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Author Topic: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?  (Read 3555 times)

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MommySloth

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2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« on: May 04, 2016, 01:29:25 PM »
I read another thread here awhile ago that had to do with whether or not to open gifts during a birthday party. IIRC, the consensus seemed to be that most people looked forward to seeing the recipient's reaction. However, does that apply if said recipient is turning 2?

I'm hosting a birthday party for my son this year, but I haven't hosted a "real" birthday party before (his 1st birthday was just getting together for dinner with family). Given his age, would opening gifts during the party be appropriate? I feel like he's kind of young to give a really satisfying reaction to gifts and he doesn't talk much yet.

jazzgirl205

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 01:46:36 PM »
I did not give dd a children's birthday party until she was 3.  Here, it is expected that a child will open gifts at the party.  We played a practice game for a few days before the event.  I would ask her what she would say if she opened a gift she didn't like, was a duplicate, was a gift she liked, or didn't know what it was.  The answer was always a big smile and a thankyou.  We would laugh, ham up the emotions to make the game fun.  Other children get very excited when they are giving a gift.  It can hurt them deeply when their gift is not appreciated or seems meager next to the others.

#borecore

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 03:00:49 PM »
It depends on the number of guests and your kid's likely attention span. If you're having fewer than 5 people (or 5 families, at one gift per family), I'd definitely go for it. If you're having fewer than 10, maybe. More than that? I think it could get pretty tedious for all involved, but I might still try if you think the kid can handle it.

A short story that's relevant, and an alternative to the Present Opening Show that many kid parties have: My earliest memory that I can put a date on is my 3rd birthday, and I recall going around the room to the many adults (my parents were the first of their friends to have kids, so any kids/babies who were there were younger than me) who were chatting and snacking, saying hi, and my mom would hand me the present from that person so I could open it just with them. That way, I wasn't overwhelmed by being the center of attention and could be reminded to say "thank you," and each giver only really paid attention  to the opening of their one gift, or maybe a couple of others. I got a short break between gifts so I appreciated each one more. Maybe that would work for you?

lilfox

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 11:22:54 PM »
That's a tricky one.  I know for my 2 yr old son at Christmas, it was kind of a struggle to get him to pay attention to the new thing and not the wrapping paper or the bow, or the floor.

I don't think there's anything wrong with gift opening at a party, though I agree that it depends on the number of guests and maybe the amount of attention given to the gift opening.  Too many gifts in a row and a little one is just going to stop wanting to do that, which risks leaving some gifts apparently unappreciated.  I like #borecore's suggestion of spacing out the gifts and making it more one-on-one with the giver.

tabitha

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 09:23:02 AM »
When my kids were growing up, opening presents at parties was rarely done.  The other kids get bored and sometimes jealous and at 2 they have so many things to learn that sitting graciously through a gift opening is a little too much to expect. 
Unless it mostly adults at the party who want to see the gifts opened.  Even that's a bit much for a 2 year old.  At that age my daughter received a Mr. Potato Head.  Once that was opened she had zero interest in the sea of unopened gifts behind her.  But who can complain? 2 year olds don't make great hosts and I would leave it up to the adults to entertain each other.
It's also a great idea to save gifts for a later date to pull out when the kids lose interest. My youngest got a teddy for her first birthday but didn't pay attention to it until she was 4. After that she nearly killed it with affection.  She's now 15 and teddy sits on her bed with stitches, a belly covered in glitter and nail polish and a missing eye. 

Point being it's hard for young children to open and graciously accept several gifts in one sitting. But that sure doesn't mean those gifts will go unappreciated.

lmyrs

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 01:28:32 PM »
Every child's party I've ever been to includes gift opening and if it were not included it would be noticed and unappreciated. And that includes parties for children as young as 1.

rose red

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 01:34:21 PM »
I actually appreciate when there's no formal gift opening for very young children. Toddlers can get overwhelmed with too many choices and have a meltdown (I've seen it). But like a PP said, a party of five makes a huge difference to a party of, say, twenty.

Hmmmmm

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 01:41:29 PM »
How large a party are you throwing for the 2 year old? If it's just family and close friends and under a dozen gifts, I'd open because aunts and uncles want to see them. But if it's a bunch of other 2 year olds included I'd probably forgo it because the other 2 year olds don't have the attention span to want to watch your child open gifts.

Alicia

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2016, 01:55:17 PM »
I find gift openings dull regardless of the age of the person receive the guft so i suggest agaist it unless under like 5 people and 5 gifts

EllenS

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 02:10:26 PM »
How large a party are you throwing for the 2 year old? If it's just family and close friends and under a dozen gifts, I'd open because aunts and uncles want to see them. But if it's a bunch of other 2 year olds included I'd probably forgo it because the other 2 year olds don't have the attention span to want to watch your child open gifts.

POD. Also, 2 yo is prime snatch/"Mine!"/meltdown age, so unless the kids are older cousins,  I'd skip it. Maybe grandparents, aunts and uncles could stay a bit after the little ones go home, and they can see the presents opened then. (Or come a little early.)

MommySloth

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2016, 04:45:57 PM »
It depends on the number of guests and your kid's likely attention span. If you're having fewer than 5 people (or 5 families, at one gift per family), I'd definitely go for it. If you're having fewer than 10, maybe. More than that? I think it could get pretty tedious for all involved, but I might still try if you think the kid can handle it.

A short story that's relevant, and an alternative to the Present Opening Show that many kid parties have: My earliest memory that I can put a date on is my 3rd birthday, and I recall going around the room to the many adults (my parents were the first of their friends to have kids, so any kids/babies who were there were younger than me) who were chatting and snacking, saying hi, and my mom would hand me the present from that person so I could open it just with them. That way, I wasn't overwhelmed by being the center of attention and could be reminded to say "thank you," and each giver only really paid attention  to the opening of their one gift, or maybe a couple of others. I got a short break between gifts so I appreciated each one more. Maybe that would work for you?

I really like this!

The party is only family and close friends, mostly adults and older cousins (older as in 6 and up). There will only be a couple kids around my son's age there. There will be 10 families or fewer. I will most likely try to do something like what #borecore suggested, that idea seems like a great alternative!

Thanks so much!

Altarrose

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2016, 06:04:03 PM »
I totally understand how you feel. It can be really awkward!

Guests do expect the gifts to be opened though. My youngest just turned one and was more interested in the tissue then the gifts but the guests didn't seem to mind at all. I let his five year old brother help him when the process started taking too long. Honestly I really think the guests understand but are pleased to see the parent's reaction too.


turnip

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 10:35:43 AM »
We did a gift opening when my daughter was 4 and decided never again!  Too long, a lot of bored faces, and she got quickly worn out saying "Wow I love it, thank you" over and over again.   I also think it's hard not to show clear preferences - my DD got a present from her best friend that she was dying to open right away and it put a bit of a damper on the rest of the gifts as they didn't inspire the same reaction.

We took pictures of her after the party holding each gift and smiling, and sent them to the givers.  That seemed to go over well.

bopper

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Re: 2nd birthday party - open gifts?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 02:42:16 PM »
It depends on location, age of kid, and number at the party.

Small group at home?  Yes, open them!
When they are older, a Fun game is to play "pass the parcel"...have the presents passed around the circle and when the music stops the birthday kid opens the present they are holding.

Big group at Chuck E Cheese?  Take them home.  Too many presents and pieces will get lost.