Last year, my sister-in-law had her first child. She and her husband have moved around a handful of times, and at the time she was expecting, they were still a little unsettled in their town, far away from close friends and family. I was 12 hours away and desperately wished I could wave a magic wand to have all their dear ones together to celebrate the child. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand. Fortunately, I do have technology. This is one of the beautiful things about technology- if we use it correctly, it really can make the world a smaller place, and bring people together. Enlisting her sister and best friend, we threw her a virtual shower!
A lot of the virtual shower ideas out there were not my cup of tea. Most of the ideas I saw had some form of video chat with the mother-to-be, and honestly, being 8 months pregnant, you do not want to sit in a room by yourself and have everyone from your parent’s friends to old college buddies drop in on a video chat and make awkward conversation for a couple of minutes with potentially bad connection. We decided to do things a little bit different by having the shower revolve around a scavenger hunt. We asked that people RSVP by email address. The day of the hunt, we sent out a list of items to capture with a photograph. They were instructed to post their items on instagram with a party-specific hashtag, and also tagging the parents-to-be.
- Go to a department store and put together a cute outfit suggestion for the baby.
- Find your favorite Bible verse about parenthood and take a picture of it.
- Find a stranger to sing a lullaby with. *
- Take a picture of your favorite children’s book.
- Film yourself doing your best impression of the mother-to-be (pregnant or otherwise!)
- Ask an older person for parenting advice.
- Treat yo self! This is a party after all.
- Go the park and film yourself giving a demonstration of how not to use playground equipment.
- Find a couple to give advice about marriage after your first child.
- Dance to Nyan cat for 15 seconds.
- Creatively spell the word BABY with items around you.
- Parents have to be resourceful- find an alternative to diapers in your home and make an instructional video.
- Yoga is great for pregnant women as well as for new moms to bond with their babies. Make a 15 second video on how to do a yoga pose.
- Tell the story of your favorite Disney movie in 20 words.
- Go caroling with the song “Baby” by Justin Bieber.
- Take a turn on a coin operated ride to remind the new parents that this is their future.
- Ask a stranger to play leapfrog with you.
- Write an uplifting message for the new parents in chalk outside.
- Send a gift or card of best wishes for the new baby!
We also had a Facebook page for the party and did a day-of crowdfunding for a couple of their big ticket gifts. So, my partner-in-crime would post a picture of an item and the dollar amount, and asked anyone who was interested in gifting them to venmo the money. By the end of the party, we were able to get them a pack-n-play and a glider. It was really awesome, and exciting for people to see exactly what their money was going towards, instead of just random gift card presents.
It was a lot of fun to see the silliness people posted, and to shower them with love and presents. Even if you’re far from loved ones, you can still spread the joy.