Who would think that a child’s birthday party could generate so many etiquette questions? Parents, that’s who! If you’re a parent planning to throw your child a birthday party, there are plenty of etiquette questions you may be mulling over. This is one of the most common birthday etiquette dilemmas: Should the birthday kid open presents during or after the birthday party?
To Open or Not to Open: That is the Question.
Reasons to Open Gifts During a Birthday Party
There are plenty of reasons to open gifts during your child’s birthday party. To name just a few:
- Guests will get to see your child open their gift and experience the pleasure of their reaction.
- Opening gifts at the party is a good chance for your child to practice being a gracious host. Make sure you discuss this with them beforehand—they should know to thank everyone for their gifts equally, not to insult or dismiss anyone’s gifts, etc.
Reasons to Open Gifts After a Birthday Party
Of course, there are plenty of folks in the “Do not open gifts during the party!” camp, and they have some great points:
- Watching someone else open a dozen or more presents is boring. It’s boring enough at adult events like baby showers. At a child’s birthday party full of sugar-hyped, fidgety kids, this part of the event can be excruciating!
- You have limited time together with your guests…Do you really want to use it on opening gifts instead of something more interactive and fun for everyone? Your guests would rather be roller skating, playing games, or almost anything other than sitting around watching your kid open gifts.
- If your child isn’t old enough or socially mature enough to graciously thank each giver for their gift, you might want to avoid a public gift opening. Kids are nothing if not honest, so if the thought of your child saying “I don’t like this toy!” to the person who gifted it to them—in front of a party full of people, no less—makes your skin crawl, save opening the gifts for later.
- Public gift opening can make some guests uncomfortable. If some families are able to give more extravagant gifts, the kids and parents who can’t do as much may feel embarrassed.
- And finally, allowing your kid to open presents during their birthday party can result in lost or damaged gifts! Especially with younger kids, they’ll want to open the gift and play with it right then and there. This can result in arguments about sharing, losing parts or pieces, and even damage to the item.
Unfortunately, there’s really no solid “yes” or “no” to be had on this particular birthday etiquette question. You just have to go with what feels right for your family or take cues from the parties of the other kids in your child’s class. However you decide to handle birthday gifts, make sure to slow down, have fun, and enjoy the moment! We’re here to help you do just that with roller skating birthday parties in North Tonawanda.