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February 14, 2013
The Real Issue
Is an E-vite Real?
by Cyndie Swindlehurst


Today I got an e-vite to a baby shower. The mother-to-be is a person I hardly know, and there are 150 people on the e-vite list. That’s not a typo: 150!

I thought baby showers were for close friends and family. This shower seems almost greedy. I don’t have to send a gift, do I? Do I even need to respond?


One hundred and fifty people is certainly an extravagant guest list for a baby shower. Baby showers are typically gatherings of close friends and family who want to shower useful baby items on a mother-to-be. People who do not attend a baby shower are not obligated to send a gift.

In a church context, baby showers can also be a way for a ward to show a mother-to-be that she is loved, valued, and remembered. This is easy if the mother-to-be has a circle of friends: those friends host and attend the shower.

But if the mother-to-be is new to the ward, or for other reasons does not have a circle of friends, it is more difficult to make a guest list. Sometimes, the hostess decides that instead of inviting her own circle of friends in an effort to welcome the new sister into that circle, she will just invite everyone in the ward. There might be good reasons to do this (maybe your whole ward loves showers), and it is one way in which I can imagine that an e-vite to 150 people ended up in your in-box.

If this shower is for a new or otherwise friendless sister in your ward, for heaven’s sake, go!

However, even if this shower is not for a person in obvious need of friendship, try not to think of it as greedy. Think of the e-vite as a technological wonder, not a way to avoid buying stationery and postage. Be generous, and decide to believe that it was kind of her to invite you, that she wanted your company and not just your gift.

You might even imagine a way in which the 150-person guest list was the result of a funny technological mistake or misunderstanding between the hostess and the mother-to-be, who are both mightily embarrassed and surprised to be suddenly managing a party for 150 instead of 20.

If anyone you know makes a critical remark to you about the e-vite or the number of guests, say something good-natured like, “It will certainly be a lively party!” There is no need to expose the hostess or mother-to-be to ridicule or unkind comments.

No matter what you think of the e-vite or the guest list, you should respond. Fortunately, e-vites are easy to respond to. You just click Yes or No. You can even leave a comment when you decline: “Hope you have a wonderful shower. Congratulations!”

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