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Opening Kids' Birthday Party Gifts
Berkeley Parents Network >
Opening Kids' Birthday Party Gifts
Just wondering, since I'm still pretty new to the children's
birthday party scene - Do parents have strong feelings either
for or against gifts being opened at children's birthday
parties? In the past, we thought it would be more polite to
open gifts right there at the birthday party. But I'm starting
to wonder if this puts too much emphasis on the gifts and not
the other communal aspects of the party. It is also a whole lot
of stimulation. And also don't want to put anyone on the spot
if they arrive without a gift or give a small gift. Has anyone
had the experience of opening them after the party? I'm not
even sure, is there any etiquette issues here? Are the gift
givers disappointed not to see them opened?
Opening gifts is tradition! It makes the party easy because
it is what everyone expects. First cake, then presents! For
parents that are too lazy to do more than one party game, it
is guaranteed entertainment for at least a short while. I
think no one really notices if the gifts are big or small,
or if someone did not bring a gift. I would much rather have
my kid sitting watching the opening of gifts than running
around with a dozen kids with no real agenda. Structure is
good for kids and good for parents. I vote for opening gifts
at the party.
I have been to more parties where the presents are not
opened, but I have been to a couple where they were
opened. I disliked those parties. Kids don't care about
other kids' presents, so they are bored and antsy. The
birthday child can get a little fatigued, too, with so
much other stuff going on.
I prefer not to open the presents, and just be sure to
send nice thank you notes afterwards.
Don't open them. Receive them happily and immediately put them on display
(which gratifies the giver) but out of reach (because sometimes someone, the
birthday kid or another, can't resist ''peeking''). Opening presents at the party can
really backfire into jealousy, competition, and, for your own kid, possible
embarrassment when a gift is disappointing or redundant. Having said that, I
would add, the advantage of opening presents is the chance to teach your kid to
be gracious and tactful (and for a pretty undemanding audience, at that age). So
focus on that if you do it, and if you don't, practice it anyway when the time
comes for your kid to open them: model saying only nice things and writing or
making thank-you's on the spot. A photo of your kid holding the present can
make a really nice and easy thank-you message that even little kids can relate
to, if the giver's gratification is an issue.
Veteran of many parties
I also had mixed feelings about it at first. Not anymore. I think this is a case
where we parents are overthinking the issue. Kids loooove to watch their friends
open their gifts. Usually the children were involved in the process of picking it
out, making a bday card, etc. It's all so exciting! It also makes the gifts more
personal if the bday child can immediately express gratitude to the gift giver,
rather than some ''thank you'' card that actually the parent wrote and is delayed
and forgotten. On the 3rd birthday of my son, we were having so much fun that
we lost track of time and didnt start opening presents until technically the party
was over. Some families had to leave, and all of them and their children seemed
very disappointed to miss out on the gift opening. I've not made that mistake
again. I've observed that with my older nephew as well, where there is a no gift
opening policy. I found a little group of them sneaking off so they could open
the gifts together!
HI - we always open gifts after the party and the vast majority of parties we
attend do the same. For us, it is due to: 1. not wanting to rush our child
through opening gifts (for his recent 4 year b-day party, we spent 4 or so hours
on opening gifts -- he likes to play with some right away, etc -- and I don't
want to rush him through what is an enjoyable activity for him (and us). At the
few parties I've been to where they open the gifts there, the birthday child does
seem very rushed and sometimes upset by it. 2. Wanting to focus the party on
group activities that are fun for all the kids there. 3. Our child is not yet able to
hide disappointment at gifts he doesn't really like ... and I don't want anyone to
Some folks I know even extend the celebration by allowing their children to only
open one gift a day for several days after the party...
Oh, and as a party attendee, I much prefer the parties where the gifts are
opened after the party.
Of course, it's all what you are comfortable with, but I'm a fan of the opening
after the party.
My kids are 3 (and a half) and I've been to a TON of kiddie
birthday parties over the past 3 years. I don't think I've
been to a single one where the gifts have been opened at the
party-- or at least not in the very public way that I
remember it from when I was a kid myself. I think that the
thinking is that it's hard on the other little kids who
don't get the gift and that people are uncomfortable with so
many gifts anyway, in a sense-- or the parties are gift
optional/no gifts please, etc., so you don't want to make
the people who didn't bring a gift (per instructions) feel
bad. As a gift giver, I do feel a little disappointment not
to see the recipient open a gift, but I think that with this
age group it's tricky. And thus far the parties have mostly
been pretty big-- tons of kids and parents. I think that as
the kids get older, and possibly the parties get smaller (as
the kids get specific friends, rather than just kids of the
parents' friends, etc.) that we'll move more into opening
gifts. Anyway, I say go with whatever makes most sense for
you and your little one-- I don't think anyone will be
offended one way or the other.
My son turned 4 this year, and we've been going to a number
of 4 y.o. birthday parties. It's been pretty split on
whether the gifts are opened at the party, so I think it's a
matter of personal preference. In our family, we always do
it after the party. I'd rather take the time during the
party to be with the guests. In addition, I know my son
(and his friends) will want to play with the presents right
away, which will leave him distracted, having issues with
sharing and me keeping track of little pieces everywhere.
Happy birthday to your 4 y.o.!
Don't do it. Really. In my experience the birthday kids gets seriously
overstimulated, is often inadvertently rude and the guests feel envious at best.
Open them at home and then be sure to write nice, personalized thank you
Not a fan of the present mosh pit
I always have my kids open gifts at their birthday parties. I
build that time into the party, at the end, after games, cake,
etc. The kids LOVE seeing the look on the birthday child's
face as they ooh and aah over each thing. Important: I make it
a point to go over birthday gift etiquette with my child
before the party. If you already have one of those, don't
tell. Just say, ''I love it! Thank you!''. Even if they DON'T
love it, act like they do anyway...etc.
Open the gifts!
I've done it both ways. For my son's 1st birthday we did the
big opening presents thing, and it just felt awkward and
grabby, so for his 2nd birthday (last year), I asked for no
gifts. Of course some people brought gifts anyway, so I waited
to open gifts until after all the kids had left, so that
people who didn't bring gifts wouldn't feel awkward. It was so
much easier! Then I just sent thank you notes to the people
who hadn't seen us open the gifts to let them know we
appreciated it. So simple, and far less clutter - he mostly
got big ticket gifts from my parents and in-laws instead of
lots of little gifts from friends.
This year he's turning 3 and we're going to Disneyland instead
of having a big party. Even less clutter!
Too Many Toys Already
Good question. I'm sure there is a lot of variance by location and by family.
In my experience as mom of an almost 6-year old who has been attending
birthday parties these past 3 or so years in Berkeley and Oakland, the gifts are
most often not opened at the party, and the gift givers don't have an
expectation of seeing them opened. You mentioned reasons such as too
much emphasis on gifts over other aspects of the party, or that it might put
guests on the spot if they brought no gift or a small gift. Yes. Other down
sides are: If you invited a lot of people, and they all brought gifts, it takes too
long. And, young children are often not gracious when the gift doesn't fit their
interests, and this can be embarrassing. All the kids may want to play with
the new toys, and this may or may not be feasible (party location, chaos,
timing, losing small parts, etc). It makes it harder to keep track of thank you
notes to be written. There are, of course, differences in parenting
philosophies (families that welcome an abundance of toys and families that
don't), and if your child is friends with kids who will accordingly get 1-2
birthday gifts, it could set up disappointing expectations for those kids when
their birthday rolls around. On the other hand, opening gifts could work if
you are having a smallish birthday party, if you open gifts at the end, after all
other party activities, and if you practice graciousness with your child before
hand. At most parties they don't open gifts at the party, but some do, and
it's usually ok (5+ year-old gift givers get excited - the kids crowd around
and yell ''open mine next!'' and sometimes look to the birthday kid's face to
see how it was received).
We usually open ours later, for the reasons you mentioned.
When I go to parties I appreciate this as well. I like the
focus to be on the coming-together aspect of it.
I suppose it depends on how big the party is or whether it
is mostly family. Most of my kid's parties have involved
about 20 kids and even with my son's smallest party (he had
8 friends when he turned 6) we did not open gifts. Why?
Because gift opening is typically the last thing and the
kids are wound up and spazzed out by then and it's hard for
them to sit still. I've heard horror stories of guests
opening up gifts for kids, toys getting lost or broken or
accidentally thrown away. In the last 6 years I have
attended close to 50 birthday parties for children under the
age of 6 (I had an awesome playgroup!) and NONE of them
opened gifts at the party. It's too overwhelming for the
lil' monkeys. Plus it's nice to be able to sit down with the
birthday kid after the party and decompress for a few
minutes before opening all the gifts. And this way you can
write down what the gift was and the gift giver so you can
send a proper thank you note/email. Once the kids are older
and the parties are smaller, (turning 8 and having 3 buddies
over for a sleepover), then gift giving will certainly be a
part of the party but not for preschoolers or big parties.
Don't forget the thank you notes!
I wondered about this for the first years of my two kids, who
now just turned 6 and 8. These days we save the presents till
after the party. Reasons: 1) we have had incidents where the
opening became a bit of a frenzy, with other kids ''helping,''
it becoming very difficult to tell which present was from
whom, etc. 2) other kids played with and even broke new gifts
before the birthday child was necessarily ready to share, 3)
it was rushed, and 4) after the party is over, we all enjoy
the quiet and the excitement of having another fun thing to do
(and I didn't even have to do the work for this part). I hope
my kids will remain happy with opening gifts after the party.
And as for me, I am never offended if someone neglects to send
a thank you note (and always feel sheepish that the thank you
notes someone bothered to send usually go straight into the
Do What's Easiest for Your Family
After reading the responses to this query, I feel compelled to chime in. I am
from the old school of birthday party etiquette. My son opened his presents at
every one of his birthday parties growing up. It was a lot of fun for all. I
dutifully stood aside and made my list so that we could do thank you notes
together afterward. I wanted to teach my son good manners by writing thank
you notes. I had planned every party (through the tweens) with a theme and a
handmade thank-you card. I might add here, that we hardly ever got a thank
you card from gifts we gave. Sloppy parenting, in my book. Anyway, here is
how I feel about the withholding of gifts until after the party - the first time
encountered this was when my son was little and I was in attendance at the
party. I was a bit disappointed. Heck, half the fun of giving a gift is seeing
reaction right? Full disclosure here - I am one of the most thoughtful gift
givers on the planet. Now, my main point is this. This holding back of gifts so
that they can be opened in a controlled environment away from the hustle and
bustle, and god forbid - uncertainty! of real time just smacks of the detriment
of the current culture we live in which is controlled communication 24/7. It
sickens me that we are so busy living highly electronically controlled lives
there is barely any face time, and even telephone conversations are becoming
rarer and rarer. Opening gifts at birthday parties is an age old convention!
And it's a fun one! All you parents who are abandoning it in favor of risking
overstimulation, hurt feelings for the ones who didn't measure up, jealousy,
etc. are just prime examples of the worst of helicopter parenting. This is yet
another modern cultural practice that I do not agree with!
One more thought worth pondering to all you modern thinkers out there-
what is the point of giving presents at a birthday party? If we are going to
sequester the act into a private activity, why bother at all? So, the kid can
accumulate more stuff and not even recognize or care who provided that
stuff? Yes, it is exciting/stressful to open gifts in front of an audience but
that's part of life, and all the messiness that comes with it. Too much
sequestering/privatizing/controlling isn't healthy.
Old School party maker
I'm all for opening gifts in front of the giver. It's the
polite thing to do. As a gift giver, I want to see the
reaction on the face of the receiver. We do it a little
differently than I've seen posted here: When I host parties
for my children, I have them open the present when their
guest(s) arrive, and I write it down. We thank them for the
gift and put it away for later. If the kids want to play
with it, I explain that we have other activities planned and
that I'm putting it away for now.
I hate it when the gifts are saved for later!
I just want to thank and emphatically agree with whoever
wrote about how the parenting culture has gone over-the-top
w/ this new trend to open gifts in private. As a party-goer,
I must say that I find it incredibly disappointing to not be
able to witness the birthday child open the gift that we
took care and time to pick out. For me, the only ''thank you''
we need is to see the child open the gift and smile and for
us to give a little wave that says, ''We got that for you!''
Part of the fun and tradition of birthday parties and gifts
is for the givers to witness the child's joy and to even be
able to explain to the child why they picked that gift for
them -- you know, the normal conversations that often taken
place around the Christmas tree on that cheerful morning.
Same idea with bday parties. I think it's rather silly for
us to get caught up in whether or not we can dutifully keep
track of who got what -- thank-you cards are a piece of
paper in an envelope with mostly canned, short messages. But
the delight on a child's face?! Priceless!!
I have to agree with ''Old School Party Maker'' on the
etiquette about opening gifts at kid parties. I, personally,
think it's a little silly that we spend time agonizing about
how to protect kids from the ''stress'' of opening presents at
parties. Really? I realize that times change and so much
culture and customs, but I agree 100% that if we are worried
about how stressful/impersonal gift-opening can be for a
child, we are really doing a disservice to our kids (who
must ultimately attend school! apply for college! work a
Half the fun of the party is watching the delighted
gift-recipient receive his or her presents--and even if
these moments aren't smooth and perfect, they represent
great opportunities for social learning, sharing, and taking
joy in making others happy. A wise woman once said that kids
''need to use a mile of band-aids and eat a pound of dirt'' to
grow up properly; I'm sure she had some adage or other about
birthday parties and presents/cake.
If the gift receiving is too stressful, perhaps there are
too many kids at the party (I kind of believe our parties
are out-of-control in size these days, too, but it's not PC
to invite a handful of friends anymore...). For the record,
I am an attachment parent, breast-fed my daughter until she
was nearly 3, and am pretty ''Berkeley'' in most other ways,
but I draw the line here. I've attended parties where we
never saw our gift opened AND never received a thank-you
note (another thing that doesn't go over too well with me).
That said, I know I'm old school, but sometimes I feel we
are worrying way too much about the little things in our
children's lives. Learning to be gracious should be a
priority, and we give our kids too few opportunities to do
Just my 2 cents
Had Plenty Fun at Parties Where Gifts Were Opened
Hi there fellow mom,
wow, i never realised this was such a fraught thing but
have recently had an event which solidified my opinion. In
my youth, it was much more choreographed, with my very
proper British mum keeping things in bounds, gifts opened
and documented, notes of thanks sent. My older daughter
must have had very polite friends, b/c we opened gifts with
her little group cheering and organised. Thank you notes
were dispatched without a blink. My younger daughter seems
to have friends who have some self-control issues; she just
had her 5th b-day party and as I was escorting some of her
friends and their parents out, one of her little friends
took it upon herself to ''help'' my daughter open all of her
gifts and now of course we don't know whose lovely gift
came from whom. The great part is that this feral little
monster (whose parents have no clue) has a birthday party
coming up and I hope the same thing happens to them, though
they probably won't even care (I'm thinking of gifting her
with a drum kit)! As this is not the first time this has
happened, I'm opting for putting the presents in a place
where litte hands can't get to them, and opening them
reduced to sending a mass thank you email. Ick!
My son will be turning four and we are having his party at the
park. I was just wondering the pros and cons about opening gifts
at a birthday party. Parties 1-3 we just brought them home and
opened them later.I have only been to two parties where parents
have had their kids open the gifts in front of everyone and I
found it boring and the kids usually just ripped through the
presents. We'll have a mixture of kidless friends and families
with kids. I would love to hear some feedback.
mom of a july birthday boy
Our kids, now 13 and 11, have had the requisite number of
parties - all great fun - over the years. When the kids were
little, gift opening always came later, at home, privately. We
focussed the parties on being together, having adventures, and
steered away from the gifts being a central theme. As the kids
got older, however, this got harder. By then their friends had
had a hand in selecting the gifts, and wanted to see how their
choice was received. There was more momentum for gift-opening
and probably more peer pressure. And by then our kids had more
input into their parties, and more control over the dynamics.
We're talking about 7 - 10 years old here I think. I certainly
can't recall a party in recent years (when the kids were in
younger elementary school) that gift-opening did not happen. I
think this is a fluid thing, that changes over time.
Letting the kids call the shots as they got older on this one
Where I come from when a guest arrives with a present, they
hand it to you as you greet them and wish you a happy whatever
the occassion happens to be. You take the present, open it
right there and then, and thank the person for your present,
then you put it away. We have tried and hated the opening of
presents in front of everyone and reverted to our custom. I
find that a lot of people really want to see their present's
opened so they get their satisfaction, but it is not a boring
occassion for every one else. In the case of our smaller
children, it made it very clear who the present was from and
they would easily and more sincerely thank the giver.
Although it's fun for kids to open their presents at parties, I
think it's just fine to save them for later. One thing this does
is to avoid any sense of one kid (or their parent) feeling that
his/her present wasn't up to par, wasn't as successful as someone
BUT- be sure to have your son either make a thank you phone call
or send a little thank you note! Not only is this good manners,
it will teach him to appreciate other people and to not take
presents for granted. We all take other people much too much for
granted in our busy lives, and we all suffer for it.
I know that thank you notes (or calls) are not the norm these
days, but they are wonderful to receive, and, if done in the
right spirit, are wonderful to send. They acknowledge that a gift
is an exchange, and also that ''it's the thought that counts''.
Whether the gift was perfect or missed the mark, there is always
something appreciative to say about it.
I have some friends who have always sent thanks for their kids
presents, even when a gift was given in person, and it cheers me
to receive them. When the kids were tiny, one parent wrote a
simple note saying thanks and had the kid scribble on it. Then,
when the kids could write their names, the parent still wrote the
note and the kid signed it (they love showing off that they can
write their own name!). Now the kids are older they write little
notes themselves- nothing fancy or particularly time consuming,
A note is special, but a call can also be special. I find it
unusual, but when I have made a nice dinner for friends and get a
call of thanks, it makes me feel valued and gives me a nice glow.
I try and remember to makes calls and send notes myself, don't
always do it, and when I don't bother I feel a bit sad (not
guilty- sad!). My sister didn't teach my niece and nephew to do
it, and when they were old enough to be starting to really think
for themselves (early twenties), I started saying to them, ''hey,
it feels lousy to not hear anything back, I feel like I'm sending
a present off into a black hole!''. They got it, and now they
write notes- a word of thanks and a bit of news.
Of course, I have to be scrupulous to practice what I preach with
I have always been disappointed when I attend a child's birthday
party and the presents are not opened at the party. To me, one
of the most important REASONS for having a birthday party is to
teach children to both give and receive gifts well. When my
children are invited to a party, I require them to help me
select an appropriate gift, and we enjoy seeing the recipient
open it. At my children's own parties (of which there have been
a collective total of 9 so far), they open their gifts and thank
the giver. In most cases, at least some of the new toys are
promptly extracted from the packaging and they have the chance
to play with them with their friends still present.
We've never had any problems whatsoever with the process and I
think it's both fun, and valuable social learning for all
involved! The guests at my kids' parties have always enjoyed
watching (and, when they're still quite young, ''helping''), if
the way they tend to crowd around is any indication, and we've
never had any meltdowns due to a child misunderstanding the
process of giving. And my kids have never blurted out that they
don't like something or any similar rude remarks -- of course,
they do get coached before every gift-receiving occasion.
If you have the party at a rent-a-gym or similar place where
you're booked for a specific block of time, there may be some
practical obstacles to opening gifts at the party -- there may
not be time -- and if the party is not at your home, you have to
put a little more effort into keeping track of things in order
to get it all home and dispose properly of the wrappings and so
on. That's about all I can think of in the ''con'' category.
What has worked great for us is if my son opens the presents as
each kid arrives. This way it's one on one and the child giving
the present gets to actually experience giving and and the
reciever can apreciate the card and present more. It also helps
with the upsets that can happen when someone tries to compare
their gift with another's. It's not all at once, not so
overwhelming to the birthday child and not so difficult for those
whose birthday it isn't.
This happened by accident at my son's first birthday, we liked it
so well we've tried to do it since. It's not traditional and
might not work at a party with a lot of kids and you have to keep
track for thank you notes... If you decide to chose between
opening all at once or taking home, base your decision on the
number of guests. It can be excruciating if someone's entire
class is there.
There is nothing more boring watching a kid open presents at a
party. It usually takes a while and the other kids are usually
not that interested either in watching. Do everyone a favor and
skip the present opening and do it at home when the party is
over. Also, I think this is the polite thing to do as not
everyone wants to have their present choice known to everyone
else. We often choose modest gifts (and expect with no presents
or small modest gifts on our children's birthdays) as today's
children have so much. Still, I don't want our present
selection to be judged by others!
Can't we just skip the gifts altogether?
I've seen and handled present opening both ways: at the party and
after. I think it is a total disappointment to the kid guests if
they don't get to see their present opened. At least it always is
for my kids. We don't do it that way anymore. Here is a good idea
I saw done at a party and we adopted it when our kids were pretty
All the guests grab their gifts and sit in a nice circle (you can
use placemats or other markers to be sure they sit where they
should). The birthday kid sits with them, or in a chair. The kids
go around the circle and each one brings up his or her gift and
the birthday kid opens it so everyone can see and no one is
crawling all over him/her to see what it is. Also, a parent or
friend can take more easily take notes on who gave what for the
thank you notes.
If that is too structured, just have them sit around a table
while you hand the gifts out. I just think that sitting down and
watching the birthday open the gifts is solid training in
manners. Kids need to learn how to be good guests. they never
will if we never teach them how to be.
Don't do it. I had to stand firm at my daughter's last party
(her 3rd) because I was being ''hassled'' by my partner and
nephew to let her open them at the park where the party was. I
knew this was not a good idea, but felt like the bad guy
anyway. Regardless, we took them home with us, had a nice time
leisurely opening them and found that my daughter was really
only interested in one of the gifts. She played with it
immediately after opening it and didn't want to open anything
else. She eventually got into the other gifts but not until
the next day. I kept thinking how uncomfortable I would have
been had this happened at the party. I would have felt bad for
the other gift givers whose presents were not paid attention
to. It also would have been a long process (over an hour) to
get through all the gifts and who wants to watch that? I have
since been to many kid parties and it seems that gift opening
is starting to become passe. Which is a good thing, I think.
I see no point in opening presents in front of everyone at kid
parties. Other kids are bored or jealous and wouldn't you
rather be eating cake or having fun? Save the gift opening for
bridal and baby showers and places where people (usually adults)
enjoy watching others open their gifts.
I noticed people in the Bay Area have children open gifts in private more
and more if
the children are under four. Zoo, farm, picnic parties seem too busy to
gift ritual, so pack them up. However, home and garden parties seem like a
to sit everyone down to watch the gifts unfold. Both ways are fun. The
response or reaction is to actually hear about how the child enjoyed the gift
a simple spoken ''thank you''. To me, that shows more appreciation than a
standardized thank you card.
We've Done It Both Ways
You're giving the party and can do whatever you want about presents. If you don't
want to open them at the party, don't. Just say something like ''It's our family's
tradition to open presents after the party.'' But please send a decent thank you
note--one that specifically references the present each child brought not a generic
note (or no note at all). On the other hand, I have noticed that the older the kids
are, the more they want to see the presents they brought opened up by the birthday
child. I've seen kids raid the present pile at the end of parties begging the birthday
child to at least open their present. Personally I wish that families who don't want
birthday presents to be part of the party would request ''no presents please.'' My
daughter is always confused and unhappy when she can't see the present she
brought opened. And I hate dealing with her feelings on the drive home.
I think it's rude *not* to open gifts at a child's bday party,
there should always be time to open gifts.
The kids at that age -4- have probably helped Mom and Dad pick
something out,and part of the joy of giving is seeing the
surprise/joy/disappointment of the recipient as they open it,
and getting a little verbal thank you at that moment (which may
be the only one received since most people have given up on
People spend time (which all of us parents know comes at a
premium) picking out and wrapping a gift, and the least the
recipient can do is open it in front of them.
open the gifts
If it is a small party, I think it is nice to open gifts together
as a group. Children will be giving and receiving gifts all
their lives, and it's an opportunity to learn how to do so
graciously. Our children have always participated in gift-making
or buying, and often put a great deal of care and thought into
making something special for their friends. It is disappointing
if their gift is not opened while they are there. Here's one
idea to make the gift opening special for everyone, and less
chaotic: children sit in a circle; have 2 special chairs or
pillows, one for the birthday kid, and one for the gift giver.
In turn, children move to the special spot, and offer their gift.
You can take a photo of the 2 friends together, and later send
the photo with your thank-you card. This way no one crowds
around. Have some fun/neutral way of deciding what order gifts
are given so no feelings are hurt. (Don't let the birthday kid
just decide by royal fiat who goes first -- and last!)
For large parties, gift opening can be a real problem and may not
be practical. For these (rare in our family) events, we avoid
gifts altogether. At a swim center party, for example, where we
invited everyone we knew (adults and kids and people with no
kids) to join us for a swim, we didn't want everyone to have to
bring a gift. So we had a book exchange instead. Our daughter
received a few gifts later from close friends and neighbors, but
at the big party, everyone just went home with a book.
I think opening presents at a birthday party takes away from the
celebration, even at adult parties.
I feel it should be the choice of the host.
my two cents
this page was last updated: Nov 16, 2013
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