Baby Showers

Bring a Book Instead of a...Polite Way to Decline Hostess' "Great" Idea

I have three dear friends who are throwing my baby shower.  The shower itself is still a ways off (in the early, early planning stages currently), but I just found out, in passing, that they are seriously considering this "great idea" one saw on Pinterest:  bring a baby book in lieu of a card.  

 For reasons I know need not be explained this makes me very, very uncomfortable (I've side-eyed similar invites in the past, and I'm uncomfortable thinking my own shower might incite a similar reaction).  

My question for you lovely ladies is how do I tactfully express this to the hostesses without accidentally implying they are tacky?   If I just need to butt out as the guest of honor, I can do that too, I just thought/hoped that since plans were in the early stages I might be able to side-step this one.  Thank you in advance!

Re: Bring a Book Instead of a...Polite Way to Decline Hostess' "Great" Idea

  • If the invites haven't gone out, I think you are well within your rights to let them know that you are not comfortable with this and ask them not to do it.  I suppose, as hostesses, they would be well within their rights to ignore your request, but that would make them sh!tty hostesses.

    Once invites have gone out, there's nothing you can do but grin and bear it.

    As far as how to tell them, "I'm simply not comfortable with that.  What if we have one classic children's book there and use it as a guest book?"

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  • I would tell them that you don't feel comfortable asking your guests to bring a specific gift, and that you'd rather they did something like pick your favorite childhood book and provide it for guests to sign like a guest book.  That way, you don't end up with 20 copies of Green Eggs and Ham.

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  • That's a tough one.  I don't side-eye the card thing the way I do with, say, a diaper raffle.  (But, in my area, the book thing has been done in lieu of a wishing well, which, to be honest, are standard in my area.  Never been to a shower that didn't have a wishing well - bridal or baby.)

    Perhaps, if they mention it again, you can say something like "Oh, but I adore cards."  Or "Oh, that's a nice thought, but actually, we have the baby's library taken care of."   Or even nicely explain that you are not a fan of when others have done it for showers you've been invited to, and that having something similar makes you uncomfortable.  But again, I would probably wait to see if the topic is raised again with you before saying something.  (I would find it awkward to bring the subject up out of the blue, KWIM?)

    Thing is, as the GoH, I don't think you can really force them to do or not do anything.  You can only give your input if they ask or mention something to you directly.  The nice thing is, most people are going to realize you had nothing to do with the planning and will be side-eyeing the hostesses, not you in particular.

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  • I'd tell them the truth: it makes you uncomfortable because...  state your reasons.  Be kind and say that in theory it sounds like a nice idea, but the more you think on it, the more you find it distasteful.

    I'd say it sooner rather than later so they have time to think about what you're saying.  Their immediate reactions might be surprise and hurt that they're being shot down, but once that wears off, they might see what you're saying.


    EDIT: I love the idea of offering the one children's book as a compromise! 

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  • "That's so thoughtful of you to think of baby's library! I'm just worried that people might feel obligated to buy a book. I'd really love to have one special keepsake book that everyone signs. How about I provide a copy of Goodnight Moon?"
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  • I went to a shower where they provided note cards and we wrote down our favorite books and gave the titles to the mother to be. It was kind of cheesy, but gave her good ideas for books to purchase.
  • Thank you all for the feedback.  Of course, reading it now it seems so obvious (I really love the idea of one book as a guestbook!). I think I was just so blindsided by the whole thing that my brain just got stuck on the do-not-want aspect of it all.  Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate the advice/perspective! :)
  • I would try the polite but direct route, however, if you don't feel comfortable doing that I would maybe mention something about how you found some adorable thank you cards off the internet that you just love and can't wait to use, oh but darn they won't be in till a few days after the shower. 
  • eav2ceav2c
    250 Answers 2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    Just be honest. Let them know your not totally comfortable with it and that you think it's a sweet idea but you don't want to require it of guests.
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  • LuCloLuClo
    250 Answers 500 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Love Its
    I just had this conversation with my sister on Tuesday.  She's young, not on top of etiquette, and excited that she came across this "great idea".  I told her I loved the thought, but was worried that it would seem like people were being told they had to and that would be rude.  It was a lightbulb moment for her.  So she's going to mull it over.  It may still end up no the invites, it may not.  That part is out of my control, but at least I let her know.
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  • I had found out my hostesses were doing a diaper raffle for my shower. I kindly told them that I didn't think it was necessary to have. Well they didn't do the raffle but they did do the book instead of a card idea. I didn't know it until I received my invite. With almost 50 people in attendance, I didn't receive one duplicate book! I couldn't believe it. Most of my friends approached me with loving the idea and had fun choosing a book. The idea just so happened to work out in my favor. However, I think if you are adamant about not wanting it at your shower, just be honest. They should be able to understand.

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  • mmm50mmm50
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    I agree with PP but would also maybe say that you already have tons of books (even if it is a fib) but you will register for some that you still need (if you even want books).  I would suggest to the hostesses that may be a better route so you don't have 10 of the same book that are written in so you can't return them.  
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