Let's Have a Luau at the Hawaiian Baby Shower

Aloha! Even just hearing the word conjures up images of endless blue skies, soft, warm sand, the crashing of the turquoise blue surf, and bottomless pina coladas. What person wouldn't like a trip to Hawaii, even just for a few hours? No one would be more pleased than the mommy-to-be with this mini-vacation at her Hawaiian baby shower.

The invitations always set the mood, and you have several options here. If you're lucky enough to come across Hawaiian postcards, use those to invite your guests. Or, you could print out an “airline ticket” for the Hawaiian Baby Shower Airlines promising a little respite to everyone that attends. Ask your guests to come in their best Hawaiian attire – grass skirts, board shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and flip-flops. Provide lei for each guest as they arrive.

For decorations, the more tropical you go the better. Bright colors channel Hawaii very nicely. Beg, borrow or steal a surfboard and a ukulele for a more authentic feel to your party. A hula girl or a tiki god could provide a great focal point. Put lei or two in your focal points so they really get noticed. A grass skirt provides a nice edge to your tablecloth when it's attached with thumbtacks. Artificial or real tropical flowers make terrific centerpieces, as would small palm trees or small fresh coconuts. If you can find big leaves to cover your table tops with or to use under your serving dishes that would be a nice touch. Alternatively, you can cover the table with a woven grass mat.

Tiki lights or just plain paper lanterns set the mood. Also, set up some sand candles at the center of the table to add a little sparkle. You may be able to find enough woven mats to serve your food on the floor, with comfortable floor cushions instead of chairs. Have Hawaiian music playing in the background to complete the illusion and you'll soon smell the surf.

Food is always the center of attention at a Hawaiian luau, and a lot of it. Hawaiian food is actually a blend of native Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino food and is very palatable to most people. Well, maybe poi shouldn't be introduced to newbies. Kahlua pork, grilled mahi-mahi (dolphinfish), fried lumpia (spring rolls) and mixed tempura normally grace the groaning luau tables. Mixed green salad topped with chunks of papaya, pineapple, and jicama touched with a fruity salad dressing complements it perfectly. Dessert can consist of tropical fresh fruits and any cake that contains pineapples or coconut. Hawaiian Wedding Cake, that extravagant concoction with pineapples, macadamia nuts, coconut topped with a sour cream frosting and a pineapple sauce, would make this over the top.

For games, the Limbo is a beach-themed classic, even if it's not authentic Hawaiian. You could also hire someone to teach everybody to do the hula. Fruit bobbing in a kiddie pool is a fun, if wet, option. Let your imagination go wild here.

Favors for the Hawaiian baby shower could include the lei, macadamia nut chocolates, and macadamia nut anything, or tropical-scented toiletries. Dried tropical fruits are another alternative.