23 answers

Gift Opening Etiquette

Okay, so my coworkers want to have my baby shower at a restaurant on a sunday night coming up. i have seen showers done where you open everyones gifts in front of everyone, and ones where the gifts were saved until after to open in private and write personal thank you's out for each one.i kind of like that idea better so I remember who gets me what and I also like it because no one will feel outdone by anyone else since this is a work party and a place of high gossip. Although it seems ridiculous, the kind of people I work with will go back the next day and talk about who bought what, etc. So, do you think its bad etiquette to save gifts for a private home opening?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I simply hate showers or birthday parties where the gifts are opened later! Most people want to see you open their gift! Ask someone to write down who got you what. People expect gift opening to be part of a shower!

4 moms found this helpful

I think for baby showers sometimes the most fun is had seeing the gifts! Oohhhing and aaahhing over the cute outfits and adorable baby toys is the best. Don't save it for later.

Now kid's birthday parties are the opposite. I hate it when the kids open the presents at the parties. Save those for later :-)

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I've never been to a shower where the gifts weren't opened. Normally the hostess of the shower will write down the gift and giver's name for the mom-to-be so she can easily remember who gave what when it's time to write the thank you cards.

I say open your gifts and let them talk all they want the next day. That's their petty thing not yours. Enjoy your shower and enjoy opening your gifts!

4 moms found this helpful

I simply hate showers or birthday parties where the gifts are opened later! Most people want to see you open their gift! Ask someone to write down who got you what. People expect gift opening to be part of a shower!

4 moms found this helpful

Not sure about the etiquette question, but I've always had the hostess or someone write the gift on the back of the card to make the thank you cards easier.

As most showers involve the opening of gifts, think about how you will fill the time without that activity.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

I think for baby showers sometimes the most fun is had seeing the gifts! Oohhhing and aaahhing over the cute outfits and adorable baby toys is the best. Don't save it for later.

Now kid's birthday parties are the opposite. I hate it when the kids open the presents at the parties. Save those for later :-)

3 moms found this helpful

I think that is a GREAT idea, as long as everyone is ok with it. I always feel so awkward opening gifts in the first place and especially front of a group of people. I think that opening them in private and writing a thank you note from the heart sounds so much better!

Have Fun!

3 moms found this helpful

I agree that the gifts should be opened at the shower. There is always someone who is willing to write down what you received. You should also get someone to write down everything you say. The old wives tales is that the things you say at your shower are things you will say when you are in labor. Do not worry about what your co-workers say, that is their problem. You enjoy your shower and the new bundle when he/she arrives.

3 moms found this helpful

I didn't open gifts at my shower for exactly that reason. I stated that the people in my life and at the shower were more important than gifts and I wanted to focus to be on the people I love and appreciate. That is the partial truth; the other truth is that I absolutely can not stand that much attention in my direction. There is a way to be graceful without following Emily Post. Best to you and congratulations!

J.

2 moms found this helpful

my fav part of showers is seeing what the mom got and oohing and aahhing over the baby clothes. I would designate someone to write down who brought what for the thank yous.

2 moms found this helpful

I think it is really up to the you and the hostesses and what they have planned.. I went to a baby shower where it was so much fun visiting we all wanted to just visit and laugh.. It was a lot of fun..

Most all of the other baby showers I have attended, the mom opened the gifts and the person next to her wrote down who gave what.. .

2 moms found this helpful

I think it is very selfish to take the gifts home to open them. The guests buy them to watch you open them. You are taking the fun out of having a baby shower if you don't open the gifts at the shower. You can ask someone to write on a paper who it's from and what it is. Also have another person writing the gift on the back of the cards and then put it with the gift. That way you know who got you what and everyone can enjoy in the fun of your opening them. There is nothing that makes me madder than to make a special gift for a baby shower, wedding, bridal shower, etc. and then not get to see it being opened. I have always made afghans for these occasions but if I know in advance they will not be opening the gifts at the party I just go out and buy something. I figure if the person I am making it for doesn't care enough to let me see them open it then why take a month or more to make them something special...

2 moms found this helpful

If you do decide to open the gifts at the shower, the hostess can sit beside the guest of honor and write down what gift she receives and who it is from. Have fun! :)

2 moms found this helpful

You do whatever makes YOU feel comfortable. It's not rude to want to open gifts at a later time.

2 moms found this helpful

The WHOLE point of inviting folks to a baby shower (or any kind of gathering like this) is so that everyone gets to see what you got. I've never been to any kind of event where the gifts were not opened in front of me. It's customary to have a person (close friend or relative) sit next to you with pen and paper and as you open each gift, you announce (loudly so everyone can hear and so your "friend") who gave it to you and that way your friend can write it down. Yes, it's tacky to not open them for all to see.

1 mom found this helpful

Gift opening is part of a shower whether wedding or baby. It is usually engagement parties, housewarming parties, and sometimes birthday parties where the gifts are opened at a later time. If its a b-day party, then gifts are only opened later if its a very very young child or an adult.

1 mom found this helpful

I have never been to a shower that the mom to be didn't open the gifts. Honestly, I would be a little upset to not see the gift opening part. Not because I want to see the person open my gift, but because I want to see all the goodies. However, if you feel uncomfortable, then maybe you don't. People are going to gossip no matter what you do though. I would say - don't spoil it for the others and just enjoy it. But, that is just one opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

I do think the fun of a shower is to see the gifts for the baby. We all awe and oo over the cute little outfits or cool new toys. If people are going to be rude on their own time, judging others, then that is their issue. I would also try to just avoid it and you might get your wish. Spend the time talking with each individual person briefly, thanking them for coming and their support as you enter parenthood. Plan things like appetizers, a game or two, ask each person to write something to the baby, their prayers and wishes for him/her and put them in a treasure box. Then have a friend start a round of advice, ask each person what advice they have for parenting for you. It is fun and interesting. That will give them something to talk about the next day. This will take up time and will be fun where each person is highlighted. You can also request an area slightly behind you on the floor of the restaurant to place gifts. If they are slightly out of sight, that "part" of the party might be avoided. If someone says, are you going to open the gifts? You could say, oh, I will open them at home with my husband when we can take more time to enjoy each one and write out thank you notes right then, with work and pregnancy brain, I know I wont get it done without his help and doing it right then as I open it. Plus, I want to spend more time enjoying my friends and this last opportunity of time out with friends without little ones in tow. If everyone insists, ask someone to write every thing down, keep bags and cards together and just do it. Then it wont be rude and will appear as if you were really trying to be polite in the first place.

I passed around the gifts and and everyone help me open them! One friend didn't like it but most thought it was fun. I was honestly exhausted by opening them so it was nice to have help. It also took some of the focus off of me and I needed that for a few minutes.

Hmm.. I don't know...I mean if you were at someones house where it wasn't such a hassle to open the presents.. then yeah you should. But when your at a restaurant.. that just sounds like it would be a big hassle. Personally I hate opening the presents in front of people... it just seems weird to me. But I know that a lot of people like it. I say, Its your personal choice.

It's very considerate that they are having a shower for you, and I would think they are chipping for the cost of your meal.
It is appropriate that the co-workers donate the same amount per person towards a gift certificate for you, so you can purchase your choice of baby items (don't forget a nice robe, a relaxing pedicure, or salon haircut for you...)

Gifts are cumbersome, costly and sometimes not needed or wanted by the recipient.
A Gift Certificate (or debit card) is the route to take. Speak with whomever is coordinating, with gratitude that they are being so supportive. And a buffet for One Price for Everyone is appropriate for an office party.
Gifts are for a party with friends and relatives. You get to send all that stuff back later.
Best with the new baby!

If you choose to open gifts, as most have said just have someone write the gift information down. But I think you should do what is most comfortable for you.

Several of the answers here reflect the very reason that you are hesitant to open gifts. The fact that someone mentioned they would change their gift because it would not be opened at the party in front of everyone else shows that the giver is more interested in what everyone will say as opposed to giving a gift of meaning and value because they value the relationship with the recipient and want to celebrate with them.

Although it can be fun to see all the gifts, it can also be a little uncomfortable for some. I recently attended a shower where several comments where made about the "expensive" gifts and other gifts that were just as necessary and thought out were sort of dismissed (not by the mother but others attending). I thought that was more rude than if the gifts had not been opened at all. You should attend a shower and bring a gift not to see what everyone else bought, but to show support and celebrate a new beginning with someone whom you have a special relationship (however that may be defined).

If you chose not to open the gifts, you can always send pictures of you and your spouse surrounded by ALL the gifts in the thank you note or show them at work later.

I've only seen gifts not being opened at kids parties, never at an adult party/shower. I think it would be in very bad form not to open the gifts with everyone. You seem to be making a choice between opening in public and thanking in public and not writing a thank you note vs. opening in private and writing a thank you note. A note should be written regardless of whether the giver was thanked verbally or not. If I didn't get a thank you note, that's what I would be talking about.

Stepahnie,

I happened to open my gifts in front of everyone. But I wasn't so much in a time crunch.

You can say that everyone has to be out by a certain time, because of the restaurant. Closing, another party coming in, etc.

I got duplicate stuff, even with the gift registries- so I returned items to purchase other items I needed/wanted.

IF you do open the gifts in front of everyone, have someone help you keep track. My mom wrote down what I got & from whom.

Open the gifts and let them talk later about who gave what. That wouldn't bother me in the least. That's usually the highlight of a shower - to ooh and aah over all the cute stuff.

I'll be blunt - if they are going to talk, they will talk about YOU later if you don't show off the presents anyways.

They will talk about who wrapped their gift the fanciest and what they think was inside and they will all pester you the next day about what you got. You will spend all of Monday at the office fielding phone calls and explaining it all to them in person while they hover around your desk. Sigh! Sounds like you have an interesting office to say the least...

I have never attended a shower where the gifts were not opened - have honestly never heard of such a thing and I personally would feel slighted if someone did that. If I took the time to buy a gift and put a lot of thought into it, I would like to see the person's expression when they opened it and receive a verbal thank you for same.

Like the others said, designate someone to help you with the task and write down on the back of each card what everyone gave so you remember later when you send out your thank you cards.

Have fun and don't worry as much about what people will say because they will talk no matter what!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.