Well, as far as the date goes, my Shower is on Nov 12 and my due date is Feb 5. However, there are a few reasons why my neighbors decided to have it so early.
1) With the Holidays coming up, it was difficult to find a date when they could get together without someone having something scheduled.
2) I am having twins which are bound to come early, so they scheduled the shower early
3) They felt that January they would all be broke from Christmas
4) They are all Very Excited and can't wait to go shopping. It is at the point where they are on the verge of harrassment because I have not registered yet. So I bit the bullet and registered today.
As far as not really knowing the person, I think that is an individual call. I know I have sent shower gifts for coworkers of my DH. I knew someone else who was attending the shower, I had only met the woman once or twice, but I had met her husband a few more times than that, and I know that the men were fairly close, so I WANTED to send something.
The reality is...I don't get the whole shower thing anyway. My family gets together with just my mom, sisters and sil's and the 8 of us have dinner and do a small shower that way, but we don't invite other people and such. My mother always taught me to take a gift the first time I saw a new baby instead. That way, heaven forbid, should something happen the family does not have all kinds of baby stuff in the house with no baby. I'm not sure if this was a Polish tradition or if it was just because her own mother and younger brother died due to complications in childbirth. Either way, I like that philosophy better.
Sorry so long.