I recently looked at my dear friend’s rounded belly and I didn’t just see a pregnant woman.
I saw infinite possibilities.
Will he be funny or serious? Will she be a musician or an astrophysicist?
Will this new life be a boy or a girl?
So many pregnant women today do not know the gender of their baby, only to be surprised nine months later.
I knew that I was having a boy as soon as it was scientifically possible, but the idea of waiting is mysterious and beautiful if you have the strength to hold out.
The challenge of throwing a gender-neutral baby shower
Recently, several friends and I were tasked to throw a shower for this dear friend, and we couldn’t focus on the gender when planning because she is keeping it a surprise.
At first, it was frustrating for me, but as our plans came together, this gender mystery was freeing.
This question mark helped liberate us from the pinks and blues so that we could celebrate the actual person this little baby will become.
Our baby shower planning committee had a vision, which I wish I could take credit for. I am a better organizer than a creative mind in this area.
I am sharing what we did because I love, love, love the simplicity and beauty of this gender neutral baby shower.
Decor: Going beyond pinks and blues
Instead of picking a few neutral colors like yellow or green, we chose every color.
To me, our rainbow theme represented infinite possibilities.
We incorporated the whole color palate, from the clothes pins to the balloon arch that follows the lines of this beautiful rowhouse where the party was hosted.
These colors popped brilliantly against the whites in such a natural way that it didn’t overpower the space.
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Food: A rainbow of colors and flavors
We kept the food simple and light, starting with a colorful selection of fruity teas, including a Sunset Orange Roiboos, to set the tone.
No tea is complete without cucumber sandwiches and homemade scones. Jane Austen would have approved.
We then created a rainbow platter of fruits and vegetables:
- fresh figs
We topped off our spread with delectable cheese and charcuterie plates.
Games: Simple activities for your guests
Our mother-to-be is artistic so we wanted the games to reflect her.
First, we set up a onesie decorating station, complete with paints, brushes and ink stamps. Each guest could decorate onesies of different sizes, using their own imagination or the stamps we provided with animals, fruits and fun shapes.
We also passed around a simple linen photo book (we used this one from Paper Source), that guests could add their words of wisdom, tips and hacks for being a new mom. We simply removed the plastic sleeves before we passed it around.
Once the guests finish writing, I re-inserted the plastic sleeves over the written pages. It’s the perfect memory that the mom can bring home.
Gifts: A little creativity goes a long way
When you buy a gender neutral gift, you are forced to go beyond the blues and pinks.
It is much easier to buy clothes specifically for girls or for boys. However, more and more stores are creating gender-neutral areas or racks.
Instead of focusing on color, choose textures instead. Baby booties made of cashmere or faux fur from Restoration Hardware are so luxurious.
Perhaps you choose the whimsical hedgehog pajamas in cotton so soft to the touch that you want to crawl inside and take a nap.
Pick out clothes with your sense of touch rather than through your eyes.
By looking at my dear friend’s rounded belly, I can already hear the pitter-patter of baby legs scampering across the hardwood floor of her home. The muddy shoes. The hugs and cuddles.
I love that we celebrated my friend in a way that honored the person her child will become.
With infinite possibilities ahead.