Present opening etiquette children's parties

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Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby Mummyto1 » 23 Jan 2015, 21:20

We've always done small parties (up to about 6 children) all but one at home, and always without the parents as they have been children we know well. We've always opened the presents at the beginning with all the children together - they all get excited and I've always though it is nice for the giver to enjoy the giving.

But tomorrow we have 10 children and their parents, and whilst I know the mums from the school gates they are not close friends. It's a 4 year old party. I've just realised that most of the bigger parties we've been to we've handed the gift in at the beginning and then not seen or heard about again.

When do you normally open presents? My worry with 10 children and parents I don't know well is that (a) it will take too long and (b) people might feel presents are compared. But I always think it's a shame not to give a proper thank you at the time of opening.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby PerpetualMadness » 23 Jan 2015, 21:31

We always open after and send thank you notes. It means that gifts can be opened at leisure, we don't lose track of who gave what and we don't have the problem of needing to play with new stuff (or worse still share new stuff).
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby MumtoMonsters » 23 Jan 2015, 23:09

Ditto.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby Tintin » 23 Jan 2015, 23:20

Same. We've never hosted, or been to, a party where presents were opened at the time.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby emzit » 24 Jan 2015, 00:35

We open as they come in. Having a set time can be boring for the non birthday children, but I want the giver to be there when opened. We go to a lot of effort to get muncher excited about choosing a gift for his friend, and he's always been just as excited as the birthday child to see it opened. He was devastated, and I do mean utterly, completely distraught, at his best mate's party last year when all the presents were taken away and he couldn't give him his present. We had to carry him to the car in tears.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby mamapup » 24 Jan 2015, 09:19

I agree. I think it's lovely watching a someone open a present you chose with care and love. Also lots of people don't write on it who it's from, which makes thanking hard.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby Nix » 24 Jan 2015, 10:51

We always open later. Today is Harvey and Pippa's joint birthday party with 30 children and I will allow H to open his presents later on today as his birthday was over a week ago. I will try and keep most of Pippa's until her actual birthday on the 29th. If anything was open and lost/broken there would be definite tears at the party and that wouldn't be fun for anyone.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby t&n's mummy » 24 Jan 2015, 10:51

We don't open presents there, only been to one party where they did and lots of the children "helped" with the opening and then got stuff out of boxes to play with, parent's couldn't keep track, things got lost/broken. Nightmare.
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Re: Present opening etiquette children's parties

Postby Mummyto1 » 24 Jan 2015, 13:30

Thanks all, very helpful.

Well, we had the party this morning and opted to open later. I'm with Emzit and MP really, I would have preferred to open at the time but it was definitely easier to do it afterwards and probably the right decision. I will get her to write proper thank you'd though, which I don't normally do for parties when we've opened with the gift givers there.

I acutually think they would have enjoyed doing the presents together today - lots of fairly calm little ones who very much cared about giving lovely presents - but I do think it would have taken ages. Good to know it's probably more common to do it later.
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