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The 'display shower': Is skipping gift wrap green or mean?

January 29, 2010 | 10:00 am

While perusing Booby Brigade -- an online message board for new and new-ish moms in L.A. -- I came across a message thread about "display showers." In this emerging practice, a baby or bridal shower's guest of honor requests that presents arrive unwrapped. In this message thread, a shower co-host fretted that this was maybe too weird. "Is this the new thing?" she wrote. "Isn't that what you do at the shower, open gifts and thank everyone for their generosity and good wishes?"

The Booby Brigade response was mixed. Some applauded the idea of reducing paper waste. "I think unwrapped presents are becoming more popular for all occasions because being 'green' is becoming more 'hip,'" wrote one mom. "It's actually a good thing. We would waste less paper and a lot of gift wrap is not recyclable paper either."

"Embrace the new!" wrote another woman.

But another mom shared the original poster's apprehension. "I'm with you! While they're at it, why don't the guests just mail cash to her house and skip the cake altogether?" she wondered.

Curious if the gap was generational, I called my mother, catching her at lunch with a fellow baby boomer.  While they liked the idea in concept -- "I hate wrapping things at this point," said my mom -- neither could imagine delivering a naked gift. "We like the idea of wrapping it in some fashion, but in green fashion," she said.

For one idea on green wrapping paper, check out Jeannine Stein's DIY giftwrap project.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stewart / For The Times