Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I’m pregnant with my first child, and I’m getting quite a bit of feedback from close friends and family about having a baby shower.
I don’t really want to have one. I feel like my husband and I have the resources to take care of what we really need, and it seems a little self-centered to be asking anyone else to contribute to a choice we made on our own. Is it OK to say no, I don’t want one? Is it important to let other people have a party?
You’re under no obligation to have a shower. However, the answer to your other question is that people often do like to feel as if they’re a part of your major life events. That sounds like the case here, and having a bunch of people feeling invested in your baby’s life isn’t the worst thing for the baby.
So, why not at least consider a themed shower that allows people to (1) express their taste vs. follow your instructions; (2) spend very little; (3) promote a beautiful connection between these loving people and your baby?
The idea I have in mind is a children’s book shower, where guests are asked to bring (and sign) a favorite. Another, though, would be an advice or time-capsule shower, where people can write down something they wish someone had told them … let’s say upon their high-school graduation, or at different stages of life. Get a nice archival box for them and hold on to it to present to your child when s/he’s 18. I’m wishing I’d done this.
Anyway, urge these “close friends and family” to toss around ideas with you, if this version of a shower appeals to you.