The hostess and/or the shower guests may suggest that everyone contribute to one large gift for the honoree. If the new bride, mother or grandmother has already received a number of the smaller or less expensive items on her registry and still needs one or more large items, this may be the route to take. But no guest should be pressured into participating in this purchase.
The hostess may coordinate the collection of contributions and may ask another guest to make the purchase and to wrap the gift. As the guests arrive, all should sign a card for the honoree. If the guests are planning a large gift basket or gift bag, the hostess may ask the guests to drop their contributions by early so she can wrap them in coordinated papers, or she may just have the decorated basket ready when they arrive, so their gifts can be placed in it.
- Any large-ticket item the bridal couple are truly in need of—an appliance, a piece of furniture, etc. Check the couple’s registry or with their family to be certain you’re not duplicating what someone is giving them.
- Coupons for services—painting, home repairs, home decorating help, housecleaning, cooking a meal or cooking lessons, help with a party, babysitting. These coupons can be created on the computer or handwritten and displayed in a scrapbook or photo album.
- Memory Album or Scrapbook—if the shower guests have all known the bride and/or groom for a long time, there may be pictures of good times together that could be put in and labeled in a creatively decorated scrapbook or album. Shower guests could write in individual memories on some of the pages.
- Honeymoon Picnic Basket—picnic foods, disposable cutlery, napkins, plates, bottle of wine or cider, bug spray.
- Honeymoon Beach Basket–snack foods and drinks, suntan lotion, bug spray sunglasses, beach towels, Frisbee, inflatable beach pillows.
- Honeymoon Travel Basket—travel items (travel umbrella, extra tote bag, makeup kit, travel pillow, etc.) plus items related to the destination—visors, flip-flops, fanny packs, tennis balls, underwater goggles.
- First Christmas Basket—Christmas ornaments and lights, ornament hooks, candles, decorative items, holiday partyware.
- Home Entertaining Basket—candlesticks and candles, wineglasses, cocktail or dinner napkins, placemats, table runner or cloth, disposable partyware, party platters.
- Celebration Crate—fill a wooden crate with wood shavings and as many bottles of wine or champagne as your contributors wish—each bottle is to be opened on a special day during the couple’s first year of marriage—their first New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, wedding anniversary and birthdays. Add tags or cards to go with each bottle. You can also add embellishments for each bottle like mistletoe on the Christmas bottle, party hats and horns on the New Year’s bottle, a Happy Birthday banner wrapped around the birthday bottle.
- Welcome to the Family Box—you can include a family tree, color-coded cards per family group with contact info and birthdays and anniversaries, special interests, directions to their home, pictures of them (these can be decorated with calligraphy or done attractively on the computer). Labeled copies of family photos of important family times could also be included.
- Wedding Memorabilia Box—a decorated box for the couple to keep wedding memorabilia that doesn’t fit into an album like preserved bouquets, ring-bearer’s pillow, couple’s toasting glasses.
- Special Interest Basket–fill with items that pertain to the hobby of the bride or bride and groom together—DVDs and popcorn and candy for movie lovers, CDs and headphones for music lovers, or event tickets, spectator blankets/seats and binoculars for sports lovers.
- Thematic Basket—fill with items related to the theme of the shower—lingerie, kitchen, or whatever.
- Any large-ticket item the mother really needs for her new baby—stroller, car-seat, crib, playpen, etc. Check the baby registry or with the grandparents/parents to be certain you’re not duplicating what someone is giving them.
- Thematic Basket—fill with items related to the theme of the shower—Noah’s Ark, teddy bears, or whatever
- Keepsake “First” Box: Decorate a box with decoupage or other baby designs. The mother can use this special container to keep all the “firsts” for her new child.
- Coupons for services—certificates or coupons for babysitting, entertaining the other children, cooking, housework, errand-running. These coupons can be created on the computer or handwritten and displayed in a scrapbook or photo album.
- Memory Album or Scrapbook—if the shower guests have all known the parents-to-be for a long time, there may be pictures of good times together that could be put in and labeled in a creatively decorated scrapbook or album. Shower guests could write in individual memories on some of the pages. Family members can include memories of when the parents were born or were babies.
- Pamper Package—goodies for the mom-to-be—lotions, perfume, DVDs, paperbacks by favorite others, favorite treats.
- Books for Baby Bag—board and picture books for the new baby.
- Specialty Surprises—toys, books, and clothes that relate to a specialty interest like children’s art, music, sports, literature, etc.
- Any large-ticket item the grandmother really needs for her new grandchild— carseat, crib, playpen, etc. Check the baby registry or with the parents to be certain you’re not duplicating what someone is giving them.
- A Visit to Grandma’s Basket—this can include baby and preschool toys, children’s music CDs, and books that the new grandmother can use when her new grandchild comes to visit.
- Overnight at Grandma’s Bag—fill with baby bath and hygiene products so that the new grandmother can take care of her grandchild for overnight visits.
- Read to Me, Nana Box—this box can be filled with children’s picture books and storybooks to read to her grandchild.
- Modern Mothering Basket—give the new grandmother some of the newest books on childcare and parenting so she can read up and be ready to try the newest methods when she helps with her grandchild.