Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saying "no" to a baby shower


While both my husband and I are only in our thirties, we have spent years decluttering, 
purging, and generally downsizing our amount of stuff. I firmly believe that 
the fewer things you keep, the more special they are. 

We are purposefully steering our life toward having fewer but higher quality items as opposed to having an over abundance of cheap, poorly made, disposables. 

This brings us to the decision not to have a baby shower. We want to honor our community and celebrate bringing new life into our family and this world in a way that also celebrates a smaller, less cluttered, more authentic life together. We want time and ability to have adventures together, rather than a cluttered home and time spent managing our stuff.

I have a friend who, for her first child, received over twenty receiving blankets. All but a few never even got unfolded. I've seen registries for baby showers that had three or four diaper bags, and been to showers where the majority of items were for newborns only and so wouldn't be used for more than a couple of months tops. We understand the desire and need for coming together to celebrate a new person, and even for some the need for financial support for items beyond one's own means. If we were ten years younger, we might be in a different situation. As it is, there is nothing we will actually need that we cannot reasonably afford.

 We know and are grateful that those who want to contribute to this new person's life, will do so, regardless of a shower.

I am not comfortable with cultural institutions and expectations that center around large quantities of stuff. I do not want anyone to feel pressure to give, as it is not belongings that make our life so rich.

 We want the things we do own to be ones we use and treasure. We want them to be long-lasting and good for much more than just our convenience.

We hope to have a non-gift-centered celebration at some point this fall - so if you're local (and we actually know you) we hope you'll join us then!


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