This girlie event has its roots in Holland. When a bride's father did not approve of the husband-to-be, he would not provide her with the necessary dowry. The bride's friends would therefore "shower" her with gifts so she would have her dowry and thus marry the man of her choice. While dowries are long gone today, the practice of giving gifts to the bride-to-be remains. In modern times we celebrate the bride to be and offer up gifts so that she has all the things to create a happy and prosperous life with her mate. Pots and pans, serving pieces, linens, and even the occasional lingerie. (That's just in case we like cooking in silk and lace while we wait for the hubby to get home to eat.)
Still, my favorite tradition is the one of hand-me-downs. Family heirlooms like a crystal compote or a sterling pie server that was your great grandmothers. And what could be wrong with celebrating the feminine? The gathering of women to lift up the next generation and to play silly games in order to send them on their way into the next chapter of life.