Invitation wording question. — The Bump
Baby Showers

Invitation wording question.

Thanks for all the help :)  I think I'm good now. 
 
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The ladies at my church throw a shower for every mom.  Normally the mom picks either a regular shower or a diaper wipes shower.  I'm a FTM but I'm team green and hope to get a lot of gear used so I decided I wanted a diaper shower.  

However, I also love the idea where each guest can bring a favorite children's book.  Then I'm planning to have my mom photograph me with the giver and the book so that we can print the pictures and tape in the book the picture of me and the giver so we can show our children later in life our friends who helped start their library.

What I'm afraid of is that if we call it a "diaper and children's book shower" some people will skip giving the boring diapers and give a whole lot of books.  And while I appreciate all gifts, diapers are a need, books are just a want.  So...I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion how the invite could be worded to encourage people more towards giving ONE or no books, knowing of course that some people will still choose the multi-book route which is fine.

Normally the invites appear in the church bulletin like this:
"Baby Shower for Jane Jones from 2-4 pm at the home of Sarah Smith.  Bring diapers & wipes and join us for fun and fellowship."

What if it said something like...

 
Edit: Ok, a friend suggested adding a sentence like:  ?Please bring diapers and wipes or if you like, bring a favorite new or used children's book to help build baby Z's library?  
 
Is that better?  There is no actual invite for the shower, they just add a little paragraph to the church bulletin.  


Re: Invitation wording question.

  • It's enough to dictate they should bring diapers.  Dont' also ask for a book on top of that.  I'm assuming you'll have a family shower?  If you want to do the book thing, save it for that.

     

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  • No family shower.  All family lives 20+ hour drive away.  My mom will be flying in for it.  The girls hosting my shower are SUPER excited about the book thing.  Actually at my church, it's not uncommon for the invite to list very specific items the person needs and sizes.  My husband is doing his PhD and plans to be a professor.  Most of our church friends are also in graduate school and love books.  So I really don't think it's a problem.  I've seen people ask for a book in lieu of a card but I don't want to assume they would give a card and I know those are not equivalent in price anyway. In many ways the book is a concession as the women my age don't like just buying boring diapers so this is a way to make it more fun and creative and give them another option.



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  • image discobelle:
    If this is what they normally do, I wouldn't add any additional requests for more gifts.
     

    Ok, but you guys aren't answering my question.  I'm not asking if you think it's rude to include a request for a favorite book.  I'm going to do it some way or another.  I'm just asking if there's a way to ask that would make people think bringing one book is great and there's no need to buy a bunch.



  • Ok, a friend suggested adding a sentence like:  ?The Zs are creating memory books. If you?d like to participate please bring a children?s/baby book for baby Z.?  

    Is that better?  There is no actual invite for the shower, they just add a little paragraph to the church bulletin. 



  • I would ask the hostess what she thought, and go with that. A decent book is expensive, so to ask people to bring diapers, wipes, and a book is asking a bit much IMO. I'd go more for the diapers, wipes, OR a book option. Then you just have to be happy with what you get.
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  • image couliegirl:
    I would ask the hostess what she thought, and go with that. A decent book is expensive, so to ask people to bring diapers, wipes, and a book is asking a bit much IMO. I'd go more for the diapers, wipes, OR a book option. Then you just have to be happy with what you get.

    My fear is that the hostesses aren't thinking at all and will just "Children's books and diapers" since they haven't had kids and just love the idea of giving lots of books.  But the hostesses did say they love it the more I plan/suggest for them,the less work they have to do.  So I want to try and be sensitive as they might not be. I'm thinking $5-10 golden book or eric carle books...I'm not imagining some hardback $30 thing.  But if we add the line of "The Zs are creating memory books. If you?d like to participate please bring a children?s/baby book for baby Z.? then it's more voluntary.  You can get a pack of diapers for under $10 at Walmart and it seems like most people at these showers at my church spend about $30.  I don't care if they just get a book instead but I think the "or" wording is kind of weird when I look at how it's normally done at my church.  But maybe "or" is the way to go.  I don't want anyone to feel like I'm being greedy.  I'm expecting less diapers due to the book request.

     

    Here's another shower invite from my church.  I'm sure you all think it's horrible but I'm just saying that the definition of what's normal is different here than it might be for you.

    "There will be a Baby Shower Sunday, November 20th at 2:30 for Emma Grace, adopted daughter of X and Y.  Hostesses are needed.  If you can help, please see the sign up sheet on the Ladies Bulletin board.   

    Items Needed (no clothing or blankets  needed):

    Formula:  Similac Advance (liquid only)

    Diapers:  Newborn or Size 1

    Baby Bath, Baby Lotion, Baby Powder, Wipes, Desitin

    Bottle Bags:  Playtex 4 oz.

    Burp Cloths, Towels and Washcloths

    Baby Monitor with screen

    Baby Bullet

    High Chair" 



  • image hocus:

    If you want to do the book thing then I think you have to accept that some people will do books and not diapers. It is a shower -- the guests are free to bring what they want. Part of the process is accepting that you WILL get things you don't need or want as gifts. Donate, sell, and be gracious.

    I'd do the following which I think is bit rude but you seem certain this is OK in your circle.

    Please bring diapers. In lieu of cards please bring a new or used favorite children's book to help start Baby Z's book collection"

    FWIW My daughter would have ripped up a picture taped into a book if I let her hold it between 6-20 months. We have gone through 3 copies of goodnight moon because she's been so hard on it. If you want to do it you're doing to have to use something far more protective than tape, which you may or may not want to do since I assume your kid will be chewing on these books as well.

     

    I'm totally going to be glad with whatever I get.  But I figure, all things being equal, if I can word it in such a way to get more of the things I want, then it's worth an hour of thinking to find a better wording.  So a lot of these books are obviously going to be children's books, not baby books.  So yeah, we won't give our 6 month old Hungry Hungry caterpillar to chew on.  We will buy cloth books for that time period.  But a nice book collection takes time to accumulate and having the books thoughtfully chosen from a friend seems nice.

     I said tape but it will definitely be more involved than that.  Maybe photo corners, lamination, I haven't decided what all I will do.  Thanks for the heads up reminder on how hard kids can be on books.  I will secure it in some sort of permanent manner.

     PS I really like the part about new or used!  I don't mind used at all.  As long as the pages aren't all ripped out, hand-me-down books rock!  Thank you so much for your helpful tips!!



  • image theresat858:
    If you "need" diapers and not books, don't ask for books. Hopefully, though, you can actually afford to buy your own diapers if necessary, in which case just say your original 'diaper and children's book shower' - yeah, some people might give you all books...so go buy your own diapers.

     

    Thanks!  Yes, we don't "need" in the sense that baby will go naked without the gifts.  I'm just wondering if it could be worded in such a way to emphasize the diapers.  And I will be thrilled with whatever we get of course. 



  • How about something like "instead of cards, bring your favorite children's book to help start the baby's library".

     

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  • image chloebeth930:

    How about something like "instead of cards, bring your favorite children's book to help start the baby's library".

     

    I considered this but people here and on other forums think that's rude because cards are less expensive than books and I wouldn't want to assume I was getting a card.  But it is a good suggestion; thanks for taking the time to read my post :)



  • if everyone blatantly puts exactly what they want .. then I see no reason for you to try and word it differently .. you need diapers, you want books .. people will buy whichever one, or both, if they prefer .. there's no dictating that part ..
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  • image blueyedsweety28:
    if everyone blatantly puts exactly what they want .. then I see no reason for you to try and word it differently .. you need diapers, you want books .. people will buy whichever one, or both, if they prefer .. there's no dictating that part ..

    Thanks!  Yup, I can't control what they buy and I will be super grateful for anything as I know it's a HUGE privilege to even get a shower at all.



  • image PurpleSnapDragons:
    image discobelle:
    If this is what they normally do, I wouldn't add any additional requests for more gifts.
     

    Ok, but you guys aren't answering my question.  I'm not asking if you think it's rude to include a request for a favorite book.  I'm going to do it some way or another.  I'm just asking if there's a way to ask that would make people think bringing one book is great and there's no need to buy a bunch.

    If I think it's rude then I can't suggest a nice way to do it.  You'll ultimately just get what people give you anyway. 


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  • image PurpleSnapDragons:
    image discobelle:
    If this is what they normally do, I wouldn't add any additional requests for more gifts.
     

    Ok, but you guys aren't answering my question.  I'm not asking if you think it's rude to include a request for a favorite book.  I'm going to do it some way or another.  I'm just asking if there's a way to ask that would make people think bringing one book is great and there's no need to buy a bunch.

    Wow, you're a peach.  

    WWJD?  I'm going to go with "be grateful for whatever people get you, despite if it's a diaper or a book".  

    I mean, if you don't care about what people think, why don't you just say exactly what you told us:  "Join us at 2pm on 1/2/12 for fun and fellowship with Ms. Manners.  We really want you to bring us books for our baby, but just one book, not a bunch.  We would hate for you to spend too much of your money on books and not enough on diapers because we need diapers and while books are nice, I don't want a bunch of them, just enough to start a library.  Feel free to bring as many diapers and wipes as you can afford though! God Bless!  

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  • image BallSox:

    Wow, you're a peach.  

    WWJD?  I'm going to go with "be grateful for whatever people get you, despite if it's a diaper or a book".  

    I mean, if you don't care about what people think, why don't you just say exactly what you told us:  "Join us at 2pm on 1/2/12 for fun and fellowship with Ms. Manners.  We really want you to bring us books for our baby, but just one book, not a bunch.  We would hate for you to spend too much of your money on books and not enough on diapers because we need diapers and while books are nice, I don't want a bunch of them, just enough to start a library.  Feel free to bring as many diapers and wipes as you can afford though! God Bless!  

    No reason to get bitter.  As I've said, I'm grateful for whatever I get but I wanted to know if anyone had ideas on a way to ask it to get across my hopes.  I believe it's not rude to ask for books in addition to diapers among my circle of friends.  I'm really grateful for all the great ideas and plan to go with something like "and if you like, please bring a favorite new or used children's book to help build baby Z's library"

    I don't want anyone to spend a ton of money on me.  But if people wanted to know what would be special, this book would.  In fact a used book would be even more special because then my husband and I could think about how are friends read this same book to their kids when they were little.  We will be moving in a few years and I just saw this as a way to remember some of the people we cared about and cared about us while we lived here.

    I could  just register for a bunch of books but the point is not getting books.  The point is getting books that have special meaning to my friends or their children and feeling the connection to them when I read the books to my kids.



  • image PurpleSnapDragons:

    No reason to get bitter.  

    I'm not bitter.  If you want something special, at your shower, have people write short letters for the baby and take a picture of you/the guest, binding both of those together into a book.  What happens when you have 5 copies of goodnight moon?  Do you keep 5 copies?  Do you assign book titles to guests?  This idea is moronic, always has been, sorry. 

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  • image BallSox:
    image PurpleSnapDragons:

    No reason to get bitter.  

    I'm not bitter.  If you want something special, at your shower, have people write short letters for the baby and take a picture of you/the guest, binding both of those together into a book.  What happens when you have 5 copies of goodnight moon?  Do you keep 5 copies?  Do you assign book titles to guests?  This idea is moronic, always has been, sorry. 

    That's fine.  That's your opinion.  I think it's sweet and so do my friends.  If I get 5 copies then I keep five copies and when one gets worn, I can remove the picture to save and get the next copy out for my kids to use.  Or each kid can have their own copy.  I'm not too worried about that aspect. 



  • It seems like no one on this board has any suggestions.  It' s a very popular opinion around here that asking for books AND another shower gift seems grabby. If your friends are supporting you in this, perhaps they have suggestions about how to word it. 
  • image greengirl0909:
    It seems like no one on this board has any suggestions.  It' s a very popular opinion around here that asking for books AND another shower gift seems grabby. If your friends are supporting you in this, perhaps they have suggestions about how to word it. 

    Thanks.  And I'm find with just giving me one used book and no diapers if that's what the guest wants to do.  Or just give wipes and no diapers and no book. Really, that's OK.  I don't want people to feel burdened to get it all which is why I asked for wording help. I am going to give my friends my idea I posted above about if people want to give a new or used book that would be nice and if they think it's fine, then we will go with it.  If any of my hostesses had ANY reservations about it sounding grabby I would not do it for sure.  I am really grateful to the helpful wording suggestions I got though. 



  • If you would like to start a library and would also like diapers just make it a diapers and/or books shower.  I would nix the taking a picture thing.  That sounds like a total PITA for both the guest and the photographer.  I don't know how big your church showers are (we have about 30-40 ladies show up) but I can't imagine waiting around to have a picture taken with everyone that brought a book or books.

    PS:  You will not want 5 copies of Good Night Moon.

  • Ok while I do not really support this idea, I get that this is something your church does for every new mom so it is to be expected. I would suggest you have the bulletins say something like 

    Please bring diapers and wipes or a book to help build baby's library.

    This way, people will know what you need and can choose what they would like to bring but do not feel obligated to bring both.  

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  • I think demanding diapers AND books is ridiculous and rude. I think it is even moreso for a church shower. 

    There is no nice way of stating something to cover up an inherently tacky idea to hide the fact that it is tacky.  Cutesy poems can't change what it is.

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  • image MelleTX:

    Ok while I do not really support this idea, I get that this is something your church does for every new mom so it is to be expected. I would suggest you have the bulletins say something like 

    Please bring diapers and wipes or a book to help build baby's library.

    This way, people will know what you need and can choose what they would like to bring but do not feel obligated to bring both.  

     

    Thanks.  This is helpful 



  • image rhubarb123:

    If you would like to start a library and would also like diapers just make it a diapers and/or books shower.  I would nix the taking a picture thing.  That sounds like a total PITA for both the guest and the photographer.  I don't know how big your church showers are (we have about 30-40 ladies show up) but I can't imagine waiting around to have a picture taken with everyone that brought a book or books.

    PS:  You will not want 5 copies of Good Night Moon.

     Personally I'm not sure I want one copy of good night moon but I don't seriously think it will be a problem and if it is, we will figure something out and I will be grateful.  Our church showers are usually 20-30 women and I am fairly close with 75% of them.  Our church is very much like a big family.  I was thinking the pictures could be taken throughout the party as I talk with people and not making everyone sit and watch it happen as that would be awkward for everyone.  My mom will be the photographer. 



  • image mommabear17:

    I think demanding diapers AND books is ridiculous and rude. I think it is even moreso for a church shower. 

    There is no nice way of stating something to cover up an inherently tacky idea to hide the fact that it is tacky.  Cutesy poems can't change what it is.

     Thanks.  I'm not demanding anything.  The wording for diapers and wipes is just the standard one for my church.  If you see my wording makes it entirely optional to bring a book.  And they don't have to come at all.  And they can come and not give me anything...I'm not going to judge.  I'm not sure what your idea of a church shower is but at my church, we are like a family.  And most people do their best to take care of each other and get things that the mom/family wants.  It's not rude to ask what you want from your family when they ask you what you want.  My church wants to know what I want and this is it.  I'm sorry you think it's tacky but luckily you don't go to my church and won't have to attend my shower :) 



  • First off, I think it is great that your church does this! I like what you added but I think you should put and instead of or ....so many people have used childrens books they don't want anymore and I think it is great that they could bring them to you and your baby. I would not be offended in any way. People don't have to bring a book if they don't want to...but I think people will.

    I am not sure about the photo thing but you know the people in your church better than me. You could just have magic markers for people to sign the book they brought.

    Plus with the cost of cards nowadays....sometimes a book can be way cheaper especially if they already have one in their home that they are not using.

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  • so make "AND if you like bring a book etc.."

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  • image EVA116:

    First off, I think it is great that your church does this! I like what you added but I think you should put and instead of or ....so many people have used childrens books they don't want anymore and I think it is great that they could bring them to you and your baby. I would not be offended in any way. People don't have to bring a book if they don't want to...but I think people will.

    I am not sure about the photo thing but you know the people in your church better than me. You could just have magic markers for people to sign the book they brought.

    Plus with the cost of cards nowadays....sometimes a book can be way cheaper especially if they already have one in their home that they are not using.

     

    That's so funny!  I had it "and" but was afraid it was too much so I changed it to "or" hoping everyone would calm down and it would offend less people :)  I'm actually really hoping people will choose to bring a used instead of new as it's more special.  I will keep thinking about the photo thing.  Maybe just signing the book is better.  I guess I know I often regret not having more pictures of people after I move and this seemed a fun way to make sure I don't miss out but if it's going to be awkward, it's not worth it.  Thanks so much for giving me great advice.



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