Party Presents: Must they be opened there?

by epi on March 9, 2012

Q: My parents and I held a first birthday party for our son. It was rather large as it included relatives and good friends. The guest total was about 65 – 85 people, including young children. We received plenty of gifts, but did not open any of the gifts at the party for many reasons. Among others, we did not want to make anyone feel obligated to sit through the gift opening as it would have taken a long amount of time. As it was, though the party went well, children were getting tired and cranky towards the end. We of course thanked everyone personally as they left the party and I sent out thank you notes within 2-3 days. Was it rude not to open the gifts at the party?

A: No, it was not rude, since it was such a large party. People do love to see the response of the guest of honor when he/she opens gifts, but considering that your child was just 1, it would have been way too many gifts for him to manage at that time anyway.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Winifred Rosenburg March 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

I agree that opening gifts at the party isn’t necessary. Actually, I think it’s overrated in general for two reasons: 1) It encourages competition where guests want their gift to be the favorite. 2) Many children (and some adults) haven’t learned to pretend they like a gift when they don’t.

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Ashleigh March 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

My thoughts exactly!! Also as children get a bit older (toddler-early childhood years) there tends to be present-time meltdowns: children who also want presents to open, children who are upset because they want they toy that is being opened, etc.

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Julia March 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

I also think that it was not rude to not open the gifts on the party, as you had so many guests and the child was just 1 years old.

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Sheryle March 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

A couple baby showers were given for my daughter. Everyone was invited. Her work friends, my work friends, neighbors and family members. My question is because everyone was invited to her baby showers do we have to invite everyone to her wedding which is being held in December?

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Elizabeth March 11, 2012 at 12:07 am

No – the rule only has to do with wedding showers. You should only invite someone to a wedding shower if they will be invited to the wedding. Baby showers are different – people love to celebrate babies, have lunch with the ladies, and baby gifts can be very inexpensive.

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