How to Give the Gift of Presence… Hosting a Long Distance Shower
Sometimes there is just no way to gather everyone together in one place. Perhaps you are having a shower for friends and family locally, but she has many others who are scattered in different locations. Obviously, it would be best if any out of town guests could attend.
If possible, the shower should be scheduled so that it is
possible for them to be present, but if there is no way to
accomplish this, there are still a few things you can do.
One option is a videotape shower. This means that those family members and friends who are at another location actually host a separate shower. They can designate someone to be the "mommy-to-be", and that person can open the presents and act in the place of the real mommy-to-be (a pillow under the shirt is optional). There should be cake and games, just like any other shower. The shower is videotaped and then given to the mother-to-be. The tape can either be sent directly to her and viewed at her leisure, or if an in-person shower is being held, it would be a nice touch for the tape to be presented and perhaps even viewed at the "live" shower. It would also be thoughtful to make sure that you tape the live shower and send it back home to the friends and family who are unavailable.
Recently, a high-tech option has become available in the form of online showers. Invitations are sent, and live chat rooms are available. There are message boards and online games. While it certainly won't soon replace the fun of sitting in a room together any time soon, it provides an opportunity for sharing in the excitement of the pregnancy when gathering together is not possible.
Another high-tech option is setting up a live video feed on a computer. If you have a computer and a web camera, and there is one available in the out of town location, it would be fun if out of town friends and family could gather together while the local shower is being held. They could either hold a simultaneous shower (similar to the videotape shower) or send their gifts to the local shower and be "present" for the opening. If games are going to be played, any handouts should be sent to the out of town guests, so that they can "participate", as well. Perhaps they could even serve the same food.
Friends and family are so important in the life of a woman expecting a baby. Providing an opportunity for them to be present in some way for her shower is probably the best gift that you could give her. If at all possible, find a way to involve those who can't be physically present.