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Birthday Party & Presents - is this odd? - Page 3

post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
That is just rude.
Sorry, that WAS snarky (my first snark!). I think the "Thank You" card issue is relevant, though.
post #42 of 69
This does seem like an issue that comes with baggage attached. : Life is so interesting, huh? We have so much to learn about ourselves and others...
post #43 of 69
Thread Starter 
This got me to wondering - the mom who does this is from E. Canada....I've lived in AZ all my life and I've never been to a party (as a kid or as a mom for the past 13 years) that has done this (until now).

Answer this:
Where are you from? AZ
Do you open gifts at the party (the majority of the time)? yes
post #44 of 69
I'm from San Diego, and I remember opening gifts at parties when I was a kid. My sister, who lives there now, says noone she knows opens gifts at kids' parties anymore. I now live in New Jersey, where noone I know opens gifts at typical kids' parties (slumber parties or mainly family parties as the exception). My dh, who grew up on Long Island, remembers opening gifts up as kids, but our NY friends say they don't open gifts up at parties anymore either.

My BIL and SIL lived in the Chicago area, and gifts are not opened there either.

So its not just one area that does this. Where are people from, in addition to AZ, where gifts are always opened at parties?
post #45 of 69
Where are you from? near Boston, MA
Do you open gifts at the party (the majority of the time)? no
post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
It's really the parents fault when a child is rude about a gift they receive. I taught my oldest to appreciate any and all gifts they opened. We would even practice before the parties.
oh, this is SO wrong. really, please think before posting!
i'm That Mom, with That Kid. i work and work on teaching my child to appreciate any and all gifts he receives, too. and we practice before parties. but he is naturally contrary, and like i said in an earlier post, he can be quite rude. It's naturally built in somehow, because i am anything but rude and i try SO HARD with him. he *knows* proper behavior. he *chooses* rudeness and meanness on purpose many, many times. it's a crapshoot. i never know which it will be, jekyll or hyde. charming or rude. it's awful to be That Mom that has to leave the park, or the birthday party, or whatever, because of my kid's behavior. he started to beat up his best friend at his (the best friend's) birthday party in august. i dragged him out of there kicking and screaming. he acted like he had no idea why i was taking him away. the other people were appalled (except the birthday child's mom, who is my best friend).
no way in hades will i let my son open gifts at his party. i don't care what other people do. it's neither here nor there with me, if people open or don't open, at the party.
but he doesn't get away without writing thank you notes. i make sure he writes Thank You, and at least one thing about the gift. that, at least, we can do at home, with accompanying trials and tribulations, in private. along with the opening of gifts and the accompanying "that's stupid!" or "this is dumb!". i don't have to endure that in public.

pamela
post #47 of 69
From TX and lived in AZ for 3 years.
Always had gifts opened at parties. Every time.

However, as the mama of a 3-year-old-to-be-in-Dec, I can certainly see the validity of waiting and sending a gracious TY note. I just attended a 3-year old bday and can see the problems that presents can cause among that age population. While I think it's fun, I would never label it rude not to open at the party, I would assume that the parents had a valid reason.

My cousin has two young children and they have everything they could ask for. Their party invite (joint party) stated, "No gifts please, but if you would like, bring a few canned goods that we will deliver to the food bank." I loved it. Who can take issue with a food bank?
post #48 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I would love to know "why" some people are so against opening the gifts during the actual birthday party?? I don't think I've ever heard anyone just come out and say why. Most of us that think the presents should be opened during the party have said "why" we think they should do it but those that don't like the gifts being opened at the party aren't really giving valid reasons.
:
I haven't read the rest of the thread, but feel compelled to respond to this. . . .

We did not open presents at my son's second or third birthday parties (standard practice in the area we lived in at the time). My son is horrible at opening presents. He sometimes refuses entirely. Or he opens one and wants to play with it and WILL NOT open any more. Having him open presents in front of guests would be a nightmare for everyone. Since a party is supposed to be fun for him and for everyone else, so far we have skipped opening presents.

I think this is absolutely a valid reason and am a bit taken aback by the suggestion that there aren't valid reasons for doing things this way. Do you think we should torture him and our guests? Or that he shouldn't have a party? Or he shouldn't get presents?

We absolutely send personalized thank you notes for every present. He draws a picture and I write a personal note.

Catherine
post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
well see I have a slight problem with asking a guest to donate something to an organization like that. mainly because the organization that I might want to give $$ to might not be an organization that my 67 yr old parents or 80 yr old grandparents would want to donate to. I could never put that in an invitation. Also, I can't just assume that my children's friends would have parents that would like getting an invitation that tells them to donate $$ to a charity. That just comes across as pushy and showing-off IMO.

.
Who cares if you parents and grandparents don't normally support that organization, it is supposed to be their gift to the child. So let's say you are a passionate member of PETA and your grandparents love to support the zoo. Under the logic you posted, they should make a donation in your name to the Zoo for you birthday. Really, that is not how it should work. If a donation is being given as a gift, it should be gifted with the child's wishes in mind.

Quote:
I cherish anything that is given to my kids and not everyone wants to give their hard earned money to charity because not everyone has that much to spend and they put aside a certain amount for each birthday party they attend.
So if they were going to spend $10 on a gift, why couldn't they donate that same $10 to a charity in the child's name?
post #50 of 69
I am in Ohio and I have never been to a party where the child did not open the gifts. We are having Maia's party at a party center in the begining of Dec. I wonder what they do?
post #51 of 69
Just say "no" to opening gifts in public! : : : : :
post #52 of 69
we went to our first party in recent years where they didn't open presents about a month ago. my dd1 (5.5) who had picked out a present for her friend was confused since all the other parties we've been to with the exception of one when she wasn't quite 2 had present opening as part of the party. although we haven't moved dd1 is going to a new school and has made some new friends and i think this friend doesn't usually do present opening as none of the other guests (who were old friends of the b-day girl) seemed to be looking for that to happen. the b-day girl and her mom were gracious, though, and did open dd1's present when she asked about it. she was totally satisfied with that and it was toward the end of the party and not disruptive. i think we'll continue to open presents at our parties and other gift giving occasions.

i think gift opening just depends on a number of factors. i know at the bridal showers and wedding showers i've been to, gift opening was a big part of the party, but i've never been to a wedding where the gifts were opened -- too many people, too many other things going on, i guess. at christmas, my parents do the go around in a circle thing and everybody takes turns opening presents, but dh's family they just all dive in at the same time.

i can see it either way, opening during the party or after, but dd1 really looks forward to the opening part. i was worried about her being ungracious last year on her fifth b-day, but i had her on my lap while she opened prepared to hiss "say THANK YOU" in her ear, but it really wasn't necessary. i think just my presence so close reminded her to be gracious. of course, we did have a big talk before hand, too. she got some sweet stuff, a homemade necklace, and some fancier storebought stuff and was really quite kind about it all and the other kids were so excited for her to open their presents. it was really sweet.
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercyn View Post
oh, this is SO wrong. really, please think before posting!
i'm That Mom, with That Kid. i work and work on teaching my child to appreciate any and all gifts he receives, too. and we practice before parties. but he is naturally contrary, and like i said in an earlier post, he can be quite rude. It's naturally built in somehow, because i am anything but rude and i try SO HARD with him. he *knows* proper behavior. he *chooses* rudeness and meanness on purpose many, many times. it's a crapshoot. i never know which it will be, jekyll or hyde. charming or rude.
I totally agree with this sentiment. How can ANY parent blame a PARENT for a child's rude behavior? My children act autonomously; I model the behavior I'd like to see, and they choose what to do. Often, the two are not one in the same. Do you really believe you have so much control over your children as to be able to MAKE them behave politely? If so...that's scary. And wrong, in my opinion. Kids are kids. In due time, with some guidance and modeling, they will learn the manners, or whatever you'd like to call it. But I know few parents who can rely on their children doing "the right thing" 110% of the time simply by virtue of having taught them "proper behavior."
post #54 of 69
I am wondering how we should approach the gift-opening issue at my kids' birthday party this coming Saturday. It is a party for both my son, turning 5, and my daughter, turning 1, so there will be a magnitude of gifts and two kids to open them. I'm thinking it will be super chaotic, but I have never ever been to a party where the kid didn't open the gifts. Hmm. Will have to ask hubby what he thinks.
post #55 of 69
Thread Starter 
Becoming - the last party we had was for 2yo dc and 5yo dc - they opened together - outside - with all of the kddos helping out. I had dh "guard" the gifts and hand each child one at a time. It was fun!
post #56 of 69
My kids are 16, 13 and 5 years old. So, I'm sort of on my second round of party-going, with an entirely different crowd of parents than were involved ten years ago when my older kids were little. (We live in the same area, he goes to the same school they do, but it's just different people with little kids now - I don't know anyone else who has a kindergartner and teenagers, except a couple of people I just met recently who didn't live here when my older kids were young.)

It used to be (when my big kids were little) that the gifts were opened at virtually every party. But we attended a lot more parties that were held at the kids' homes then, too. I'd say at least 80% of the parties my son goes to are held at one particular party place, the party is an hour and a half, and gifts are not opened. The activity goes on for an hour, then everyone moves to the food room and pizza and cake are served, then goody bags are given out and we all depart.
post #57 of 69
We don't open gifts at birthday parties, either. DD takes FOREVER to open packages, doesn't like being "watched" and usually wants to open and play with Every. Single. Thing. as she opens gifts. And sometimes, no matter how good her manners (which are pretty dang good for a 3-year-old), when she gets overexcited, she can say or do things that are rude or might hurt someone's feelings.

At her birthday party with friends this year, I asked that instead of gifts for DD, every child bring a wrapped book for an exchange. It went beautifully, everyone had a package to open, everyone went home with a gift (including DD) - and not junk, we got to see lots of different cool books and happy kids, and we didn't have to haul home a bunch of stuff that would clutter our house. Oh, and there were no names on the packages, so no one really knew who brought what, except for the person who brought it, so everything was "fair" and there was no spending war (not that I see a lot of that around here). This happens a lot in DD's little circle of friends - exchanges instead of gifts for just the birthday kid. Books, art supplies, things like that, often with a spending limit. Everyone ends up happy, it's a way to avoid junky plastic stuff if that matters to you, and it makes the birthday party less about GETTING and more about sharing a happy occasion.
post #58 of 69
Well, we (I mean our family and our circle of friends) has gone with a "no presents please" policy for birthday parties. They're 4, or turning 4, and don't miss it. They get together for a good time, play, eat cake, and laugh
No one's feelings get hurt and there is no focus on presents.
xoxo
Charlotte
post #59 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Madonna View Post
At her birthday party with friends this year, I asked that instead of gifts for DD, every child bring a wrapped book for an exchange. It went beautifully, everyone had a package to open, everyone went home with a gift (including DD) - and not junk, we got to see lots of different cool books and happy kids, and we didn't have to haul home a bunch of stuff that would clutter our house. Oh, and there were no names on the packages, so no one really knew who brought what, except for the person who brought it, so everything was "fair" and there was no spending war (not that I see a lot of that around here). This happens a lot in DD's little circle of friends - exchanges instead of gifts for just the birthday kid. Books, art supplies, things like that, often with a spending limit. Everyone ends up happy, it's a way to avoid junky plastic stuff if that matters to you, and it makes the birthday party less about GETTING and more about sharing a happy occasion.
I've been reading this thread with such a heavy heart -- worrying about the parties to come. So far, my 3 year old has only been to "no present" type parties, and has only had family at his own parties.

I can't tell you how FABULOUS I think this idea is! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

--Olive
post #60 of 69
Olive, I'm so glad the idea of an exchange helps you a bit. Honestly, I picked it up from other families, and just thought it was a great idea. I made sure that I picked up a couple extra books to include, just in case someone forgot about the exchange or wasn't in a position to bring a gift - no child got disappointed or excluded.

DD gets *more* than enough gifts from family and non-party friends - on her birthday this year, about 2 hours total was spent opening just those gifts, because Nana and Pappy live far away, and they send BIG packages for birthday and holiday time! And the kids have great fun comparing what they got - I've even seen a few instances of swapping going on, totally negotiated by the kids! And there's still gift opening, but everyone participates, which is just really nice IMHO.
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