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open gifts at party? - Page 2

Poll Results: open the gifts?

 
  • 63% (111)
    yes, at the party.
  • 30% (53)
    no, not at the party.
  • 6% (11)
    obligatory other.
175 Total Votes  
post #21 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
I really think I'd like to skip the gift opening at my 5 y/o's party. WDYT?
I have never had either of my girl's open their gifts at their actual party. It takes too much time away from the fun activities and quite frankly, I don't like how kids turn into yelling, screaming, grabbing, demanding, little people when it's gift opening time. I'd rather the girls open their gifts without distraction so they can truly appreciate the nice things their friends have given them.

At every single party I have been to where gifts are opened in front of the kids, it's rip the wrapping paper, look at the gift, yell thanks (to someone-most don't even know who it's from), and grab for the next one. There is no savoring and enjoying. It's a race to the finish and I don't want the girls to see b-day gifts that way.

I have pretty strong feelings about this, as you can tell.

ETA - I always do thank you notes for every birthday gift the kids get.

Also, we've had 5 big birthday parties and not one child has ever complained or been disappointed because their gift wasn't opened. But we also do parties with lots of activities and fun so that does help distract the kids from the presents.
post #22 of 102
Thread Starter 


9 kids, 30 ppl total. NOT 30 kids!
post #23 of 102
9 kids = 9 presents. So I vote definitely YES.
post #24 of 102
There are too many variables to just either "yes" or "no."
  • Home vs. themed party place?
  • general maturity level of guest (not the same as age)
  • time constraints, fullness of other activities
  • space availability (an open area away from messy activities and where the food was served)
  • family and area culture
  • etc
post #25 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMom View Post
9 kids = 9 presents. So I vote definitely YES.
no, 30 presents.
post #26 of 102
No! But it's the norm here for kids NOT to open gifts at the party.

The party is for playing ,eating, dancing, whatever.

The birthday kid will enjoy opening the gifts at their own pace later. The guests will enjoy playing more than watching another kid open gifts.

We've been to countless parties in the past three years and only one girl opened her gifts. The other kids were polite but not thrilled to stand/sit and watch.
post #27 of 102
So every single person is bringing a present? No one is bringing a family present. I guess I vote for opening them as they arrive or opening them for the people who really want him to see him open them. What doe syou ds say?

If he wants to I say yes. I did have a cousin who never wanted to open gifts in front of people, and that's fine too. I just bet most kids would want to open them. And it's the polite thing to do.
post #28 of 102
DD is disappointed when a birthday party does not include opening the gifts. It's part of the fun. It's part of what makes it a birthday party and not just a party, KWIM?

Last year was the year of 5 year old birthday parties and every single party had gift opening. The kids would all cluster around the birthday kid and get just as excited. Sometimes a child *ahem, mine, ahem* would get a little over excited and need some help remembering that the birthday kid gets to open his/her own gifts. Most times the over excitement would be limited to handing the birthday kid the next gift.

One memorable party, the birthday girl received a "my little pony" from ever single guest. What was truly amazing was that not only did every guest's mom say that the giver had personally picked out the gift, but every pony was different. The birthday girl was really excited about it and the parents all got a good laugh. Who knew there even were 7 different ponies in the collection?

I really don't get the idea that opening presents is too over whelming, or the idea that kids should be sheltered from situations that may include awkwardness and requires learning about/practicing etiquette.

If a kid is having a hard time with an age appropriate sized amount of gifts, why not take a break? If a kid receives a duplicate gift why not guide them on how to handle it? A child feels bad about not bringing a gift, why can't the birthday kid be guided on how to make the child feel more comfortable? None of these situations will ruin a party. It's real life, real life situations are going to happen.

What's wrong with knowing your child and structuring the birthday party to meet there needs/abilities? Nobody "needs" to have a party with 30 guest and 30 presents. If your kid can't handle it than do something smaller. (I'm assuming we are talking about a kids party here. Family parties are a whole 'nother beast, IMO.)

For what it's worth, the very few parties we have attended that have not had gift opening have all been uncomfortable parties to start with for various reasons (to big, inappropriate venue, to big, to long, to big, not enough food and drink for all, to big, to many different agendas, etc...). Leaving without the gift opening just added to the discomfort.
post #29 of 102
Quote:
Also, we've had 5 big birthday parties and not one child has ever complained or been disappointed because their gift wasn't opened. But we also do parties with lots of activities and fun so that does help distract the kids from the presents.
Maybe that's because it would be rude to tell you that they were dissapointed.
post #30 of 102
Oh how I wish we could avoid opening gifts at parties. One, DD is sort of afraid of gifts (she is 3). She does not like being surprised and hates any toys that make electronic sounds, so she is pretty fearful of anything wrapped up. On her third birthday (it was just a family party) she screamed and cried at gift opening time because she was too scared and I feel like the family thought she was acting like a spoiled brat or something.

And another thing, which is just a personal annoyance, is that my SIL cannot have my DD just open the d@mn gift. Oh no. It has to be put together, set up, if its a book it must be read right away. Then DD gets interested and fixated on one thing and doesnt want to open anymore gifts. So annoying. Im already annoyed just thinking about how Christmas will be this year.

So my vote is no gift opening at the party.
post #31 of 102
I'm always disappointed when gifts aren't opened. I love seeing the joy on a child's face.

We open gifts here for that reason.

As for goody bags - this year, dh made some cute wooden cars that we gave to each guest, along with a balloon.
post #32 of 102
I greatly dislike the frenzied gift opening that seems so standard at young children's parties.

DD is only two but so far, we've skipped opening presents at both of her parties.

We also don't pressure her to open her gifts on Christmas. I think its lovely that she can open them on her own schedule and enjoy each one as long as she wants before she's ready for the rest.

I also think it cuts down on the "end of birthday" disappointment when kids can open their gifts on their own agenda. Not to mention reducing the "gimmes."

My aunt drives me batty, forcing DD to open her gifts as fast as she can and even when its apparent DD is d.o.n.e!
post #33 of 102
I think opening gifts is crucial for the giver and the recipient. It teaches the recipient how to be a gracious receiver of gifts. It teaches the giver the joy of giving.

At all the parties I've been to, the givers are as excited as the recipients for 'their' gift to be opened. You're denying them this by opening gifts later.

I'm always ticked when parents don't open gifts at the party. It feels to me more like extortion than gift-giving.
post #34 of 102
I think it's really disappointing to the other children not to see the gift that they helped pick out opened. So maybe a compromise? Open the gifts from the 9 children at the party itself and explain to the grown-ups that 30 gifts is too many for one sitting and you'll either open them later, or at least after the other children have gone on to another activity?
post #35 of 102
I would say that if there are 30 gifts and 9 of them coming from other children then they should be opened at the party and the gifts coming from the adults can wait till later. The adults would hopefully be mature enough to handle the disappointment of not seeing their gift open. I think the other children would probably be a lot more excited, especially if they picked the gift themselves.

We've never really had a problem with crazy gift-opening here. The child giving the gift gets to sit beside the opener when it's their gift being opened. We also do our family gifts a different day than the party.
post #36 of 102

yes, at the party.

my kids love to rip the paper off their presents as soon as they get them
post #37 of 102
I understand that gift opening can be overwhelming for very young dc (toddlers, for example). But this will be a 5th birthday party--old enough, imo, to politely open the gifts and thank the giver, if that is the social custom. Everyone doesn't have to stand around and watch every gift. I've been to parties where kids are playing nearby, and the adults catch their attention when their gift is being opened.

I am curious about a party with 30 people and 30 gifts. How does that work? No families? Or each family member brings a gift?
post #38 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Open the gifts from the 9 children at the party itself and explain to the grown-ups that 30 gifts is too many for one sitting and you'll either open them later, or at least after the other children have gone on to another activity?
This is what I'm thinking of doing. There will likely be at least 25 gifts. Some of the family that is coming is crazy. It's a combined family/friend party this year.
post #39 of 102
I think that the child bringing the gift spent a lot of time and effort picking it out and would be hurt if it isn't opened at the party. If you think it is too much, then just have a no gifts party. If no one brings a gift, then no need to worry. However, if people are going to the trouble, time and expense to select a present and give it to your child, having it opened and acknowledged seems only appropriate.
post #40 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post

I am curious about a party with 30 people and 30 gifts. How does that work? No families? Or each family member brings a gift?
I was wondering the same thing...
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