I am not a fan of children's parties. In all fairness, I've only ever thrown my kid one party and I was 8 months pregnant at the time so it wasn't the best of ideas. You see, my son had turned 3 and he finally understood the whole concept of a party. My first mistake was that I went big.
We did a fire engine themed party and my second mistake was that I DIY'd the heck out of the party. So you can see why I am not enamoured with the idea of children's parties.
We have a big family and lots of friends so he got a lot of presents but we didn't open them at the party for a number of reasons:
- There would be too much pressure on him to give a positive reaction to a gift.
- Meaning that he might like some presents better than others and make the gift-givers feel bad.
- It might make some kids or parents feel bad they didn't buy a more "expensive" gift (not that this matters to me at all!)
- Other kids would not be as interested in seeing gifts being opened if it's not for them.
Being three my son had the emotional sensitivity of an egg: he was so overwhelmed when he walked in that he hid behind my legs for the first half an hour. And then proceeded to go wild. Then he cried when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him.
I don't think he would've done well with having to sit there and open presents in front of everyone. He is not at an age where he would take others feelings into consideration and I feared he might toss a present aside that he didn't like.
I get that the gift-givers want to see their gift being opened. I know because I am like that. I love seeing the reactions to the well thought out gifts I give.
That is why when we do open the gifts at home, after the party we take a picture of him doing so or with the gift and send it along with a thank you note to the person who gave it.
Technology has really made the art of sending thank you notes so much easier. I prefer this way because my kid is not put on the spot to give an appropriate reaction and it teaches him that he needs to say thank you for everything that he gets.
What are your thoughts? Should the gifts be opened at the party? Send your thoughts to email@example.com and we could publish them.