Your daughter and her husband or that favorite daughter-in-law and son live a day's travel time away – and she is going to have a baby. Many of her friends and family live closer to you than her. As her due date gets closer and travel is made more difficult, a baby shower seems unlikely.
Now is the time to make use of modern technology and get creative. More and more, families are spread out over great distances, so organize a baby shower in two locations using computers and two webcams.
About eight weeks before shower date:
- Create guest list. This would include friends and family close to your location and those close to her location. Hopefully she does not mind hosting her portion of this two-location party!
- Purchase two webcams. Some computers now come equipped with internal webcams, but if your computer and/or your daughter(-in-law)'s computer does not, you will need to set up cameras on both computers. Webcams, such as Logitech, begin at $30 and go up from there. The basic model will work great for a baby shower.
- Send one of the webcams to your guest-of-honor.
- Test reception. Once you both have set up the webcams on your respective computers and acquired appropriate e-mail accounts as described in the instructions, contact each other and test the cameras, including sound and reception.
Six weeks before shower date:
- Send out invitations. Provide the date, time, and appropriate address for each guest. It would also be wise to note this will be a long-distance baby shower. Most will be intrigued.
- RSVP regrets only. As with most parties, it is nice to have an approximate count of guests.
- If you decide to play a couple of games at the shower, this would be the time to organize. You may need to send props and prizes to your daughter(-in-law), so games can be played and prizes handed out at both locations.
Day of the shower:
- Set up the computer in a central location, providing chairs in a semi-circle around, so all the guests can watch the monitor.
- Double-check that the webcams are working properly.
- As guests arrive, set presents aside and direct them to the webcam. The fun begins.
- Provide plenty of time for each guest to spend time in front of the webcam.
- Time to open presents. Ask the person giving the present to sit close to the webcam and open the present, taking time to explain what it is and showing it off. It can be fun to take turns at each location until all the presents are opened.
After the shower:
- Package up and send the gifts to your daughter(-in-law).
And as final reminders:
You are treading new ground, breaking up old traditions, so have fun and be creative. This may become a trend and you will be in on the ground floor of it.
Be flexible during the shower. This will not be the usual party event, so be ready for anything that may happen.