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Birthday Party Presents and Etiquette


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#1 casime

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:12 PM

My son's birthday party is tomorrow and it is the first time he has had a party. Nothing was said about presents to any parent of any invited child, so I have no idea if gifts will be offered or not.  We've been at quite a lot of parties this year, and only about 1/4 opened gifts at the party.  The other 3/4 didn't open the gifts at the party.  What is the currently approved etiquette about opening gifts at a party?  Open them, or leave them until they get home?

#2 amdirel

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:16 PM

Wait til you get home.

#3 kimasa

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:18 PM

Wait until after. It's kind of awkward sitting there watching someone open up a bunch of gifts.

#4 Babetty

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:18 PM

I don't think there is a set etiquette. If it's at a play centre or somewhere, tend to open at home - so bits don't get lost. If there are lots of kids, opening at the party is risky as either birthday child can loose interest part way through, it can become a frenzy where it's a quick glance and on to the next, or it can take too long and get boring for the guests.

Having said that, we open presents during the party if it's at home (because we don't have big parties at home) and don't if we're not at home.

#5 Hands Up

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:19 PM

Definitely after

#6 seayork2002

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:20 PM

After for us

#7 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:21 PM

Leave until you get home. Many young children (mine does!) say what they think of the present without a filter “I’ve already got this one” “but this is for little kids” “I don’t like it” etc. and it’s much easier to manage without an audience. And if there are more than a few attendees, it can take forever, or presents get opened and basically ignored. Or other kids start playing with them.

#8 Fizgig

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:23 PM

After, especially if they are young. It can be really hard for kids to watch someone getting a whole pile of things that they would like but are not getting because it is not their birthday. I have a hard enough time managing my own two children when one of them is not getting presents, I am not about to try and manage a room full of sad and envious children. Its best for everyone if it is done privately.

#9 ~J_F~

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:25 PM

We always do during the party as the guests arrived, never been an issue.

I have only been to a handful of parties over the years where presents weren’t opened. I guess it’s dependant on your own little bubble.

#10 ekbaby

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:25 PM

I think whatever you choose to do is fine, but unless it’s a really big party I usually let my kids open the presents as the kids arrive. Their friends seem to like watching their reaction when opening the present and it makes my kids more aware of who gave what when they are doing thank you. I know my kids like to watch their friends open/react to gift. But my kids usually have less than 10 guests, when we had a big party (whole class) we opened presents after party as it was just too chaotic

#11 Lime-Polka-Dot

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:29 PM

Most of the parties DD has been to this year have been at venues such as play centres and presents weren't opened. One party was at home and the birthday girl opened them as she recieved them as people arrived.

My DD is also having her birthday party tomorrow, at a play center. She's turning 6. I won't be allowing her to open them until she gets home as 22Fruitmincepies mentioned my DD also has zero filter with this sort of thing and I'd much prefer her to open them later.

#12 Fossy

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:32 PM

Open when you get home, easier to keep track of who gave what, plus the few we have been to where the kids open them rate as boring by the kids, they’d rather be off playing/dancing/eating!

Send thankyou notes to school so their friends know they enjoyed their gift.

#13 WaitForMe

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:42 PM

Definitely after.

Thank you notes are rarely done in my area. Although we did have one mum send a photo to each parent of her child with the gift and a personalised message, pretty much straight after the party. I was in awe.

#14 EmmDasher

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:44 PM

Most do it after but personally I don’t like that. I prefer those that do it on arrival. My DD is always really sad when she doesn’t get to see the person unwrap her gift - I get that because I like to see it too.

#15 Prancer is coming

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:58 PM

Most I go to get opened, often after the cake.  We teach (or try to!) that there is just as much joy in giving presents as receiving them.  So the kids really like watching the birthday child open the presents.  There are usually heaps of kids lining up with their presents excited about giving them.  I like watching too, to see what toys are around.

I don’t think I have seen much awkwardness around no filter.  The only negative things that happen is there might be a double up.  But heaps of parents are non fussed about this and if they have bought something common (eg LEGO set) will often have the receipt and offer to change it.

I am terrible with thankyou notes, so at least my kid tells them thanks when opening it and the buyer can see my kid knows what they got given by them and was happy with it.  Much better than hearing nothing after them being opened at home.

#16 rosie28

Posted 15 November 2019 - 10:10 PM

We’ve done both, and a combination (hard to tell a 5 year old not to open a gift they’ve just been handed). I don’t mind either way but afterwards is easier, particularly as I like to keep note of who has given what, so I can mention it in the thank you note. That got a bit insane when everything was opened in a flurry at the start of the party.

#17 alchetta

Posted 15 November 2019 - 10:16 PM

If you're doing it after which is definitely more practical, then please try to send thank yous to the parents later. I don't care if it's a text a week later saying "thanks so much for the lovely gift" because you can't remember who gave what but that's better than nothing!

#18 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 15 November 2019 - 10:30 PM

For parties at home, we open as the kids arrive as I find that so much nicer and more personal than opening all the gifts at once in front of all the guests.  If it’s at a venue, we wait until we’re home so nothing gets lost in the excitement of gift opening,

#19 Pocket...

Posted 15 November 2019 - 11:30 PM

Let your child lead? Some kids love ripping into the presents as they area handed over, some will follow the lead of the giver, some can only manage a few at a time, others hate the attention. You won't please everyone else on the day anyway as everyone will have different expectations. I've found most will go along with what ever the child and host prefer anyway.

#20 Ellie bean

Posted 15 November 2019 - 11:34 PM

View Post~J_F~, on 15 November 2019 - 09:25 PM, said:

We always do during the party as the guests arrived, never been an issue.

I have only been to a handful of parties over the years where presents weren’t opened. I guess it’s dependant on your own little bubble.
Yeah its normal round here to open them later after the party, but most parties are at a park/ play centre not at home. I prefer doing it later because can write who gave what, and my kids take their time more rather than a frenzy.
I’m not fussed if people send a thank you text or not for the present, doesn’t bother me.

#21 Fillyjonk

Posted 16 November 2019 - 12:10 AM

I'm all for opening after the party. My kids never keep track of who gave what and I am usually too distracted during the party to notice.

I am really not a fan, however, of not opening at a party because it will make other kids sad. If it's not your birthday, it's not your birthday. I don't think you're doing anyone any favours by shielding your child from celebrating someone else.

#22 Fi Fy Fo Fum

Posted 16 November 2019 - 05:19 AM

I hate yhe the "lets all sit down and watch the bday child open every gift" but i do think kids like to see their gift opened and it teaches good manners to say thanks. We have always just opened the gift as it was given, so when the guest arrvies.

#23 Charli73

Posted 16 November 2019 - 06:27 AM

We’ve done it at home so we don’t lose cards or bits and pieces.

#24 Future-self

Posted 16 November 2019 - 06:38 AM

For small parties - 10 kids or under- at home, then opening as the guest arrives seems to work fine.
For bigger parties, or out on activity centres etc then put on a present table or basket for at home later is better.
In that case a quick text or email from the parent is a lovely touch - a group one to everyone is fine it doesn’t have to be personal!-  and I always let me kid know that x sent an email to say thank you to you for their lovely present.

Edited by Future-self, 16 November 2019 - 06:38 AM.


#25 Riotproof

Posted 16 November 2019 - 06:41 AM

View Postkimasa, on 15 November 2019 - 09:18 PM, said:

Wait until after. It's kind of awkward sitting there watching someone open up a bunch of gifts.

And boring as. Plus in the excitement, the other kids want to play with the items, things get lost/broken etc.




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