Children's birthday party presents

(25 Posts)
LightminTheQueem Sat 02-Nov-13 17:01:12

Possibly petty but all the same... At most of the children's parties we go to the parents keep the presents back in a pile for their DC to open later. Sometimes we get a nice note afterwards to say thank you but often we hear nothing at all. I'm not greatly inspired but I do try to pick things I think the child will like and tbh I feel sad to miss out on knowing if they liked it. Aibu to think you either open things then and there and say thanks, or you keep them back and write a note or mention it to say thanks later on?

CrohnicallyTired Sat 02-Nov-13 17:03:31

YANBU. We recently attended a party held the weekend before the child's actual birthday, so the presents were kept until then. On the day, I got a text with a thank you message and a picture of the child enjoying my present. I usually open presents then and there for my daughter, but again I like to take a picture to send to the giver.

lljkk Sat 02-Nov-13 17:19:23

The birthday child should say thanks there and then without opening the item. That's enough for me. I really don't need bits of formal paper afterwards.

Finola1step Sat 02-Nov-13 17:23:00

I prefer it if presents are opened after the event. I do this with both of my dc and then they (or me for dd aged 2) write a thank you note making specific reference to the gift given. I will usually add a comment such as "he loves playing with it in the train to see Nanny etc".

A few years ago we were at a child's party and the presents were opened just before the cake. It was all a bit awkward really as you could see the parents mentally comparing the rough value of presents. Not nice. One dad did say that he felt a bit bad as the present his son had given was a bit cheaper than others. It's all nonsense really.

I prefer to take the presents home and then ration them out a bit.

littlewhitebag Sat 02-Nov-13 17:24:41

We always took the presents home so we could open them at leisure and take a note of who gave what. Then DC were expected to write thank you notes.

Gileswithachainsaw Sat 02-Nov-13 17:29:16

I always open the gifts at home and make a note of who gave what. Dd then writes the cards.Anyone who didn't give a gift get a "thank you very much for coming " card.

However, a thNk you on the day is fine for me. I don't need pictures and cards and I can see they were pleased we made it.

MyDarlingClementine Sat 02-Nov-13 17:36:16

I would never open the gifts then and there with small blunt DC I would be too worried if they didnt like something or something was replicated etc.

However I do think thank you notes are very nice and a good thing to teach the DC's about. Also good to help them practise writing etc.

twilight3 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:46:29

well... a thank you note doesn't exactly show you though whether they liked the present or not. I hardly expect anyone to say "gee, thanks for trying but I really hated the monster high doll, it creeps me out. Not to worry though, maybe you'll do better next year".

I do like it when presents are opened on the spot, I like seeing the child opening them, whether they like the present or not, I'm either happy they did or I learn something if they don't (even the most polite children cannot control their facial expressions). Mine wouldn't let me to keep the presents for later anyway, they rip it open before I know what's going on.

But I never expect thank you notes, people thank us when we turn up and that's nice and enough for me.

I find it especially weird when there's a thank you note in the party bag for coming and later in the week there's a thank you note for the present. OTT IMO

mrsravelstein Sat 02-Nov-13 17:53:08

if its a 30 kid party then it's unusual to open presents there & then... i just text all the parents afterwards to say thanks for the present, not a generic thank you but specifically mentioning the gift they gave.

if its a small party with 5 or 6 kids/family members then dc would say thank you to the person as they gave the present and i'd probably still text afterwards too.

thank you notes i only do for presents sent in post by grandparents. (i used to do handwritten thank you cards for everything, when only had 1 child, though)

Tailtwister Sat 02-Nov-13 17:54:36

I've never been to a party where the child has opened presents then and there. We usually receive a thank you card afterwards (not always, but that's fine too) and unless we've bought something specific (sometimes I ask if there's something in particular they might like) I usually buy from JL and include the gift receipt. It's impossible to know what each and every child wants/doesn't already have and that way I can be sure they eventually end up with what they want.

Mamafratelli Sat 02-Nov-13 18:00:59

I think it sometimes looks a bit rude and grabby to open the presents at the party. Other times it seems perfectly normal. Depends on the child's reaction I guess. The ones that grab and rip annoy me tbh, don't know why they are just excited I guess. Agree with the poster not wanting to embarrass people too.

frogspoon Sat 02-Nov-13 18:01:27

I think opening presents after the party is wise, avoids any upset if present is not what the child likes/ a duplicate/ looks cheap etc.

However I do think it is rude not to send a thank you. Sends a poor message to the child whose birthday it was that it is acceptable not to thank people, and also people may be genuinely upset if their gift (which they may have put time and effort into choosing) was ignored without a thank you.

TwitTwooShoe Sat 02-Nov-13 18:09:38

I think it is best to open after the party, for everyone's sake.

I send thank you cards but wonder why. We give party bags and say thank you when receiving the gift/when they go home, which I think is fair enough, although I still send the notes.

Presents should be kept back and opened later and some sort of acknowledgement afterwards is normal I think. DD (3) managed to open her presents during her party at home as DH and I were busy in the kitchen. It was a PITA as I had to work out who gave what.

wigglesrock Sat 02-Nov-13 18:31:51

No, mine have never written a note of thanks to a classmate for a present - they have done for family members ie they've made a funny card for their Nana with a thanks for the toy.

In all honesty I have 2 kids at primary school - one in P5, one in P2 - they have been to loads of birthday parties & have had a few. I have received and sent a quick thank you text but not once a card or note. I think it's a MN thing smile

LightminTheQueem Sat 02-Nov-13 20:10:47

I'm not bothered about a note, I just meant any form of acknowledgement after the child has opened it: note, text, parent mentioning it when we next see them, anything. When I was little we always opened presents then and there, but we were in a different country so maybe different rules. Agree that grab and rip seems rude, but I also find the sight of a big pile of stockpiled presents a bit gross - it's just what you're used to I guess.

I hadn't thought of the thank you when we give the wrapped present as a proper thank you, but maybe people do. Maybe that is enough.

SebbysMum Sat 02-Nov-13 20:30:37

Though I generally value manners and would insist on thankyou notes to relatives i think written thank yous to all class mates is unnecessary and more importantly seems to me to have become a sort of collective action problem which adds an additional burden to the busy parents of young kids who have already worked really hard to lay on a party.

My mum is a stickler for thank you letters (she'll send me one after a Sunday lunch) but I was never expected to write thank yous to class mates and i can't remember anyone else doing it, ever.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 02-Nov-13 20:35:26

We always mean to write thank you nitesbutdont seem to get around to it.

5Foot5 Sat 02-Nov-13 20:51:20

We always kept the presents to open later. Better IMO for many reasons:
1) Doesn't hold up or distract from the party activities.
2) Avoids and unwelcome comparisons or comments
3) DD preferred to be able to take her time and give it her full attention
4) Gave me the chance to make notes of who gave what so that we could mention it in the thank you note we sent in the next few days.

We only once went to a party where the presents were opened there. I don't think there had been any discussion between the parents about their position on this. The mother had gone out of the room to get some more food and the Dad said to his 3yo DS "Present opening time!" Of course the little boy ripped in to the presents and had the paper off them all in seconds.

Mum came back in to the room to see all the presents unwrapped in her absence and you could feel the temperature fall about 20 degrees. Admirably she managed to restrain herself to just saying to her idiot husband "How am I going to know who sent what now for the letters?" but I bet when the guests left he got what for.

ilovecolinfirth Sun 03-Nov-13 10:55:57

I'd never let my child open presents there and then. He's hopefully being dragged up the right way, but at the age of 4 I cannot trust him not to say 'I've got one of these already'. Also by not opening them there and then it saves embarrasment if someone's spent a lot less than others or if several people have bought the same gift.

ginmakesitallok Sun 03-Nov-13 11:01:16

We were at a party last week with dd2. About 25 4year olds. I can fully understand not opening presents at the party. If it was dd she would want to play with her new toys rather than enjoy her party, and you've got all the wrapping mess to contend with etc. Today we're having dd1's birthday party. Dp is currently at the swimming pool with dd and 6 of her friends ( I'm meant to be sorting out birthday lunch...). We'll open her presents when they get back to the house, different situation.

ginmakesitallok Sun 03-Nov-13 11:03:52

Oh, and I always get the girls to do thank you notes. Only time we didn't was after dd1s 6th birthday, I'd just had dd2 and was just too busy blush

bsc Sun 03-Nov-13 11:08:10

<snort> ilovecolinfirth I read your post as "at the ageof 41 I cannot trust DS" grin

Iwondered if CF wasyour DS, not the object of your affections!

AntiJamDidi Sun 03-Nov-13 11:24:34

Dd1 has always kept presents for home afterwards and then we might mention it and say thank you next time we see someone.

Dd2 has only had one party, she was 3 and we invited a few friends to a farm park with soft play area. She sat and looked at the presents and refused to go play. So she opened them there and then and amazingly she was really happy with all of them, so we said thank you on the day. Next year we'll have a few more children at the party and will be trying to keep the present opening for home afterwards. I'm not sure we'll find time to write thank you notes and I don't see the parents of her friends so won't be able to mention it either. I hope they all understand.

kinkyfuckery Sun 03-Nov-13 11:44:41

Thank you cards gor a kids party? Wtf? You say thsnk you when the gift is given, job done!

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