|generous gifts...open now or open later?|
What impressed me about this party was the casual nature of it. You turn up, give gift and swim and eat and go home two hours later. There was no pressure or expectations on the parents. The pool provided the entertainment on a rainy Sunday. And the children were all well behaved and used their manners appropriately. There was no need to prompt for please and thank you's.
However, there is an opportunity to explore Gift Giving and Party Etiquette here. Each family has there own take on presents. I have always been one to open the presents when all the children are gathered together, or when the friend gives the gift. This way the birthday child has the opportunity to express thanks and gratitude to their friend, who may be waiting anxiously to see if the gift is liked.
At this particular party, and others we have been to, the gifts are given to the parents who stack them up on a table or in a basket and....that's it. You assume the child opens them later when all the other children have gone. And you may or may not receive a thank you verbally later or a thank you card or letter.
For me, I want to see the paper being unwrapped and the surprise of not knowing what is in that package.
Another trend I have noticed on the birthday party scene is the "please don't bring a gift" line on the birthday invite. I love this idea. I think it eliminates over consumerism and excessive gift giving. Think about a party where 15 children are invited. That's 15 gifts. Plus all the ones that the child receives from their family. And think about the storage for all of those new toys. We tend to give people books for birthdays.
What's your take on gift giving and party etiquette? Do you encourage opening straight away or do you save the gifts up till later?