It’s been hard not to notice the popular new trend of children not opening their presents at their birthday party. Gifts seem to be placed in a pile off to the side, and the unwrapping is saved for when the last party guest has gone home and the leftover cake has been tucked away.
I, personally, have never done this at my kids’ parties. I’m a fan of letting them open their gifts in front of their friends because I think it’s nice for them to personally thank each guest for the present. I’m also a little old-fashioned in my thinking, and believe that presents and cake are what make a birthday special, so I enjoy including both in my parties.
However, according to Miss Manners, my traditional ways aren’t necessarily the best. She’s issued a pronouncement siding with the new way of approaching parties, and thinks the idea of children sitting around watching one child get a lot of stuff is unfair. She also adds that it’s a lot of stress on a young host to ooh and aah over every gift, including those that are duplicates or disappointments.
So now I’m wondering, how do you approach birthday party presents? Are you a traditionalist, or do you prefer to open gifts in private, and send a thank you note after the party?