Dear Ehellions, I've been lurking forever, but yesterday I hosted my first little dinner party and now promptly have an etiquette question.
All of our guests brought presents - two of them more hostess present-ish (i.e. wine and a chutney, and a pretty notepad that was handed to me unwrapped, as one might do with flowers), and just but some more christmassy (wrapped, with nice bow, and not bottle-shaped
). One guest gave me a christmassy-looking present and told me he'd like to see me unwrap it, but having learned on ehell not to open 'hostess' gifts in front of people (if I understand correctly), I put all of them under the Christmas tree and proceeded to serve appetizers. After dinner, the aforementioned friend asked me to open his present, because he wasn't sure I would like it and wanted to see my reaction, so I did unwrap it. I was squealing with glee at the totally unexpected t-shirt sporting my favourite movie quote, and I think it made my friend happy to see that he made me happy.
But then I didn't really know what to do - open the other peoples' presents, too? I decided not to, because I would have felt just too weird sitting there and unwrapping stuff with everybody watching me in anticipation and not having anything to unwrap themselves.
What would be the correct way to handle such a situation?
Thank you in advance - I am looking forward to receiving Ehellions' advice!
ETA: As you may have guessed, English is not my native language. Sorry!