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Etiquette around gift opening

(9 Posts)
SuperSesame Mon 23-Jul-12 12:05:07

I have seen this question here before in regards to children's birthday's but my question about gifts amongst us adults. Sorry if its been done before, but I can't find it.

When my baby was born, I received lots of gifts from guests who came to see the baby. I opened them while the guests were there, admired the gifts and thanked them. then sent thank you cards a month later (when I had two hands free).

These days we are the gifters rather than the giftees and every time we've visted a new baby, we have given a gift but it is put to the side unopened and then we've received a thank you text or card later on, either that week or month later.
I'm always a little dissappointed when I see it put aside as I'd often like to explain why I chose it, or see their reaction.

But, as its happened so often, I'm beginning to woder if I was impolite in opening my gifts in front of the guests. These people who I have visited are all well-mannered and I'm sure well-versed in the correct etiquette, which makes me feel a little embarrassed that I just tore open gifts I had received from them, while they were there.
Can anyone tell me if there is a social norm on this?

FireOverBabylon Mon 23-Jul-12 12:17:26

OP, for me it would depend what happened when you next met the new parents. I don't think I gave out thank you cards when DS was born, in part because we got so many things at the same time, and in part because it was a rough birth and a velcro baby and I think I came back up for air at about 6 months. I could, however, tell you who bought every items of clothing and toy for my son and did thank people when I saw them and make an effort to get him wearing X person's present when we next went to their house or, if he'd gown out of it, mention how useful it had been. DH was amazed that I could, and still can, tell him who bought the clothing seen on DS in photos.

i think the key thing here is about your gift being acknowledged. It would be nice if that could be done in writing but, if there are good reason why it can't, then a verbal acknowledgement is fine.

If your gift is just disappearing into the ether, then that is just rude and shouldn't be the norm. God that makes me sound like I live in 1957

SuePurblybilt Mon 23-Jul-12 12:24:27

I have overly strong feelings about gift giving grin. I'm with you - open the present in front of the giver, effusive thanks, card later. And I put a lot of thought into gifts, I like to see them opened.

Obviously there's a way to do it - I remember standing in the actual doorway, unable to get in the house while someone took the gift from me and scrabbled at the wrapping hmm. But I always open in front of the person and I like it when people open in front of me.

SuperSesame Mon 23-Jul-12 12:28:41

Thanks appreciate the reply. I'm more specifically wondering if its considered rude or not to open the gifts in front of them.
I agree about the importance of acknowledging who gave what and i did the photo in the outfit too.

SuePurblybilt Mon 23-Jul-12 12:30:15

I don't consider it rude at all, unless you are grabby when doing it.

Tiago Mon 23-Jul-12 12:33:17

It's not rude to open them there and then, but nor is it rude to put them aside and open them later. So long as thanks are provided that is.

I never open gifts in front of people unless they request that I do.

Jins Mon 23-Jul-12 12:36:27

I was always told as a child that I shouldn't open my presents while people were there as it gave the impression that I was more interested in the gift than the person. Generally I wasblush

SuperSesame Mon 23-Jul-12 12:44:28

Thanks for the responses, a mixed bag!
I bet those people I gave gifts too had heard that as a child as well Jins.
Can sort of understand it to be considered rude to dive at it.
Next time, I will request they open it! Then at least, I'll get my little bit of satisfaction.

Poledra Mon 23-Jul-12 12:46:04

This is only a problem with your first child, Thereafter, the toddler will grab any present on your behalf and shred the wrapping paper before you've had a chance to say 'Do come in!'

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