By Kathy Palmer
When my granddaughter-in-law Emily called me to ask if PawPaw and I would host a “gender-reveal party” for her and our grandson, my mind went haywire. Did she mean something akin to what Bruce Jenner did when introducing Kaitlyn Jenner?
Good grief! Had I been missing something?
Luckily, Emily asked me to put PawPaw on the phone, which gave me time to ponder what in the world was she talking about? As I readied to hand PawPaw the phone, I was gesturing madly to warn him of … I didn’t even know what…and, due to the perplexed look on his face, decided it was best to put Emily on speakerphone. The minute she said “gender-reveal party” PawPaw looked at me with astonishment, like I was the crazy one.
And then, finally, she announced that she was pregnant with our great-grandbaby.
Paradigm shift! Oh my goodness! Thank the Lord! Amazing how fast you can go from what? to wonderful!.
We’re going to be great-grands!
Our first great grandchild! We were so thrilled we began dancing, high-fiving, laughing, and, of course, feeling the proverbial tears filling our eyes. “Fourth generation coming up,” we cried, with absolute delight.
So after we picked ourselves up off the floor and returned to our grand selves, I said, “Of course, sweetheart, we’d love to host your gender-reveal party”. YAY! Then as soon as we hung up, PawPaw and I tripped over each other to rush to our computers and Google, “gender-reveal party.” We soon immersed ourselves in a wonderful opportunity to create a playful and exciting way to announce whether their new arrival would be a boy or a girl.
Here’s how it worked for us
Emily sent out invitations via a private group on FaceBook, which quickly elicited a flurry of congratulations and conversations and soon everyone was aboard. Emily then appointed one “very trusted person” who would be the only person to know the gender of the baby until the party. Neither Mom and Dad, nor anyone else, would be allowed to know, even if they claimed extreme duress and or exerted “grand” pressure.
The designated person got to attend the sonogram that first revealed the gender, during which the technician wrote “girl” or “boy” on a slip of paper and handed it to the trusted person for safekeeping. Even Mom and Dad were kept in the dark.
Is it pink or is it blue?
To start things off, we placed a huge placard–saying “Girl or Boy”? Pink or Blue? Yin or Yang?–on our front lawn, which got our neighbors excited, too. Because Mom and Dad requested a casual, easy-to-do event, we hosted an indoor/outdoor barbecue. We decorated the party area with all the pink and blue it could stand including “Its’s a Girl” and “it’s a Boy” banners and balloons everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. All the drinks were either pink or blue.
Upon arriving at the party, guests were asked to vote “boy” or “girl.” We recorded the tally on a chalkboard, creating “team girl” and “team boy” groupings, one of which would win a prize for the right guesses. We also handed out pink or blue boutonnieres for each team member to wear.
When it came time for the revelation, we retrieved the placard from the front yard and pinned black balloons that had been blown up just enough so you could not see through them. The designated person had filled only one balloon with the right-colored confetti.
Most everyone–Mom and Dad, grandparents, great-grands, cousins, nephews, friends–took a turn firing a dart towards the balloons. When the right balloon burst, showering the winner with sparkling (in our case blue) confetti, fireworks and poppers followed. And what a grand moment it was–everyone’s face glowed with amazement and joy. Hugs and high fives and squeals and squeals of laughter.
Very exciting, I promise you! And even though I had no idea what it was at first, our gender-reveal party became an unequivocally marvelous way to include our family and close friends in the excitement that expecting a baby brings. Everyone got to celebrate with Mom and Dad from the moment the invitation arrived to participating in all the fun events at the party. Many will go on to attend the baby shower and celebrate the birth, creating a true circle of life.
So, if your child or grandchild asks you to host a gender-reveal party, you can breathe easy, get busy and be ready for a fun time!
Here are some online resources we used:
Invitations – Sendout Cards
www.parents.com › Pregnancy & Birth
About the Author – Kathy Palmer
This year, Kathy and Charlie Palmer will celebrate the 33rd anniversary of their marriage.They have two sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, five grandchildren ages 9 to 24; and now, their first great grandchild on the way. They are semiretired from the real estate investment and development business and agree that their “job” now is to figure out ways to spend time with their kids and g-kids.