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More Love, Less Stuff

Recently I was on evite creating a party invite. Now that I am a little more financially secure (thanks new job) I plan on hosting a few events each year. In general I love entertaining. I feel very blessed to have such great friends and enjoy spending time with my friends when possible. While on evite I noticed they have a blog, as someone who loves all things to do with entertaining I found this to be quite exciting. One of the topics was the concept of a baby shower for a 2nd baby . . . apparently this is quite the hot topic. Some people believe that showers beyond the 1st child are unnecessary, others believe that the arrival of each child deserves a celebration. I read through many comments and it seems as if the entire debate hinges upon gifts and if a celebration is contingent upon gifts. The whole debate led me to question my own, and society in general’s belief on celebrations and gift giving. For the record I think a celebration for ANY baby is entirely appropriate and should friends chose a gift is also appropriate. While often focusing on contributing towards big gifts for the first baby many 2nd and onward showers tend to focus on gifts for the mother ( who deservers pampering and attention) or items specific to the new baby. I am surprised about this debate as I have never once questioned the idea of celebrating each baby, or any special occasion for that matter. Why is it poor taste to have a 2nd baby shower but ok to have second wedding? I think 2nd weddings are ok too. I don’t look at baby showers, weddings, graduations, birthdays or any other celebration as a means of begging for gifts. Quite frankly, for the cost of a celebration these days one could easily go out and buy they stuff they want and skip the party, celebrations are not for profit. As an unmarried girl I hope to one day have the nice wedding. I want the overpriced cake, fancy dress, flowers and fun party . . . but most of all I want to be so blissfully happy that I want to shout it from the rooftop and have everyone near and dear to me come celebrate the special day. And will I expect to receive gifts? Well, yes; but that has become a custom in our society, but honestly I don’t imagine keeping track of who gave what once the thank you notes are sent out and I certainly won’t have the time and energy to look up who spent what. What I do hope for is when I use the fancy china, silverware and crystal I will reminisce about the special day and how great it was to have all my loved ones there. In general I do like gifts. Who doesn't really? I like receiving gifts but I also LOVE to give gifts. My goal with gift giving is to pick out something I feel the person would like but would not go out and purchase for themselves. I believe in giving fun or luxury gifts rather than necessity gifts. Anytime I have a celebration I don’t think of it as a time to receive gifts but a time to celebrate life with my friends. Sometimes friends give gifts, and sometimes friends don’t. It comes down to a personal preference and either way does not make someone a better friend. While I love using the serving platter KS gave me when I bought my home or breaking out the wine SB gave me for my birthday I love these as reminders of our friendship and have appreciation of those individuals thoughtfulness. If it was all about the stuff I would never socialize and spend all my money on me, me me! I feel that gift giving should be done voluntary and with delight. I never include “no gifts” on an invite because it is just as rude to refuse a gift as it is to expect it. (I checked with Emily post and miss manners on this one, saying “no gifts” is tacky people, please stop doing it). I also don’t believe in giving hints about stuff I want either, for the most part if I truly want something I will buy it. Except for weddings and maybe the 1st baby I am not a fan of registries, and I still hate them but recognize their evolution to necessity. Going back to the baby shower debate, I am sad to see that so many people get miffed when being invited to a friend’s celebration. If money is an issue I don’t think anyone (at least I know I wouldn’t) be offended by saying I would love to celebrate your special time but right now financially my love and support is all I can give. Sharing in your friend’s happiness is really the best gift you can give anyway.

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