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Party On: Celebrating with a Baby Shower

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Planning a baby shower, whether your own or for someone else, is such a fun activity. There are somany amazing online resources for baby shower idea these days - plentymore than when I had my first one - and so many fun gift ideas such asthose ingenious diaper cakes, adorable baby shoes and onesies with cutelittle sayings. Pinterest alone will give you more inspiration than you'd ever need.

Planning my first shower consisted of my sister, my husband and Iflipping through lots of magazines, ripping out pages to come up withideas. Like many baby showers these days that invite both genders, Ialso wanted it to be more of a gathering of friends than an officialbaby shower so the whole women-only rule was not in effect. Anew baby should be celebrated by everyone and ours was a good excuse tocatch up with friends, eat good food and celebrate the baby.

Speaking of food, the hard and fast rule for any shower - or anyevent for that matter - is make sure you have more than enough to feedthe hungry masses. My shower food choice just happened to be Southernfood, a nod to North Carolina, where we had just moved from. BBQchicken, slaw, ribs, corn bread and baked beans filled those chafingdishes, satisfying our guests and, more importantly, the pregnant woman.

And because I wanted it to be more like a regular party, I broke other baby shower rules and forwent the party games (gasp!).Nor did I open gifts in front of the guests - I've been at baby showerswhere the gift-opening lasted two hours, and people definitely start tolose interest after the 11th adorable outfit. But you will get yourfair share of adorable outfits, ones that will make you so excited tomeet your little one. Other welcomed gifts are necessities like diapersand wipes, of course, and any other item that other parents have come torely on themselves, whether it's a specific brand of blankets orteething toy that you wouldn't otherwise know about.

To have some semblance of it being a baby shower, I did have a coupleof stations set up where people could suggest names or decorateonesies. We decorated with a few baby pictures of my husband and me, andincluded little candy baby shoes on the cupcakes. A picture of a babyrattle adorned the favor bags.

A baby shower is really your way to celebrate the momentous lifeexperience of having a baby. Whether you want to have an all-chocolatedessert bar, open all the presents right when guests get there or havehuge amounts of fried chicken, the choice is yours. With everything yougo through during the pregnancy, you should have at least one day to totally indulge your every whim. Mine just happened to be corn bread, and lots of it.

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