Yesterday, the other pregnant lady at the library asked me if we had started registering for gifts yet. I told her that I didn’t think we were going to register at all. I explained our plans to buy most stuff used and that we have friends and family who have finished having babies who have offered us hand-me-downs as well. She was seemed surprised that I wasn’t going to register for gifts, and pointed out all the stuff that you can’t get used that we would need (on her list: baby shampoo and ora-gel swabs for teething, among many other things), and said that we might as well register for them.
I don’t care if I am the last holdout in the country on this. There will be no baby registry and no baby shower. Most of my friends have already had babies and are not planning to have more, so they are giving us all sorts of used baby stuff (my friends know I’m the queen of thrift stores and that I have no problems with second-hand stuff). Same goes for family – both of my husband’s sisters have finished having babies, and have offered lots of their stuff to us. That’s plenty – I hope that they don’t feel the need to buy new stuff for us as well. Hopefully by not registering for gifts and not having a shower, we can make people feel more comfortable with the idea that we don’t expect gifts. I hate the idea of making a shopping list of stuff that we want and then expecting all our loved ones to go buy the stuff on the list. I know that everyone does it, but I’ve never done stuff just because everyone else did it.
In high school, I didn’t buy a letter jacket or class ring. My mother took my senior pictures, and I ended up with 6 different pictures, and we spent about $20 for reprints. I didn’t send graduation announcements for high school or college, because I didn’t want my family (most of whom live very far away and would never have been able to attend) to feel that they needed to send me anything. When we got married, we sent personal, handwritten letters to our friends and family after the fact, including pictures from our wedding, but we never registered for any gifts. So I’m in the habit of looking at things from my own point of view and doing what I feel is right, not what everyone else does. And I feel very uncomfortable with parties whose primary purpose is to bring gifts, and I feel even more uncomfortable with gift registries. So we will not be having either.
We’re thinking about having our family and friends over for a ‘meet the baby’ party next summer. It would be a casual, bbq-type get together, and the baby would be there, as opposed to the traditional baby shower where the baby is still just a bump. Whatever we do, I want to make sure that nobody feels that they have to give us a gift. I understand that people like giving gifts – I love giving things to the people I love – but I don’t want the terms to be dictated by anyone or by any particular day on the calendar.