Me and my girls

Me and my girls

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Birthday Presents - When to open?

I have been planning Juliet's 2nd birthday party this week and while planning the party itinerary,I struggled with the question of when do we open the presents? When I ask this question, what I mean is do we open present with everyone or after the party and send out thank you notes.

We don't usually open presents but as the girls get older, when is it ok to open the presents at the party? In the past, we don't open presents as there is not enough time and I have this vision of toddlers fighting over the newly unwrapped toys. I think it is probably wise not to open presents at Juliet's party, but at Ainsley's 4th, should we?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


  1. We've always opened presents during the party, usually after the cake.

  2. Lindsay - I think it depends on how many kids you are having and how long the party is. Also the gender makes a difference too...boys don't seem to care as much (as a rule) about watching the gifts being opened. While girls are more prone to sitting and watching this unfold. At my DD's 4th birthday in Sept. we didn't open presents - although I had planned on it. There was too much else on the schedule and when I looked at the PILE of presents...I realized it just wasn't a great use of time. So we did the TY card follow up. So maybe you 'play it by ear' - if ALL the activites you planned are over after 1/2 hour and you need to 'fill' - open the presents...otherwise, it is a nice thing to do quietly with just the family once the mayhem has passed through!

  3. We've always opened the presents during the party. The kids like seeing the birthday child's reaction! :)
    Here's what our parties look like (they're only 2 hours long):
    Noon - Guests arrive & everyone eats lunch
    12:30 - Cake is brought out & we sing Happy Birthday
    1:00 - Free play/Mingling
    1:30 - Open presents
    2:00 - Say thank you and goodbye to guests!

    Obviously we are all socializing (both kids and adults) the entire time, so all in all it's a really smooth timetable! :)

  4. Our itinerary so far is:

    10:30 - Arrivals
    11:00 - Jennilea - Music program
    11:45 - Pizza Lunch
    12:15 - Cake

    It's pretty jam packed! I always find that two hours is so short and we barely have time to do cake :). I made Juliet's party 30 minutes longer so perhaps we will have time for present opening.