Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Baby Shower for Shannon

I'm no Martha Stewart, but I love to entertain. I come from a family of women who also love to entertain and put their own unique stamp on the parties they host. Grandma and her friends hosted theme parties and prepared multiple dishes involving jello and pretzels. In her later years, she was known to make vegetable soup a week or two in advance of her party and then freeze it to be ready for her guests. My mom loves a good party and incorporates flowers from her garden on the tables. Her meatballs in grape jelly and chili sauce are legendary. My Aunt Tina is a master hostess who could probably teach Martha a thing or two about throwing a party. Her food is spectacular and well-presented and she always makes you feel that she's glad you attended, even if you are one of 45 guests.

Anyway, hosting a party makes me feel closer to these women in my family who I love, so I jumped at the chance to host a baby shower for my friend Shannon. Shannon and her husband Mike are expecting a baby boy any week now and I felt that we needed to make her celebration extra special because she's spending most of her pregnancy away from her family.

I enlisted Jennie for help with decorations and pretty much everything else. Her hand-cut, blue and chocolate brown teddy bear banner provided the perfect backdrop for our afternoon high tea. I insisted on cheesy games, but provided prizes to keep the girls interested. In my search for good baby shower games, everyone mentioned the disgusting 'what kind of candy bar is mooshed in the diaper game,' but I refused and opted for the more tasteful nursery rhyme and baby item memory games. It was sophisticated, but still lots of fun.

My favorite part was watching Shannon open the baby gifts. I would have been content to ooh and ah over the sweet baby clothes, books and shoes all afternoon. Little baby James may not have his extended family in Australia, but he'll still feel welcomed and loved by his parents.

Like Shannon and Mike, we are living far away from our families. However, hosting parties inspired by the women in my family makes the distance more bearable. There's something wonderful about maintaining traditions yet creating new ones at the same time.

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