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Money tree at a baby shower???

I know the answer to this before I even ask, but here it goes anyway...

My dear sweet mom is throwing a baby shower for me and the bean and in an attempt to include my stepfather's sometimes distant family she reached out to her one sister-in-law (of 5) who is the most approachable of them all.  They're all invited, but this one step-aunt has made the most attempts and effort to establish relationships with all of us... So anyway, she's helping my mom throw the shower.

She wants to have a money tree at the shower.. some thing that's apparently a tradition on their side - her husband builds this mini birch tree and it's on display at the gift table and people are supposed to pin dolla dolla bills to it as they drop off other gifts.  I find this horrifying and would be soo embarrassed but my mom is urging me to let her do it as part of her contribution - basically she doesn't want to alienate or potentially insult her sister-in-law, and by extension the entire step-family.

I got along with just about everybody, but speaking in generalizations for the rest of the family, their side thinks that our side is snobby and uptight and our side thinks that their side is redneck. There have been multiple ruined holidays and birthdays over culture clashes and I can see the look of terror in my mom's eyes over this whole mess.

Putting it to a vote - Do I cave and just warn my people ahead of time or stand my ground? For the record, I wanted to forgo a shower altogether and just have a big co-ed bbq or something, no registry, just good times before bambino gets here.. but alas, here we are.

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Re: Money tree at a baby shower???

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    Is there anyway that you can have the tree, and put a basket of monopoly money next to it, and have your guests put the monopoly money on the tree? I know the point is to have real money, but at least you can have the tree up and respect their idea but not totally put your guests in that awkward tacky situation.

    If not, I think it's best to just say that you do not feel comfortable with that etc and don't do the tree.

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    Ummm honestly, I probably would be compelled to NOT put $$ on the tree if I had just gone out dropped some dollas on a gift. Maybe it could be like a wishing well thing where they write you a note with advice (my friend had one of these, but it was like an actual well that you dropped the note into).  IDK, about that idea either but the money tree sounds pretty horrible.  Good luck!!
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    Maybe have the aunt do the money tree but instead of having people pin money you could cut diffent sized tags and they could make it an advice tree. At the end you could take all the tags off and put them in a baby book or make a little book out of them by tieing them all together with ribbon. This way you get their tradition without having to ask for money on top of a gift.
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    imagecwm11985:
    Ummm honestly, I probably would be compelled to NOT put $$ on the tree if I had just gone out dropped some dollas on a gift. Maybe it could be like a wishing well thing where they write you a note with advice (my friend had one of these, but it was like an actual well that you dropped the note into).  IDK, about that idea either but the money tree sounds pretty horrible.  Good luck!!

    I like the idea of putting a note on the tree instead. Maybe instead of money you could have little slips of paper and each person could write their own note to the baby/advice for the mommy? You could have little stamps/different colors of pens, etc to make it more personal if you wanted to. I think that's a cute idea and it still incorporates the tree at least.

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    Advice! That's so much better! Perfect compromise =]
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    We did an advise tree at out wedding. It was a really fun idea and people wrote really nice things. We got leaf shaped papers and put a ribbon through them. I'm sure if you nicely explain your hesitation and the idea for advise instead that your aunt will understand. New traditions are great!
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    I agree with the others that an advice tree may be the happy compromise.  Beyond that, I will say that while your mother sounds well meaning, it is not on you to smooth over her family relations with the in-laws.  I would not, under any circumstances allow the money tree, good luck!
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    Most people dont carry cash anymore, I live off my debit card. That can be your excuse for not wanting the tree! Good Luck!
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    I honestly don't think this that bad or that shocking.  I wouldn't be upset about it at all, specially if it somewhat of a step family tradition. Your guests have a choice to put a dollar on the tree or not...no one is standing there with a gun forcing them to put money on the tree.  That being said, it is rare for me to carry cash, so I probably wouldn't partake unless another guest could lend me a dollar :)

     I don't see it being that different than the "dollar dance" that is so popular at weddings at our area.

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    Ahhh... an advice tree, so much better.  I'll just tell my mom to say I asked for it and "oh what a coincidence that your husband makes traditional birch trees!" Boom. Compromise. 

    BabyFetus Ticker
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    Your dear sweet mom needs to be stern and tell auntie that money trees are reserved for graduation open houses (at least that is the ONLY place I've seen them) and they are even tacky there!

    Stand your ground by all means!!!

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    You have to do what you are comfortable with. Yes your step-aunt is helping out, but the shower is still about you!

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    The advice thing is brilliant. At my wedding, my MIL threw a huge fit about us having a money dance. I didn't feel comfortable with it at all and I told her we weren't doing it (people have already given me gifts at the showers and wedding, and I'm going to ask for money?). She had good intentions and kept insisting it was family tradition and a culture thing but we put our foot down. If you don't feel comfortable with it, speak up! Even though she's trying to do it for you, you are the one who still comes off as greedy. We did what we had to and literally had to tell the D.J that there would be NO money dance incase she tried to go up there and get him to do it. 
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    I would not do the money tree. I would just explain that this is something you are not comfortable with. You could always do the tree but do a "well wishes tree" instead, where guests could write words of wisdom and/or well wishes to you & the baby and pin to the tree instead. That way you are kind of keeping with their tradition of the tree but not asking for money.
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    I would be horrified too.  No way.
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    My advice is to actually stop forcing family get togethers w people where you KNOWthere may be conflict. His side of the family could have thrown their own shower if they wanted too. Your mom didnt have to include them at what is basically your expense. 
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    ~Benjamin Franklin

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    imageEastCoastBride:
    My advice is to actually stop forcing family get togethers w people where you KNOWthere may be conflict. His side of the family could have thrown their own shower if they wanted too. Your mom didnt have to include them at what is basically your expense. 

    You took the words right out of my mouth. We've had this conversation more times than I can say.. it was the same drama when I got engaged and then married, when my little brother graduated college, every Christmas, every Thanksgiving... but my mom continues to try because that's just her nature. What can I say? 

    BabyFetus Ticker
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    Love the 'advice tree' take on it..if you have to explain yourself to the aunt I would say look, originally I thought I wasn't going to have a shower presay, but now that I've actually registered for gifts I feel really uncomfortable asking for a 'second' gift. Then explain the tags.

    You're still getting the tree - and I don't think you can NOT accept the tree..but what you do with it should make YOU happy in the end. I think the aunt could appreciate that, even if she doesn't get it at first.

     

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    imageScout2005:
    imageNicoleMatthew:

    I honestly don't think this that bad or that shocking.  I wouldn't be upset about it at all, specially if it somewhat of a step family tradition. Your guests have a choice to put a dollar on the tree or not...no one is standing there with a gun forcing them to put money on the tree.  That being said, it is rare for me to carry cash, so I probably wouldn't partake unless another guest could lend me a dollar :)

     I don't see it being that different than the "dollar dance" that is so popular at weddings at our area.

    Well, there isn't really a difference. And the dollar dance is tacky as well. 

    At least the dollar dance (and I am in no way justifying it b/c I think it is tacky as hell) gives the donor something in return- a brief dance with the bride or groom.  This money tree thing doesn't give anything in exchange for the cash!

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