, then I think the couple has an obligation to open the gifts at some point during the bbq.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 01:51:29 AM »
I'm surprised that no one has yet pointed out that if she's calling it a shower, she's throwing her own shower, which is not etiquette approved.
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Sharnita

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 07:41:58 AM »
If it's called a shoer then there is definitely an obligation to open gifts there.  And yes, hosting her own shower - whole other can of worms.

TootsNYC

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 10:39:16 AM »
I think I might try to steer her by saying, "If you don't want to open gifts in front of people, you'd better not call it a shower. Because people will get upset with you. Call it The Last Barbecue Before the Baby."

OSUJillyBean

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 02:51:58 PM »
If she's not having any shower at all (which is how I read the OP), then some family might assume this is "the shower".  If she calls it a shower herself (and she's hosting, which is a no-no as others have mentioned) then people are going to expect to bring gifts. 

The only possible loophole might be when people call to RSVP and ask where she's registered.  Then the host can let them know that this is really just a pre-baby BBQ and no gifts are requested but that's only if each party guest asks about it.

I went to my cousin's DD's baptism this weekend and while the invite said no gifts, at least half a dozen of the 24-ish guests bought lovely presents.  I felt like a dope during the gift-opening as I'd taken the invite at face-value.  Those who'd brought gifts demanded they be opened and passed around (three teeny little crucifix necklaces that were darling and a few other appropriate items).

She needs to not call this event a shower and if some guests do bring gifts, then set them aside.  And no, she obviously shouldn't throw her own baby shower.


... and I've got a dark sense of humor but I'm hoping she's serving babyback ribs!!   >:D

Eeep!

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 01:45:45 PM »
I think I might try to steer her by saying, "If you don't want to open gifts in front of people, you'd better not call it a shower. Because people will get upset with you. Call it The Last Barbecue Before the Baby."

But if she does this, it would be weird to have baby-themed crafts, don't you think? They kind of scream baby shower! Or maybe that's just me. I never discount that possibility. ;)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Gift question about BBQ/shower
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2013, 12:26:48 AM »
oh, I forgot the baby-themed crafts! Yes, they'd be weird.