Q: My son’s mother-in-law wants to give her daughter a baby shower in November. She has a suggestion of asking the guests to give gift certificates to places such as the power company, the landlord, food, telephone, etc. Somehow this just does not seem proper to me. Our children do have most of the necessities for the upcoming blessed event, this just doesn’t seem right to ask the guests to do this.
A: First, generally moms do not host showers for their children. Showers more properly are given by a close family friend or a less close relative than a mom or grandmother. Second, the shower is about the baby, not about affording a lifestyle. It is okay for your daughter-in-law and son to register for gifts, but these should be baby gifts. The purpose of the shower is to gift the baby, with guests gathering around to ooh and ah over the presents as they are opened. It is deadly for them to watch the guest of honor open envelopes of checks or gift cards, and not appropriate to ask them to help pay the rent and grocery bills. If they don’t need any baby items, there should not be a shower at all.