Author Topic: The "Flat" Baby shower  (Read 4277 times)

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KnitchyFingers

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The "Flat" Baby shower
« on: August 14, 2013, 10:02:37 PM »
My mother is throwing a baby shower for the son of her best friend.  (Follow that?)  Since the new parents-to-be live across the country, we've never met the MTB, so in this case, it was decided that a couples shower would be more appropriate.   They are making a concerted effort to not have it quite be so cutesy, female-oriented baby shower.  Think fall themed evening party with heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts, not a sit down and "Ohh" and "Ahh" over the mother-to-be as she opens gifts.

With the feel of the party in mind and taking into account the fact that the couple will be flying back home from the shower and thus not have a lot of room to take gifts with them, my mother thought a "flat" gift theme would be good.  She's thinking of gifts that can fit in an envelope.  It does NOT have to be gift cards or cash.  She was more thinking along the lines of purchasing items from their registry, having it shipped to the couple's home and then people could put a picture representation of the gift in an envelope.  She would get a small cradle for guests to deposit their envelopes in. 

She's not sure of a few things with this idea, so I offered to post here and solicit opinions.  E-hellion's is this "done"?  I told her I wasn't sure how I would feel if I got an invitation that dictated how I was supposed to give a gift.  Her rationale makes sense to me, though. 

If this is an okay thing to do, does anyone have any great ideas for wording it on the invitation? 

jayhawk

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 10:24:39 PM »
I think it's a clever idea, but I think your mom should word it as a suggestion, rather than an order.

Tea Drinker

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 10:28:57 PM »
Maybe tell people about it for things from the registry, while accepting that some people may want to bring a gift they got somewhere else, or made themselves. If the timing is too tight for the parents to get to UPS or similar and ship things to themselves before leaving, maybe the people who are hosting the event can take care of that.
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DottyG

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 10:30:57 PM »
I think it's a clever idea, but I think your mom should word it as a suggestion, rather than an order.

I think it's clever, too. Not sure how to word it such that people understand it's not just cash that's wanted. That they're able to do just what they would have done otherwise - just have the picture or description. But it's a nice gesture in helping the couple not have to pack a lot of stuff.

DottyG

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 10:32:17 PM »
Maybe tell people about it for things from the registry, while accepting that some people may want to bring a gift they got somewhere else, or made themselves. If the timing is too tight for the parents to get to UPS or similar and ship things to themselves before leaving, maybe the people who are hosting the event can take care of that.

TD does have a good point - you don't want to make it so that people can't do a homemade gift or something.


katycoo

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 12:59:04 AM »
I think that its fine to mention that the HC won't have much capacity to take gifts home so perhaps consider posting the gift to their home if your choice is not easily packable.

Maybe even suggest that a box will be available at the party to controibute to to reduce shipping?

Lynn2000

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 01:10:38 AM »
What if the hostess put a note in with the invitations that basically said, "Since the parents have to fly back home after the shower, I was thinking people might want to send their gifts directly to the couple's house, and then at the shower give them a photo of the item, or some other 'flat,' easily-transportable item. Or, if you want to bring a larger item to the shower, I would be happy to collect them in a box and ship it to the couple's house."

Okay, that is not elegant wording ::) but this is the sort of logistical issue I as a guest just wouldn't think about, and I'd be the person bringing them a blender and then feeling awkward. If it's a shower I think it's okay to assume a gift of some kind will be brought, and I think the wording above covers most contingencies--gift card/cash, store-bought item that can be shipped, something the guest really wants to give in person.

Also, the only time I've seen people give just pictures of items before is when something has gone wrong--like the item turned out to be backordered and wasn't available in time to give at the shower, so sometimes it's a bit awkward. A note like this in the invitation would tell people hey, this is okay, lots of people are going to do it, so don't feel weird about it.

Maybe the hostess could get an instant camera or set up a way to quickly print photos, and one of the activities could be making simple scrapbook pages with pictures of the items--either pictures people brought, or instantly-printed ones of the larger items (plus other instant shots from the party). That would make it a little more interesting and festive.
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CocoCamm

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 04:01:42 PM »
I vote for spreading the info via word of mouth. In theory all the guests already know the GOH is flying in so a gentle reminder when people RSVP shouldn't come as a surprise.

My BFF flew home for both her bridal and baby showers and made sure to bring an empty suitcase to carry home any small items. Anything large that was purchased was shipped directly to her home.. The delivery was scheduled for after the shower. At the shower she received several cards that had pictures of items she would be receiving after returning home.

I would recommend this to guests so they can purchase whatever item they originally wanted but without causing the GOH to have to pay an arm and a leg to lug everything home.

Oh and FYI, it can much cheaper to send things via UPS/FEDEX as opposed to overstuffing your suitcase. Something my BFF did not realize prior to her showers.

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« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 04:03:26 PM by CocoCamm »

shhh its me

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 04:17:16 PM »
  IF the invite only said " bring a flat gift, one that will fit into an envelope"  I would only think cash but if the invite insert suggested " since the ptb will be flying home. You are welcome to bring a photo/advertisement of your gift to the shower and have the present shipped directly to their home/sent to store location near them."  I'm sure there is better wording but being told that was an acceptable option is fine.  FYI , as a guest I would not be offended if the PTB returned large gifts and then re-bought them when they got home. I wouldn't publicize they were doing that but I don't think its in conflict with the spirit of a shower. I do think having a shower with the express idea of returning all the gifts for cash is against the spirit of a shower even planning to return all the gifts to buy one large item.   

Bijou

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 12:24:35 AM »
I wonder what would happen if the gifts arrived at the home of the ptb before they got home?  In light of that, it makes more sense to either give a cash gift or a gift card.  I would chuck the idea of having the gift shipped to their home when they may not be there to intercept them. 

I recently bought a gift card to popular online store for someone at the local supermarket.  I didn't have to go online or anything.  Just went and bought it, put it in a card and that was the end of it.

As for wording I would simply say, "I plan to give a gift card instead of purchasing something for them, since they will be traveling home and it would be hard to transport bulky items.  If you are planning to give a gift this might be an idea for you, as well."
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SplishFish

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 02:47:41 PM »
What if the hostess put a note in with the invitations that basically said, "Since the parents have to fly back home after the shower, I was thinking people might want to send their gifts directly to the couple's house, and then at the shower give them a photo of the item, or some other 'flat,' easily-transportable item. Or, if you want to bring a larger item to the shower, I would be happy to collect them in a box and ship it to the couple's house."
I had a cousin in a similar situation to the OP--she was moving to Mexico after the wedding, so not a lot of room to transport large gifts. Her family spread a message like this to inform guests of the practical limits and I don't think anyone had a problem with it.

I bought a blank recipe book and got recipies from all the out of town relatives to put in it. :)

Just Lori

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 03:14:39 PM »
I envisioned a cardboard baby who traveled around the world taking pictures like Flat Stanley.  Am I the only one?

Although, the invitations could have fun with that, taking a picture of the couple, putting their heads on a cardboard cutout of two parents and inviting people to take a picture of their gifts and attach the picture to the cardboard couple.  Then the flat couples would be put on display and ultimately hung from the nursery ceiling.

Too much?  OK, fine.  :)  But I think the wording in PP is perfectly fine and appropriate to the situation.

DottyG

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 03:20:12 PM »
I envisioned a cardboard baby who traveled around the world taking pictures like Flat Stanley.  Am I the only one?

No. :)


Poppea

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 04:57:07 PM »
I don't like the suggestion of shipping a present.  First, it means that the attendees will have to spend extra money for shipping.  Secondly, most of the fun in a shower is the opening of the gifts and looking at them.  Thirdly, anyone that wants to ship a gift can figure out how to do it without a suggestion.

DottyG

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Re: The "Flat" Baby shower
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 05:04:51 PM »
First, it means that the attendees will have to spend extra money for shipping.

No they don't.  Most things can be purchased online (and a lot of people do it that way to begin with).  It's just a matter of putting the home address into the shipping info instead of the one where the shower is.  No change in shipping costs.

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Secondly, most of the fun in a shower is the opening of the gifts and looking at them.

That's fun.  But it's also not always practical if it means that a large item has to be dealt with to get it home.  The "flat" aspect of having a picture there allows for the happy couple to open something and see what they got.  But not have to then figure out how to get it home.