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Susan Adcox

How to Celebrate Becoming a Grandmother

By October 16, 2012

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Since receiving an email inquiry about grandmother showers, I've learned that the topic elicits a wide variety of reactions. Most, though not all, grandmothers think grandma showers sound like a lot of fun. The naysayers label them "gift grabs" or say that a grandmother involved in such an event must be a "narcissistic" individual trying to make the birth of her grandchild "all about her."

Well-planned grandma showers should not bring such criticism down on their planners and honorees. In my opinion, a grandma shower shouldn't be much like a real shower. It should be small, just the closest friends of the grandmother-to-be. The gifts should be modest. I read about a shower to which each guest brought a classic children's book. Photo frames or personalized grandma gear may be specified instead. Another gift alternative is just to provide a basket in which friends can place inexpensive helpful items, like diaper wipes and baby shampoo. Personally, I wouldn't go for traditional shower trappings like a fancy cake, baby shower games and frou-frou decorations.

Perhaps part of the problem is the name. Perhaps we shouldn't be calling these events showers. I've read that some mothers reject traditional showers in favor of something more spiritual, called a Mother Blessing or a Blessingway. Maybe we should call these events grandmother blessings. On the other hand, thinking of my friends, we might be a little too raucous for that name.

What do you think about grandmother showers? Leave a comment below.

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October 16, 2012 at 8:53 am
(1) granny annie says:

How about Granny’s Goody Gathering? I could have used some baby gear to have in my home when the first grandchild arrived on the scene. It never dawned on me the type on things that would be needed by me.

October 16, 2012 at 9:47 am
(2) Grandma Kc says:

I love Granny Annie’s idea for a name and I love the idea of doing this! I don’t think it is narcissistic but more a celebration of joy! I remember how excited I was and it would have been a blast to celebrate it with some of my friends — some who were already celebrating being Grandmas and others who were still waiting. Like Granny Annie I had no idea how much stuff I was going to need! Used items from other Grandmothers would have come in very handy. I love this idea!

October 17, 2012 at 11:46 am
(3) Mai says:

I think a grandmother shower is a lovely idea. I put together a basketful of little essentials for a friend who had just learned that she was a grandmother. It’s funny how many little things are needed for babies!

October 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm
(4) Jackie says:

What a charming idea! The idea of bringing children’s books is a lovely one.

October 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(5) GaGa says:

Some of my coworkers did this for me when our first grandchild was born. It was more of a silly surprise celebration. I got a couple new things but also great 2nds that grandparents cn use but don’t need new. We had a little fun & I felt special because they acknowledged my sheer joy in becoming a grandmother.

October 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(6) Joyce says:

Personally, I would LOVE to make a grandma shower for a friend, but I would be uncomfortable being the guest of honor. This is probably because the same guests present would be also buying for the new baby (their choice). My initial reaction to the idea was, “oh no! not another thing to decorate, make food, and buy a gift for!” But that’s my fault, I guess, because we have a tendency to go way overboard for a new arrival with the time, energy and money we expend. For people who are content with a charming, simple gathering like you described, I say go for it!

October 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm
(7) MaryLee says:

I never heard of such a thing. If a group of close friends want to get together and celebrate an important occasion in the life of one of them, why call it anything at all? Just get together and do it however you want to.

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