A long-standing trend in the US, baby showers have seen a huge rise is popularity over the last few years here in the UK. Yet despite the Daily Mail (who else?) reporting this week that mums to be are totting up to £10,000 on the celebration with professional planners, lavish venues and expensive gift lists, there’s something about the baby shower which seems rather un-British. For a start, we are utterly useless at self-celebration and I for one start to noticeably squirm whenever I’m the centre of attention in a large group.
So the idea of all eyes being on me whilst gracefully accepting gifts from all of my guests wasn’t instantly appealing to me. But my lovely friend Jo offered to arrange mine for me – and I’m so glad that she did! Having a baby is the biggest event to ever happen in your life, and after having now had my baby shower, I can’t actually think of a more fitting way to celebrate. Spending £10,000 to turn it into a self-indulgent reflection of the mother-to-be is not necessary, however a low-key affair with close family and friends to enjoy together is what every British mum-to-be needs in her life.
So thank you Jo, for arranging my baby shower and thanks to my lovely mum who relished the opportunity to bake ample cakes, scones and make the sandwiches.
With the celebrations commencing at 12.30 on a Sunday afternoon, we decided on an afternoon tea theme for the food. After each enjoying a glass of pink cava (myself excluded – bah!) we tucked into mum’s feast of mini sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cake, cake and more cake.
Mum even insisted on bringing her own tea cups and saucers (I did tell her I have some more than adequate mugs but apparently they need to match for such an occasion). She also brought some posh miniature butter knives and forks – the type that only your mum has and that you only ever see on Christmas day (or at baby showers apparently).
As I’m expecting a girl, the theme for the food was of course generally pink! Mum baked the most amazing chocolate fudge cake encircled with Cadbury chocolate fingers and topped with strawberries and white chocolate buttons. Jo added to the spread with these adorable teddy cupcakes made at a local bakery – almost too cute to eat!
Whilst mum set about turning my kitchen into the Ritz, Jo busied herself adding some sparkle to our living room with balloons, confetti, banners, and – to everyone’s glee – horrendous baby photos of us all which she hung on the walls.
As not many people knew each other this was a great way to break the ice, and also formed the basis for a couple of games we played later on. If you fancy going all out on your decorations there are loads of companies now specialising in baby shower themes and decor from bunting to table centre pieces. You might want to start with the following links for some initial inspiration:
Alternatively, you can pick up various items on Ebay and Amazon and the supermarkets also sell a great range.
Knowing that I’m expecting a baby girl meant that all of the ‘guess the gender’ type games were out of the window, but there are still loads of fun games you can play. Here are some of ours:
Fun quizzes – Jo had arranged some fun quizzes (celebrity babies and nursery rhymes). Needless to say the mums in the room were much more clued up on the nursery rhymes than the rest of us – I had better swot up on those!
Match the baby photo – Everybody had brought along a baby photo of themselves and we had to guess which photo belonged to which guest. This definitely created the most laughs and brought out the competitive side in us all.
Guess the size of Nat’s bump – Cut the ribbon to guess the size of the bump. Apparently I look humongous as everyone’s guess was pretty much twice my size! Fails all-round.
Jo had also brought along a chart for everyone to fill in their guesses of baby’s size and name. The chart was made out of sturdy card and guests used a cute stamp for their chosen date, so it will also serve as a lovely keepsake – I might even frame it for baby’s nursery.
Afterwards came the opening of the gifts (everybody was far too generous!) with even more tea and cake.
The day left me feeling warm and gooey inside and even more excited for baby’s arrival. It also made me realise what a fantastic support network of great friends and family I have around me and admittedly, I actually enjoyed being the centre of attention for the day!
So, thanks America for introducing this great celebration to the UK. And Brits – loosen up and indulge in some self-celebration!
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