A baby shower with men present? What
is this modern new contraption? It isn't as unusual as it may sound
initially. After all, the expectant mother did not get pregnant
all by herself, and she is not the only one who's going to be important
to the new baby. So why should the party be only for her?
And while we're at it, why should the other men important to Baby
be included? Grandad, uncles, close friends and such may also attend.
The challenge, then, is to make sure the men feel welcome and honored
in what is traditionally a woman's event. Decorating is the first
hurdle. Frills and bows take a backseat to cute and fun paper decor.
Pastels give way to bright primaries.
Some of the traditional baby shower games will have to be modified
to include the men, but others are tried and true no matter who
the attendees are - drinking Coke out of a bottle as fast as possible,
guess-the-date, predictions about weight and gender (if that's not
already known) and Pictionary, for example. "Bonnet" is
easy enough, but how about "receiving blanket" or "gas
drops"? Some men may be more comfortable breaking out the tools
and assembling unwrapped gifts rather than participating in the
competitions, but hey, to each his own, and in mixed company flexibility
is the name of the game.
Then there are prizes and party favors. These too need to be gender
neutral, and men as well as women appreciate consumable gifts such
as candies, personalized tins, bottle-shaped cookies and bubblegum
cigars. If you're willing to shell out a little more for prizes,
a small gift certificate to something like a coffee house or bookstore
is usually appreciated.
Lastly there's food to consider. While a gathering of women might
traditionally be served finger foods such as crackers, cheese and
fruit, the inclusion of men might necessitate beefing up the menu,
so to speak. Thinly sliced brisket, ribs, pie, rolls with jam and
other heartier food will do a lot to make a mixed gathering a happy
A nice touch is to record each couple attending, giving them an
opportunity to express their well wishes and blessings for the new
baby. This makes a lovely keepsake for the expectant couple.
So should a man also get a gift, separate from his wife...and if
so, what should it be? It's perfectly acceptable for a man to get
a gift for the child. And while he can get anything that a woman
might get, sometimes it's nice if he gets something with a distinct
man's touch: sports apparel in the baby's size, for instance, a
soft "baseball" in baby's size, and so on. This is especially
true if the baby being celebrated is a boy--who would better benefit
from the masculine side of gift giving. Maybe the male guest could
even have a talk with baby's dad about what to get the child.
Don't forget to send the invitations to the couple, instead of
to just the woman of the family!