Moms-to-be look forward to gathering with family and friends at a baby shower to open gifts for their new bundle of joy. Even though expectant mothers can register with the store (or stores) of their choice and let guests know what items they need, sometimes it’s more practical for the new Mom to receive a gift card. According to Storknet, the Pregnancy and Parenthood WebStation, requesting gift cards is considered poor etiquette under most circumstances. However, there are ways to politely let guests know that gift cards are preferred by the expectant Mom.
Talk to relatives and close friends. Let them know that you would rather have a gift card than toys, infant clothing, or other typical baby shower presents. If you want a particular store or website gift card, let them know as well. It’s okay to give reasons why you want a gift card instead of physical gifts – you’re moving into a new apartment and don’t want to transport gifts across town, for example, but an explanation isn’t necessary. If you ask politely, most people will understand.
List gift cards as an option on the baby shower invitation. Instead of asking for only gift cards (or gift certificates) on the invitation, place a one-line note near the bottom of the invite stating that gift cards are welcome. You may also request a “group gift” and suggest guests contact the hostess to contribute to a gift card fund. Guests may still choose to give you presents instead, but you’ve circulated the idea among attendees.
Include gift cards on the store registry. Most stores, like Target, Babies ‘R’ Us and Wal-Mart, offer gift cards for purchase in various denominations. You can place gift cards as one of the options on the registry, in addition to, or instead of, listing the request on the baby shower invitation.
Inform guests of your preferences on your website or blog. Write an entry about your baby shower. Include a paragraph about shower gifts and mention gift cards from your favorite stores or websites. By listing gift cards as an option, you avoid unnecessarily “ordering” guests to purchase them instead of other gifts. Many people consider this tacky.
Plan a gift card shower. When a hostess throws a party for a friend or relative, who is flying (or driving) in from out of town, traveling home with big bulky presents may be a problem. If so, throw a gift card shower. Use invitations to indicate that the mom to be is traveling in from out of town and that gift cards or small presents will be appreciated. Hint that a combination of a small denomination gift card and a small present would also make a good gift.