Have a Fete de Pre-Natale with a French Baby Shower!

Baby showers are an event almost unheard of and definitely not traditional to France. Most of the French prefer to celebrate a new baby after they are born, and not before. That's why there is no direct translation for baby shower except douche de bebe, which actually means a bath!

But there is nothing stopping you from throwing a French baby shower if you want to have one! This gives you free reign over your imagination – it can look exactly like what you want it to.

So, let's plan out the fete pre-natale (party for the unborn) starting with the invitations. Any card that reminds you of France is perfect. There are also plain cards there with the Eiffel tower, fleur de lis, and many French “feeling” cards that would be suitable.

There are many suitable color combinations for this French baby shower: the cobalt blue and lemon yellow of Provence, the purple-blue and soft green of the lavender fields, even the Dior pink and black would be wonderful for a baby shower. You could also choose between French poodles (for girls) and the Eiffel Tower (unisex) as motifs for this theme.

Surprisingly, not much decoration is needed for the French baby shower. Actually, understatement is key. You could have a plush poodle or an Eiffel Tower stand in the middle of each table surrounded by votive candles in frosted glasses. Use beautiful linen or toile tablecloths, a few beautifully perfect blooms of roses or ranunculus and a poster of Paris or a reproduction of a Monet painting and you're done!

The food table is equally easy to set. Have a frosted vase with some beautiful flowers as a centerpiece and use heavy white platters to serve the food if you can. Use either toile or a heavy raw linen for your tablecloth. Perhaps a few green leaves from plants in season can be used to decorate under the plates or some lemon or grape leaves could be used to highlight the food.

Then, the all-important food. French food is usually very simple but it must be THE BEST of what you can afford. Great bread, perfectly ripened Camembert or Brie and Gruyere,some sour-salty cornichons and olives, wonderfully fragrant fruits like grapes, pears, apples,apricots, or figs, a selection of nuts, and a small pot of richly flavored honey make up the best of simple French food. And there should be dessert, none? A rich chocolate mousse or a warm Tarte Tatin makes a delicious ending.

And what of a cake? A traditional croquembouche is an eye-catching highlight to the food table! It goes well with the coffee or tea that could be served with this menu, as would a dry, white wine or even champagne! It is a party!

Any games should reflect the theme of the French baby shower. A few variations of French word scramble could be played – either unscrambling maternity-related words written in French or matching the unscrambled words to their English definitions.

As to favors, there is nothing more French than chocolat noir. So, perhaps a truffle or two could be packed in a little box or a block of dark chocolate can be wrapped in a customized wrapper and finished off with a ribbon and a sprig of lavender. Amusez-vous et bonne chance!