I REALLY dislike the traditional baby shower -- been to countless, and they are all embarrassing and boring. I'm sorry, but I just have never been able to appreciate the dumb games or making small talk or eating some crappy lard cake from the local supermarket or watching the mother open the umpteenth package of onesies and pacifiers. You know? These gatherings always leave me feeling very spiritually drained. And I had to be the guest of honor at two of them. Ugh.
In contrast, I've been to two blessingways to honor pregnant women, and they were both lovely. I'm not an outwardly spiritual or demonstrative person, so I shy away from "touchy-feely" or "woo-woo" type group gatherings, but these didn't have that feeling to them at all. They were very simple and informal and relaxed. At both we had a potluck brunch, then gave her our presents (meaningful objects of beauty -- for example, one time I took a photograph of the mother and applied some artsy photoshop effects and framed it) and explained the significance, if any. We had all brought beads to make her a "birth" necklace, and then we mehndi-ed her belly and our hands.