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by Alison Hogan


Can you stand another baby shower?  Cliques of women nattering among themselves until the present -opening begins, with its requisite ooohs and aaahs over the gross materialism encased in buttons and bows.

   It doesn’t have to be that way, says lifestyle author and expert Donata Maggipinto, who has turned her attention to baby showers in her role as spokesperson for PediaCare cough and cold medications.  “Cashmere sweaters for a newborn? That’s ridiculous,” agrees Maggipinto, who describes the shower she — and her husband — enjoyed at the impending birth of son Reyn, now 6.  “We had a barbecue and invited lots of different people — men and women.  It wasn’t frou-frou at all.  We threw an open house-style party to ‘celebrate’.  There were cocktails for those who could drink.  And we didn’t open the presents,” a practice she shuns.

   “It’s so boring to make people sit through all that,” she believes.  

   Of course, a baby shower always requires gifting, but Maggipinto has her standard:  “Useful gifts, wrapped in an appealing way.”  She also loves baskets.  “They give the sense of abundance,” she says. “You can include items for baby, items for mom, and a little something for the siblings.  And you can use the basket again.”

   Further, she stresses, putting together a basket for a special mom-to-be doesn’t have to break the bank.  “You can find baby gifts in the supermarket,” she points out, “useful stuff like baby thermometers and teething rings.”

 Maggipinto’s latest book, her fourth, might also make a great gift for mom.  Everyday Celebrations (Chronicle Books) is, she says, “all about how to relish the small wonders in life.”  It includes recipes and tips on style and for gatherings that will hopefully, she says, “just help to slow us down.”

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