When to Unwrap Gifts
To open, or not to open—that is the question! Sometimes it’s hard to tell when it’s appropriate to open presents and express your thanks in person, or wait to open gifts privately. While everyone has different customs and traditions, the truth is that really varies by occasion. Here are some guidelines to help take the guess work out of gift-opening.
At bridal showers, the tradition is to open gifts in front of guests and embarrass the bride-to-be with a hat made from the bows. Typically a bridesmaid or friend jots down who gave what, allowing the future bride’s hands to be free for ripping.
At baby showers, gifts are usually opened so everyone can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over those adorable little booties and bibs with duckies and kitties.
For presents at Christmas parties, such as Secret Santa at the office, presents are usually opened during the game. If you’re throwing a Christmas party at your home, gifts for the host like wine and food are sometimes opened and put out at the party, but it’s not required.
Birthday presents among the family are usually opened at home after the smoke from the birthday candles has dissipated and everyone is enjoying a piece of cake. For older children and adults, birthday gifts are typically opened at the time they are received.
Save The Best For Later
Let’s face it—some things are better kept under wraps. In these situations, gifts should be opened privately and thank you notes sent afterward.
At kid’s parties, the current trend is not to open presents during the party, but to open them in private. Doing so takes the stress off of trying to keep track of who gave what in the midst of the birthday hubbub, and leaves more time for cake and roller skating. This is especially true at venue birthday parties. For children’s parties at home, gift-opening can be saved for the end of the party, so those who are not interested in watching can leave if they need to.
Engagements & Weddings
Engagement presents and wedding gifts are usually opened after each big event. The newlyweds have enough to keep them busy without having to open presents and acknowledge everyone’s thoughtfulness
between dances and dinner.