Hosting an Inspired Asian Baby Shower

If you're all in the mood to try out something a little different, why not have an Asian baby shower? This is an East Meets West at its ultimate and it's a chance for you to flex your creative and imaginative muscles.

Let's start out with the invitations. There is nothing that screams Asian baby shower more than fans, and a simple paper or fabric fan with the details of the baby shower printed on it (or attached to it on a small, business card-sized invitation, if you prefer) makes an imaginative and practical, reusable invitation. Or, you could print out the invitation on bamboo or any oriental themed paper, roll it up as a scroll, and secure it with a red ribbon. This is the time to request your guests to come in Asian dress if you want it to be a costume party.

The color for any Asian baby shower should be based on red. This is the only color that means life and good luck and the one, in Asian lore, that the mischief-making spirits don't like. So throw on all the red you can find!

The walls of the party room can be decorated with little “plaques” featuring oriental-themed baby clothes, shoes, fans, and little pouches. Attach the items on plain fabric-covered styrofoam board with straight pins so you can use the items later on. Arrange them in a collage fashion and hang from the walls like the plaques you see in the Chinese restaurants.

Hang Chinese paper laterns from the corners in the colors that you like. In Asian culture, all bright colors are happy and go well together. An explosion of colors actually denotes happiness so don't be afraid to have a veritable explosion of colors in your room. Finish off the decorations with clear glass square vases that have orange goldfish (another symbol of good luck) swimming in them and with a few sticks of lucky bamboo topping it off.

The centerpiece for the tables can simply be enameled bowls filled with oranges (good luck again) and little red flowers. An alternative could be tall glass vases filled with airy Singapore “Dancing Ladies” yellow orchids. Just a sprig or two in each vase is enough. Sprinkle gold “ba gua” and sparkly glass pebbles around to catch the light. Have some votive white candles in multicolored votive glasses on the table, too.

The buffet table can be finished off with a cake in an oriental design. Or, a terrific floral arrangement using oriental-type flowers like peonies, chrysanthemums, orchids, and Chinese lanterns would be eye-catching, too. Scatter some of the flowers among the food platters for an easy way to highlight the food. In Asian baby showers, the way the food is presented counts for a lot. So, don't just dump the food on; rather, take a little time to arrange in neatly and garnish with a few leaves or sliced vegetables or fruit.

Food can be whatever the mommy-to-be desires, be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino, or Thai. Just remember to include a noodle dish to represent wishes of long life for the mommy-to-be and the baby.
Desserts are usually a selection of fresh fruits, although an interesting pick could be one made of sago tapioca and coconut milk with a raw sugar sauce.

As for favors, there are many choices available, from sweets placed in an embroidered silk pouch to a Zen-inspired scented candle placed in a tiny Chinese take-out box. The sky is the limit here, mix and match to your heart's content.