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Do you care about shower etiquette?

  • poll: Shower Etiquette: Are you
    Miss Manners : (26 votes)
    21 %
    Miss Could Care Less : (95 votes)
    79 %
  1. teawithpaloma

    apricot / 490 posts

    Is there an actual citation or reference that anyone has that it is not okay for the parents of the mom to be to host the shower?

  2. erinbaderin

    pomelo / 5573 posts

    @teawithpaloma: From Emily Post: Traditionally, close friends, cousins, aunts, sisters-in-law, or coworkers of the mother-to-be hosted baby showers. Because gifts are central to showers, hosting by a member of the honoree’s (or husband’s) immediate family appeared self-serving. Today it is appropriate for anyone to host a baby shower as long as there’s a legitimate reason. For example, some parents-to-be live far from their hometowns, and their mothers and siblings want to host a shower so that longtime friends can attend.

  3. ScarletBegonia

    persimmon / 1339 posts

    @honeybear: Its so interesting that you worded your response the way you did because for me that need of the give and take (I got you a gift, therefore you must take the time to send me a thank you note) is what makes it a commercial transaction. I guess I give gifts because I want to - if I don't like a person or want them in my life, I won't get them a gift. I want to give them something that will make them happy regardless of what I get back for it. For me it comes down to pessimism vs optimism. You choose to believe that if someone doesn't write you a thank you note, they aren't grateful, whereas I choose to believe that they are. I'm obviously in the minority in my opinion and thats cool! I hope I haven't lost any friends through my non-thank you note giving, though!

  4. teawithpaloma

    apricot / 490 posts

    @erinbaderin: Right, today it is appropriate for anyone to host! Ok good, so we can all move on!

  5. erinbaderin

    pomelo / 5573 posts

    @teawithpaloma: While I don't personally have a problem with a parent hosting you're cherry picking words from that - it's appropriate for anyone to host if there's a compelling reason (such as the example given). Hardcore etiquette people would still give it a side eye.

  6. honeybear

    nectarine / 2085 posts

    @ScarletBegonia: Eh, thank you notes are not a form of "payment." You have/allow someone to host a baby shower in order to get free stuff (and some guests of honor even tell their invitees what to buy for them). I get you a gift because I like you. And when I get your thank you letter, I think "she appreciated the gift I got for her, that's great!" The difference between this and what happens when I go to the store and hand over money in exchange for apples is that the thank you note is not something I really wanted and therefore "bought" with my gift, it's just an expression of gratitude.

    I do assume that people like my gifts, because I spend time selecting them. But when I don't get a thank you note and I know there are no extenuating circumstances, I take that to mean that they don't really give a hoot. In the circumstances in which this has happened to me, that has pretty much always been the case.

  7. ScarletBegonia

    persimmon / 1339 posts

    @honeybear: I suppose thats another of my assumptions - i never assume people have baby showers, engagement parties or weddings for free stuff!!!!

    Can I ask how you know that people don't give a hoot about the gifts you've given, just because you don't get a thank you note?

    Don't worry if you don't want to reply, we can just agree to disagree! I'm just curious

  8. Trailmix

    nectarine / 2152 posts


  9. honeybear

    nectarine / 2085 posts

    @ScarletBegonia: Well, a "shower" of any sort is simply a socially acceptable way to say "buy the guest of honor stuff." I don't think that there is any mean-spirited assuming on my part that a shower is held so that the honoree will be given things; that's the point of every shower I've ever been to. You can get married and have babies and decide you don't want a shower--or even a registry--in advance of either occasion (but you still have to write thank you notes for any gifts you happen to be given!).

    As to my inference that the people who didn't bother to thank me for gifts don't care much about me...I haven't had to guess. They simply didn't put any further effort into maintaining our relationship.

  10. Amorini

    persimmon / 1132 posts

    That's so funny about "a compelling reason" making family throwing the shower okay. Totally goofy!

    On the thank-you note convo, I was raised to write them for gifts I received. Like we all sat down and wrote cards to grandma or auntie for sending us gifts.... So it's just a normal thing to do by now. I can see it not being everyone's norm.

    Twice DH and I have given gifts off a registry for events (one baby shower, one wedding) where we couldn't attend. We sent really nice gifts and received no thank you or even acknowledgement from the guest of honor that the gifts had been received. Not even an email (we were living out of the country at the time), a baby announcement or a long-belated follow-up. (The gifts definitely arrived!) I guess I don't get that, but I'm sure I have stunned others by my own faux pas!

    Registries are a super weird concept to me. I've decided to give it a try for a baby shower and see how it goes. We didn't register for our wedding and I didn't have a bridal shower... So I'm gonna live it up and see what all of the fuss is about! But I digress...

  11. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @teawithpaloma: it has evolved to fit modern times.

    I find it amusing that we all don't have the same definition of the etiquette rules. That makes the rules feel irrelevant.

  12. ScarletBegonia

    persimmon / 1339 posts

    @looch: what could be more irrelevant than an arbitrary set of rules for social decorum written over a hundred years ago!?

  13. honeybear

    nectarine / 2085 posts

    @looch: Do you think that thank you notes are irrelevant? I'm genuinely curious. I haven't heard any persuasive arguments for jettisoning them thus far.

    I think that if anything is irrelevant today, it's baby showers. The tradition was the product of an age when many people had babies when they were much younger. Same deal with bridal showers. I enjoy celebrating big events with my friends, but we all got married when we were already living on our own and had basic household stuff and we had babies at a point where buying the basic stuff we thought we needed for them was not a significant financial burden. I think the desire to keep the shower tradition and dump all the etiquette that was built up around it is a pretty clear indication of what showers have become to many people. As I've pointed out above, there are no etiquette rules stopping anyone from throwing a party to celebrate events and people in their life...these events don't have to be a shower.

  14. yoursilverlining

    eggplant / 11824 posts

    I never knew (nor cared! ha) parents hosting was an etiquette no-no! I don’t care about things being done in line with the rules of Emily Post and her ilk; except that not writing thank-you notes is just rude. That more falls into the camp of “common courtesy” to me, rather than etiquette. That’s something I can’t get on-board with giving up.

  15. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    Most of the etiquette stuff I really don't care about. I don't care about thank you cards in particular, but I do think it's rude to not even acknowledge receipt of a gift with a simple thank you. It doesn't have to be on paper...a text, email, phone call will do. If I give someone a gift and they open it in front of me and are appreciative then I don't expect or want a separate card. But if I bring a gift to a party and the recipient doesn't open gifts at the party or if I send something in the mail then yeah, I think it's a little rude to never be acknowledged for that gift.

    To me it's similar to saying please and thank you. Do I think you're a terrible person because you don't say thank you when I hold the door open for you? No. But I do think it's a nice thing to do and it's something I actively work on with my LO.

  16. teawithpaloma

    apricot / 490 posts

    @erinbaderin: @looch: I think I was cherry picking but also looking at the reality of today's American society. I took a step back last night because I realized I don't actually care one teensy tiny iota. So that's just me! I am blessed to have a mom willing and able and alive to throw me a shower and many generous family and friends. That is not the case for many Americans and legitimately not the case for the majority of the world.

  17. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @ScarletBegonia: I spent time, energy and money to buy a thoughtful gift. The least the person getting the gift can do is say thank you. Heck, send a freaking email or text. Something to say "Hey, thank you for thinking of me.

  18. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @teawithpaloma: first thing that popped up in Google from Emily Post: "It had long been considered a breach of etiquette for the bride’s family members to host showers. Why? Because the main point of a shower is to give gifts to the bride and it could seem as if her family were asking for gifts. Today, while it’s still a faux pas for an engaged couple to throw their own shower, pretty much anyone else can host one."

    Q: My son is about to be a first-time father, and he asked me if I would be willing to host a baby shower for his wife. They live a distance away from me and therefore the attendees would be friends of mine rather than people from my son’s age group. I told him that it would not be appropriate for me, as his mother, to host a shower and that it should be a family friend, not a close relative who would do this. I know that I have been invited to many baby and bridal showers where a mother, mother-in-law, or a sister has been the hostess. Is this acceptable now? Am I just being old-fashioned?

    A: The “rules” on baby showers have changed. In the past, it was considered inappropriate for a member of either the mother- or father-to-be to host a shower at the risk of appearing self-serving. Today that is no longer the case. It has become more common and acceptable for the mother or sister on both sides to host a shower.

  19. Anagram

    eggplant / 11716 posts

    The only thing I don't like are all out gift-grabs. I'm thinking along the vein of the woman or couple themselves hosting, but "hosting" entails a couple of dry snacks and soda, with a ton of evite "reminders" about all the gifts they need. I'm not into that kind of shower.

    But thank you notes--I'm fine with a verbal thank you, a text, whatever. I want to know they received it, that's all.

    The old etiquette I most want to get ride of is the tradition of thank you notes sent for flowers/food after a funeral. I think that's completely ridiculous. My mom was so stressed trying to keep track of all the people who delivered food or flowers after my dad passed, and then trying to settle his estate affairs while writing all the thank you notes. I kept telling her to just skip the notes, but I'm sure there are some etiquette enforcers out there that would be offended if the grieving family didn't spend their times writing thank you notes.

    I honestly would rather people stopped being friends with me than expect a thank you note after my close family member has passed.

  20. ShootingStar

    coconut / 8472 posts

    @Anagram: 😱 I've sent funeral arrangements a few times and never received or expected a thank you note. I think they thanked me at the wake, and that was fine. Even if we hadn't made it to the wake I wouldn't expect a formal thank you note.

  21. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @honeybear: It depends. If I receive a gift, it is usually in person, someone is handing it to me. I open it in front of them and then I thank them. What's the purpose of a thank you note in that scenario? If I hand a person a gift, I do not need them to send me a thank you note.

    Now, if someone sends me a gift in the mail or via another person, I will either call them or send them a note. If I send someone a gift, I don't get hung up on a note. It's not important to me.

    My comment though, was related to the several posts that happened on this thread where people have said that they follow etiquette rules but then they are surprised to learn that a parent hosting a shower is a no-no. That shows me we all have different rules and being a stickler for them is kind of irrelevant when we're all on a different page.

  22. Anagram

    eggplant / 11716 posts

    @ShootingStar: according to this, there are a LOT of thank you notes that "have" to be sent after a funeral. OMG--anyone that shared a poignant memory?

    "You don’t need to send a formal thank you note to everyone who attended the funeral/visitation or sent you a sympathy card. Instead, a thank you note or acknowledgement should be sent to anyone who has done something extra, including:
    -People who have sent or brought flowers
    -Those who made memorial donations to a charity or helped your family financially (do not mention the amount of the contribution). The charity will notify you of donations made in your loved one’s memory. -Friends who have been helpful in tangible ways (e.g., brought food, provided transportation, done baby-sitting, assisted with a luncheon).
    -The Pallbearers
    -Musicians who perform at the funeral.
    -Clergy presiding at the funeral (also receive an honorarium; see Clergy.)
    -Anyone who went out of their way to do something special—like sending you a photo of your loved one or sharing a poignant memory. -

    See more at: https://www.funeralwise.com/etiquette/thankyou/#sthash.TdfLJTzQ.dpuf

  23. Freckles

    honeydew / 7444 posts

    @Anagram: I don't know if it's a cultural thing, but i always had to thank the person right away by phone as opposed to them waiting for a formal thank you card in the mail. In fact, it was seen as rude if i didn't call up the person within 1-2 days after receiving the gift. After my grandmother died, my dad invited anyone who helped to a dinner at a restaurant as a thank you.

    @looch: that's a very good point!

  24. avivoca

    watermelon / 14467 posts

    @Anagram: I have never, not once, received a thank you note after a funeral, nor do I expect to! Geez, just let the family grieve in peace! I can't believe it's expected! I'm so sorry you all went through that in such a difficult time.

  25. Anagram

    eggplant / 11716 posts

    @avivoca: @Freckles: Interesting. My mom lives in the South. And in Texas (that's sort of south and sort of southwest), when a close friend's mother died super unexpectedly in an accident, she was beside herself, but within a couple of weeks, she had an aunt call her and chastise her for not sending out thank you notes to people who sent flowers, donations, or food.

    I told her she should tell her aunt to go F herself.


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