Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our Non-Traditional "Display" Baby Shower

First of all, we are pleased to announce that it's a girl! We waited until the baby shower two weeks ago to reveal this, which gave us a fun surprise to celebrate at the shower when we brought out the cake with this homemade topper. This was also a strategy so that we wouldn't receive too many highly gendered gifts, having seen baby girls showered with pink fluffy things and boys showered with sports and truck-covered items. 

At my behest, my mom threw a "display" shower, sometimes also known as a "naked" shower. Not only is this an environmentally friendly way to avoid giftwrap, it also helped create a fun party atmosphere. Gifts were displayed around the room, encouraging guests to walk around to check out cute baby things. Since it was a co-ed shower without too many games and without a long unwrapping session, it felt more like a regular party with plenty of time to mingle than a traditional shower.

Here are the logistics of how the display shower worked, since we had to figure some of this out as we went along, and I think it worked out pretty well. The invitation requested "We all love the trees, bring gifts unwrapped please - they will be displayed." Many gifts arrived ahead of time, which gave my mom time to devise ways to arrange them around the crib and such. We then left some table-top spaces open as display areas, with empty baskets for anyone who brought several small gifts. When guests arrived, there was a sign asking them to label their gift with a post-it and find a place to display it, which I also helped coordinate as I greeted people. Since there was no dedicated unwrapping time, we just tried to make sure that we said hi and thanked everyone at some point. As for keeping track of gifts, it helped that we used for our registry, which provides a thank you tracking list. I also went around at one point with a little notebook to make note of who gave us any non-registry gifts in case they got separated from their post-it later.

There were only two games: guess whether it's a boy or girl -- the men were more accurate than the women -- and betting on the due date -- winner gets half and we get half. We will all have to wait a while longer to find that one out.

My dad made this sweet bird mobile out of watercolors and stiff watercolor paper. Can you identify all the birds?

Also on display was the vintage bassinet filled with an amazing amount of baby clothes my mom saved from me and my sisters.

Bump to bump with my longtime friend Caitlin. I was 30 weeks at the shower, but now I'm already almost 32 weeks. Serendipitously, Caitlin got married a week after me, and now she is due three weeks after me! I have several other friends and family who had babies within the past year or are having babies in the next six months -- it is exciting to think about our kids growing up so close in age.

A week later I also had a gathering to celebrate my birthday and the impending baby with my friends in Brooklyn. We now have more baby clothes than we probably need -- mostly hand-me-downs. Most of our baby stuff is waiting patiently in our parents' houses until we are ready to set up our apartment. Thank you to everyone who has helped us celebrate and contributed to help us take care of this new life!