How much to spend on baby shower hostess gifts (and what to buy for a grown mother and daughter)?
January 22, 2010 5:21 AM   Subscribe

My husband's second cousin and her mother are very generously hosting a baby shower for me. How much would it be appropriate for me to spend on thank-you/hostess gifts for them? (My sister said the amount I was planning to spend was too much.) Does it matter if I give the presents before/after instead of during the shower? Any suggestions of a good grown mother/daughter gift? (One idea would be to get gift certificates for two manicures they could use together, although I generally don't like gift certificates.) In case it matters, this is in the San Francisco Bay area.
posted by espertus to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I gave my three best friends who hosted my shower earrings that were around $50/pair. But they were my best friends.

How well do you know these women? I think that's the deciding factor.

If you know them well, something intimate like jewelry would be nice. You can get them earrings or a necklace in the same style, but with different stones or a slightly different design. Etsy is a great resource for this because you can contact the artisans and explain what you're looking for.

If you don't know them well, a token like a gift certificate as you are thinking is nice. I think mani/pedis are a safe bet. So are wine stores (if they drink). Or just like any other party, send them flowers the next day.

But the best thing you can do, no matter what you get them, is write a heartfelt note expressing your thanks. That is what people remember.

Best wishes with your pregnancy!
posted by FergieBelle at 5:48 AM on January 22, 2010

I don't know what's appropriate for the gift, but I would give it after the shower, so you can include a handwritten note saying thank you and including some details from the shower ("Thank you for the lovely luncheon, and the blue balloons were fabulous!").
posted by xingcat at 6:00 AM on January 22, 2010

Organising something can be a ballache. It's often thankless, and people need to be chased, things baked/bought/cooked etc.

No need to overdo it, but think of something nice and, provided the price isn't ridiculous, get it. If that sounds unhelpful, it's not meant to be - I just mean find something they'll like, and which indicates you put more than a little thought into it.

I'd also give it afterwards. Presents fly about at things like baby showers and it'd be nice for them to get a hand-written note and a gift afterwards.

Also, I wouldn't get a gift certificate. For me, it has a touch of "I wanted to give you $50, so here's $50."

If in doubt, get flowers. Few people buy them for themselves and as a standby gift, it's hard to fail with.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:31 AM on January 22, 2010

I say $50-75 dollars/each. (Throwing a shower is expensive!) And it is totally fine to give them the presents before or after the shower. I don't know that they necessarily have to be "mother/daughter" gifts, but it is typical to give each host the same thing, with a slight variation. Spa gift certificate sounds nice. I also like the idea of a necklace/pendant. I have seen a lot of lotion/bath gel sets given as hostess gifts too, especially if they are into high-end kind of stuff (like L'Occitane or Fresh.) Or high-end teas if they're tea drinkers.
posted by picklebird at 6:38 AM on January 22, 2010

Give it after the shower.

Also, so long as its the right gift for those people, cost isn't an issue. (I assume here its not a diamond necklace or some such utterly ridiculous gift.) The cost of a gift shouldn't enter into it -- if you can afford it, and its the right gift, then give it.
posted by anastasiav at 7:09 AM on January 22, 2010

I think this is a great idea, and yes, give it after the shower. Whatever you decide to give accompany it with a heartfelt thank you note.

The best presents are things that a person likes but wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves, so if you think a manicure fits that description then that's a great way to go. Flowers too.
posted by apricot at 7:47 AM on January 22, 2010

I spent around $40 each for the hostesses of a fairly elaborate catered shower in the midwest (costs much lower than San Fran!). I spent around $15 each for the hostesses of an informal potluck shower. For the first I got semiprecious stone jewelry; the latter was ... well, book-related things since we're all in a book club together. (Bookmarks, pretty notepaper, reading flags, etc., all wrapped up pretty.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:01 AM on January 22, 2010

Response by poster: The younger hostess was married last summer and still has some items on her registry, the cheapest of which is $50. Would that be too extravagant or otherwise inappropriate?
posted by espertus at 9:51 AM on January 23, 2010

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