Little Pumpkin Baby Shower

by Staci Pratt
(Troy, NH, USA)

Just a small sampling

Just a small sampling

Last year, when I found out that a dear friend of mine was expecting, I knew that I would be the one giving her a baby shower, and I wanted it to be just perfect.

With the help of her mother-in-law, I set out to find the best theme for the new arrival. We enlisted the help of my daughters and my friend's step-daughter in planning, and later running, the shower.

We tossed a few of the traditional theme ideas around, and scoured the internet to help us in our search. Since her due date was near Halloween, we thought about trying to incorporate the holiday into the theme, but we ran into some problems making it work. Although my friend was convinced that she would have a duck theme, the way we picked on her for waddling, we wanted it to be unique, personal, and fun. So we limited our choices and finally agreed on "Momma's Little Pumpkin".

With the theme agreed upon, we set out to find decorations, food ideas, favors, party games, etc. The location of the shower was a breeze. My parents own an indoor horse riding arena and we thought that would be the perfect place to have it so that we could turn it into an all-out autumn pumpkin shower. We knew that we wanted to decorate with pumpkins, but still being fairly early in the season, with pumpkins not readily available everywhere, we wanted to make sure that we had other options as well. So in addition to pumpkins we used corn stocks from my father's garden, artificial flowers in autumn colors, small scarecrows and bales of hay.

Our pumpkins were varied – we used real pumpkins, plastic pumpkins, ceramic pumpkins, Styrofoam pumpkins, and pictures of pumpkins – the girls even made pumpkins out of orange foam. We used plaid and green tablecloths, napkins inscribed with pumpkins and the baby's name, orange plastic pumpkin cups, traditional blue "It's a boy" decorations, and pumpkin spice candles set on artificial autumn leaves as centerpieces. We had pumpkin salt and pepper shakers on the food table, and ceramic candy corn pieces. We tipped over a wheelbarrow and set the gifts in it and in front of it, to give the appearance that it fell over and the presents spilled out of it.

The tables were set up in a horseshoe shape with the mom-to-be and her special helpers at the open end, facing the guests.

We wanted to offer food that would also go along with our pumpkin theme. The girls made tuna, chicken salad, and egg salad sandwiches and used a cookie cutter to cut them into pumpkin shapes. We had chips and dip, pumpkin shaped cookies, salad, pumpkin bread, cheese and crackers served on plastic pumpkin shaped trays, pumpkin spice roll, and iced pumpkin bars. Beverages included coffee, punch, and apple cider. The cake was a sheet cake topped with a 3-D pumpkin - the top of it was cut off and a baby was peeking out of the top, wearing the cover as a hat. The inscription was "Momma's Little Pumpkin" written in green icing.

My friend's mother-in-law ordered coordinating pumpkin favors. We had baby bookmarks, candy bags full of marshmallow pumpkins and candy corn, and bright orange pencils with pumpkins inscribed beside the new baby's name. These all featured the "baby inside of the pumpkin" theme, and matched the door prize scratch tickets that were handed out by the girls, the paper that the baby shower bingo was played on, and the plastic cups that the plastic babies were frozen in for the "first to break their water" game. The girls handed out the prizes, as well as coordinated the games, including the Left-Right story that was read as a gift bag was handed around. Prizes given for games kept with the pumpkin theme – bags filled with pumpkin-designed kitchen towels, pumpkin bread mix, a ceramic pumpkin figurine, and a pumpkin candle. The door prize was a beautiful flower arrangement made inside a Styrofoam based pumpkin.

The girls even dressed the part in their matching orange shirts, each one featuring a pumpkin with the face of the girl photo-shopped to stick out of the pumpkin!

Mom-to-be wasn't to be outdone with costume though – when she arrived she was given her own maternity shirt with the inscription "Momma's little pumpkin" and an arrow pointing to her belly, with a matching autumn leaf pin. Even though Dad-to-be couldn't be there, he even had a shirt on display with a pumpkin and an inscription "It's a boy AND I planted the seed!" The shower was a big hit and a lot of fun for everyone involved. So for those that are stuck in a baby shower planning rut, just remember – there are opportunities to take advantage of every season, and help around every corner. Let your creativity flow and just have fun with it!

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