09/10/2009 10:59 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Did You Have A Baby Shower?

The other day my friend said to me "I'll get you an [insert cute item of your choice] when you have your baby shower", at which I visibly baulked.

No family member of mine has ever held a baby shower. And coming from a family that grumbles constantly about "Americanisms" like Trick or Treating and the use of words like "volunteerism", I can't imagine for a minute any of them would agree to attend a party that was solely aimed at getting me free stuff for the baby, especially when that tradition comes from across the pond.

Not without a lot of grumbling anyway.

But is it so wrong to have a baby shower? Did you have one? Would you have one?
I guess I feel like gifts are a lovely thing to get a person, especially a newborn baby. But having a party specifically designed to milk friends of family for gifts just seems a little tasteless.

Possibly, that's partly my own over-sensitivity on the matter. I didn't include any gift information on my wedding invitations because I didn't want people to buy us gifts if they felt that, having travelled across the country and paid for a new outfit and hotel room, they'd already spent more than enough money on celebrating our marriage.

And engagement parties where people are expected to bring a gift really take the cake (in my view). Especially with the current trend for stag and hen parties that last the entire weekend and involve a trip abroad and a day of holiday from work.

My friend who mentioned the baby shower isn't from the UK and I suspect she thought I was a dreadful snob for turning my nose up at the mere mention of a party.

Maybe she's right. But I can't help thinking that friends and family will bring presents on their first visit to meet the baby - if they feel they want to and can afford to. It's really not up to my friends to have to bankroll my breeding habits and the thought of attending a party at my friends' expense in order to return laden with free stuff fills me with horror. Surely if I decide to start a family I should be prepared to pay for it?

What do you think? Are baby showers dreadful modern inventions designed to get freebies from friends, or should we all just relax and enjoy a day of fuss from our loved ones?
(NB. It's my family, not me, who takes issue with American things!)