View Full Version : Birthday Party Etiquette - Opening Presents at Party?

10-22-2007, 06:25 PM
We are having DS's 4th birthday at a bouncy house type place. I've only ever been to one party at this type of place, and I was surprised that the child didn't open presents at the place, but took them all home wrapped and opened them up at home. Is this normal? I prefer to have DS open them in front of everyone so he can thank the giver at the time, but just wondering what others had experienced. Thanks for any input!

10-23-2007, 04:22 PM
All the birthday parties I've been to lately at places like that have been ones where the birthday presents are just taken home to be opened later. Even a couple that were at homes were the same way.

I think it's just easier at large parties and those at "special" locations to just let the kids play versus trying to get them to sit still long enough to watch someone else opening presents. Half the time it seems like such an effort to get them corralled long enough to even sing happy birthday or eat. I still plan on opening presents at any smaller family parties that my DDs have, but I think I will probably do the save the presents for later thing when my DD has a birthday party with all her school/playgroup friends next time around.

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05-26-2008, 08:40 PM
I find smaller, family parties, people open the gifts at the party, but at places like Gymboree, etc, people seem to take them home to open later.

I prefer opening gifts later - that way we can spread them out over time and not be overwhelmed in one day. When my kids were younger, I opened (and censored!) their gifts, donating or regifting what we already had or things I didn't want the kids to have. Not so sure I'm going to get away with that anymore!!!

05-26-2008, 10:09 PM
At the vast majority of parties, the children here open the gifts after the party, unless it is a small family gathering. At the parties in which the birthday child opened gifts, the gift opening seemed a little out of control (paper flying in all directions with all of the "help" from friends) making it impossible to keep proper records of who gave what for thank you notes. My DC are also still working on their "poker face" of thankfulness if they receive a gift that is a duplicate, or that they do not fully appreciate (i.e. a princess doll for a 6 year old who has outgrown them). We are working on it and the kids help to write the thank you notes. IMO, generally, at the play area type parties, the children would rather be playing than opening up presents.

05-27-2008, 12:36 AM
At about 75% of the parties my DD has been to since the beginning of the school year, the gifts are opened during the party. It was always that way when I was kid as well, at least where I lived. On the otherhand, my SIL (who also grew up with the "open at the party" tradition) now lives in the place where it's considered a social faux pas to open the gifts at the party.

Secretly, I kind of like waiting until later to open ...