When you think of a baby shower, do presents automatically come to mind? The 1st two things that come to my mind when I get a baby shower invitation are: who is going be there? And what kind of gift am I going shopping for?
I have a love hate relationship with gifts. I love them because they are so fun to get and give (most of the time). They bring feelings of joy and happiness and of feeling special. But I also feel dread towards presents. What if I don’t like what I receive? How do I not show disappointment? What if they don’t like what I gave? Trying to figure out how to return or exchange a gift can be a real headache…. And the present was just not worth even receiving.
I know that baby showers are not about presents (even though they really are lol)… I know we are all gathering together to celebrate the new precious life coming into this world. I know we are gathering to celebrate the momma to be and join in her happiness. But please. We all know presents are involved whether we like it or not. Every baby shower is like 99% about the gifts lol as much as we try to sugar coat it and say it’s about other things, it’s about the gifts. It’s about the momma to be getting some help in the shopping department. To help her share in the burden of spending so much money on buying all new things for this fun new baby.
But here’s the thing. Do we really have to open the gifts in front of everyone?
I know that can be tough on some people. I actually know of some people that choose not to go to a baby shower because they don’t have the finances to buy something fancy shmancy and they don’t want their lame onesies (as useful as they are) to be opened and degraded in front of the whole crowd. I’ve never once been to a baby shower where the presents were not opened. I honestly enjoy oohing and aahing at all the adorable, colorful baby items.
But I also feel really bad for some people. During the gift opening ceremony, you can pretty much tell who wants to show off what they gifted (the people prancing around loudly saying “oh, you should open this one! You’ll love this one! Look at what I got!”) I know it sounds childish, but I think we all know someone like that… and then there are the other ladies who kinda seem to just want to shrink and disappear when it comes to their gift being opened. Not because they don’t care about the mommy to be or are not excited about the upcoming arrival of the precious baby… it’s just because they don’t have the luxury of going out and spending a huge amount of money on a gift. They have their own families to worry about.. their own kids to clothe and feed… and they can’t even afford to buy them cute new toys. I feel for those ladies. I know what it’s like. And I think out of respect for them, maybe we should consider not opening gifts at the baby shower?
Can we just admire all of the beautiful packages, thank everyone sincerely for taking the time out of their busy lives to come spend some fun time with us and for caring enough to spend their money (whatever the amount) on our expanding families and just leave it at that? Baby showers don’t last long as is. Take the time to chat, to really indulge in some creative, encouraging conversations. Get some advice. Enjoy the ladies and their company and leave the presents for later on. Once the festivities are over, get into some comfy clothes and enjoy this special time with your hubby. The two of you (and your kids if you have any already) can really enjoy this special time together to really go over every gift you were given. You don’t have to hurry. You don’t have to fake your happiness. You can be honest. And you know your guests, you know their situations, and I think you can really feel the love of even the simplest gift given to you by those who don’t have much themselves. Think about it. And maybe give it a try. At least once.
If you don’t enjoy the quietness of opening gifts without a huge crowd, then feel free to maybe have a few closer friends or sisters over to help you enjoy it…. But be considerate to the people that can’t afford to give you expensive gifts. Don’t put them down, don’t give anyone a chance to criticize their gift. Be expressively thankful for everything you get. And if you really don’t like it or don’t need it, you can always exchange it or even donate it to someone in need. This is just something I think we should all think about…
Have you been to any baby showers where the gifts were not opened? How’d that go? What do you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!