The Vine: March 13, 2013
My partner is pregnant with twins (yay!) and her mother's friends are throwing us a very fancy shower, and invited all of their fancy friends. Although I don't know most of them very well, I really appreciate their support of our family (and will really appreciate their gifts, as crass as that sounds — two babies need a lot of stuff!).
What is the etiquette for giving a thank-you gift to the shower hosts? Thank-you cards are a given, of course, but is something else appropriate? And, if we are supposed to give a gift, what should it be? My partner and I are not nearly as fancy as the people who will be throwing the party, so any suggestions of things they might like would really help. Also, do we give them the gift on the day of the shower? Or do we wait and send them something later? I would appreciate any help you can give!
Mazel tov and buona fortuna!
I don't know the "official" etiquette for shower thank-yous as far as the hosts. Anyone who got you a gift gets a proper thank-you note, of course, but getting the hosts of the physical party a token of extra thanks is certainly not in-appropriate, I wouldn't say. People like to know they did good, that you appreciate them; it's hard to go wrong expressing that.
So, you're a go on the gift. What should you get? Presumably you know your mother-in-law well enough to guess on something — a flower arrangement, a nice bottle of wine (or tea service, if she's not a wine drinker), a photo of the two of you (or the three of you, better yet) in a frame that goes with her décor. Fancy people like the same things as the rest of us, usually, and you can always use the shower itself as an opportunity to scout for something the host might like — if she mentions out loud that she could use a tiered platter, for instance, you could find her a nice one at FishsEddy.com. Again, your partner will know that waterfront, so discuss it with her.
Don't give her anything at the shower except a big hug and sincere verbal thanks; there's enough going on already. Send your tulips or cheeses a few days later, with a note telling her how thankful you are for not just the shower itself, but becoming part of such a thoughtful family.
Tags: etiquette the fam