To Open or Not To Open (Gifts at the Birthday Party)–That is the Question
There are arguments for both sides of this issue. Some would say yes. Parents enjoy seeing the birthday child’s reaction to their gift, and get joy seeing the child delighted with their present. The kids may also enjoy seeing the gifts. And if you need to fill a little time, opening gifts accomplishes that.
On the other hand, some would suggest not opening gifts at the party. It can get boring for the kids, cause them to lose interest, and get antsy. If you have a small group of, say, 10 or less, or if the guests are patient and enjoy this, then gift opening at the party can work. However, with boys, or where the gift opening takes longer (over 10 gifts), the kids can wreak havoc. If you have other activities for the kids who get bored to do—e.g. a playroom or backyard where they can run around, then it could work. If you have a lot of parents there, you may want to give them the enjoyment of watching their gifts be received. However, if you have very few parents there, the kids don’t generally care about seeing how the birthday child open their gifts. They would rather be doing something else.
So, in conclusion, consider opening gifts at your birthday party if a lot of parents are there, you have a small or patient group, you have a fun, engaging way of opening gifts, and/or if you have another activity that kids who get bored with the gift opening can partake in. If you have a larger group, few parents, or you want to keep the kids highly engaged and not risk having them get bored and wreaking havoc, it’s probably best to open the gifts after the guests have departed. You can always send thank you notes to express appreciation.
Good luck with your decision!