How to deal with presents at an out of state shower — The Bump
Baby Showers

How to deal with presents at an out of state shower

My husband and I are living in Chicago for the year. My entire family and group of friends are all in LA. I wasn't going to have a shower at first but I have decided to go ahead and have one when my aunt offered to throw it for me in LA. My question is- I'm in Chicago, the shower is in LA... Does anyone have suggestions as to how to deal with the presents? Should I bite the bullet and pay to have them all shipped to Chicago? Should people send them directly to me in Chicago but then not see me physically open them at the shower? Someone suggested having people ship to Chicago and bring a print out of what they got me that I could open and reveal at the shower... I was wondering if anyone had some other creative ideas that I could do in lieu of having to ship everything.

Thanks in advance!

Re: How to deal with presents at an out of state shower

  • Not sure what the etiquette is surrounding that but I did read something once that might be a possibility. Bring an extra suitcase for the smaller items. Any of the bigger ticket items can most likely be returned at a common store like babies r us for store credit, then just buy it with the store credit when you get back home. It seems like a pain to me, but I have read about people who did this for the larger items, since they would be expensive to ship home.
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  • Make a registry on Amazon and ask that items be shipped directly to you... and maybe ask your host to let guests know that the Amazon registry and shipping is because you're living out of state, and that anything that isn't clothing or small enough to fit into your bag won't be able to travel back with you. 

    Hopefully people will get the hint and have their gifts sent to your home in Chicago. If they want to see you open something in person then they'll have to chose something small or just bring you an outfit or two. That's what I would do. 
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  • My SIL returned a lot of her gifts and bought them again when she went home. I don't know if that's good advice or not, sorry....

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    Don't put it on the guests to send the gifts to Chicago.  People LIKE seeing the MTB open the actual gift.  Not a picture.

    Also, give your guests credit.  They know you have to travel.  MANY of them will either just get you something small or if they get something big, they'll think to send it to you on their own.  But if they don't - I do feel that returning it in LA and rebuying it in CHicago is a good option
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  • I'm in the same boat as you, and a few years ago I attended an out of state shower for my cousin. Most people there were smart enough to ship the gifts to her home. There were a few people who brought gifts, but like PPs have said, you can just pack or ship them home. If someone gets you something huge, just return it for store credit.

    And the biggest thing I'm reminding myself as I look ahead to my out of state shower is... be grateful that people want to celebrate with you!
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  • I agree that you can probably trust your guests to know how to handle this.

    When I am invited to a shower for a person who lives out of town, I either pick something small that won't be a hassle for them to pack and take home, OR I get them a gift card, OR I have the main gift sent to their home and get the MTB something little (an outfit, a book) to open at the shower.  I don't really care about getting public "credit" or recognition at the shower for what I bought, but I want to be able to see the MTB open something I got her!

    If others who buy bigger gifts don't think of this, or don't realize you live OOT, just return the stuff and re-purchase at a store near your home.  It's no biggie!
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  • I live in nc and shower was in nj...everyone that got me a large item had it shipped to my house. They knew I'd be flying to the shower. I did open small gifts there and just stick them in a checked suitcase to get them home.
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  • I live in Florida, but we will be having 2 out of state showers - 1 in my hometown in Alabama and 1 in DH's hometown in Ohio.  Our shower hostesses for each shower (my sisters and SIL & MIL) are planning to remind close family members that we will be traveling and suggest that they ship larger items to our local stores (which costs nothing extra) or home.  That info isn't going out on the invitations, though.  Everyone knows we live out of state, so I anticipate they will use common sense and know that we can't fly back with larger items. 

    Because of the availability of stores in each location, we had to do multiple registries.  One is at Target, and they offer free shipping to the registrants' home address for all registry orders over $25.00, so that should be helpful. Our other registries are at Walmart and Babies R Us, which I believe each offer free shipping for local store pick up.  My FIL owns a business that does daily shipments, so he gets good UPS and FedEx discounts, so we'll probably just pay him to ship those smaller items like clothing, toys, etc. through his business account.  If anyone does bring large items to the shower, we will probably just return the items at the store there for credit and then repurchase them at our local store when we get home.
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  • I mean maybe just don't put huge stuff on your registry then?  Just put stuff you don't mind shipping/throwing in a suitcase.  There are still plenty of big ticket items that are small - even pack and plays (some of them fold up realllly small), bouncers, ergo babies etc.  Just don't register for huge furniture things.  I guess that's what I would do.
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