Here’s my awkward story: I threw my daughter a My Little Pony themed birthday party. She was excited for three weeks before the party, and her anticipation grew as we started to buy the themed party decorations. She already had two of the ponies, but she had her eye on the prize: Pinkie Pie.
She’d told everyone how badly she wanted this specific toy.
What’s the problem? Well, here’s how it unfolded:
- Several guests bought Pinkie Pie for her.
- One guest bought her a completely unwanted Barbie.
- Her closest friend didn’t bring a gift to the party, since she had already given her the gift on her actual birthday.
- Her Grandmother bought her a gigantic convertible play set, which included doll bunk beads, two dolls, an ironing board/iron, stroller, and blankets.
- Two guests purchased gift cards, slipped into envelopes.
- One person gave her cash in a birthday card.
So what was the problem? Awkwardness. Neither the guests nor my little birthday girl knew how to react to the gifts.
We celebrate a ton of birthday parties in the Denver area and recently we’ve seen a shift in the way parents handle the gift opening ceremony.
Here it is:
You wait until after the guests leave.
Yep, that’s it.
By doing this, you save the embarrassment of duplicated gifts, overly expensive gifts, less costly gifts, unwanted gifts, the absence of a gift, and there’s less of a chance of loosing birthday cash/checks/gift cards.
Besides, there is so much to squeeze into a birthday party anyway! Go ahead, smack the piñata, serve the birthday cake, get your face painted, and play with balloons. Most of all, relax. Grab your camera and capture the moment. You’ll never get it back.
Bonus Tip: By opening the gifts after the guests leave, you have more time to relax. You can take notes about what gift each guest brought, and then personalize the Thank You notes including details about their gift!