If you are invited to a “bridal shower” or a “baby shower,” you will be expected to bring a substantial gift. The “showers” are gift-giving events.
In many cases (if not most), the couple to be married (or the expectant mother) will choose the gifts they want from the “gift registry” of any of a number of stores, now, more often than not, completely on the Internet. Traditional gifts for weddings used to be largely china, cutlery, and kitchen appliances, but today the happy couple may well register at a home improvement store. Baby showers, of course, involve baby clothes and related infant items.
Today, these registries make gift giving simple. Log on, choose the gift you can afford, pay for the gift, and the registry takes care of the rest, including gift wrapping, shipping, and providing a gift card from you showing your chosen message. You can always arrange to have the wrapped gift sent to you if you wish to give it in person. At a retail store, you can, of course, shop in person, commonly accessing the registry at an in-store kiosk. If you cannot decide on the gift or if all the gifts in your price range have been taken already, you have the option of purchasing a gift card.
While the groom at a wedding or father in the case of an expected birth has at least a theoretical say in the choice of gifts at a registry, American shower participants, honorees, and guests are always female.
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