to open or not to open

Is Not Opening Presents The New Kid Birthday Party Trend?

Some parents like it and other parents... not so much.

One mom on TikTok caused a huge debate when she also noticed that kids don’t really open birthday pr...
Nichole Roberts / TikTok

Now that my daughter is school-aged, we’re at a birthday party every other weekend, and it’s great! She gets to run around, play with her friends, burn off some bundled energy, and eat cake! (I get to make small talk with other moms for two hours...). One thing I have noticed that at every single one of these parties, the birthday child never open the gifts that were brought for them.

Apparently, I’m not alone in this realization. One mom on TikTok caused a huge debate when she also noticed that kids don’t really open birthday presents at their parties anymore. She’s bummed out about the change in “birthday party etiquette,” however others think this new revelation is a great alternative to the more traditional ways of birthday parties.

“I have taken my kids to two parties in the last month and at both of these parties, the child did not open their birthday presents,” Nichole Roberts said. “Like we go to the party, we put the, you know, the present on the big display table and all the kids are like, ‘Oh my God, what did he get?’ And then we do the birthday things and then we go home and nobody opens a single present.”

She says that the consensus on why parents don’t let their kids open presents in front of their party guests anymore is because it’s “inconsiderate and rude,” which she finds ridiculous.

“Like, I love it when the kids open their presents. They're so excited. The kid who gave the present is excited to see his friend get the present. I like to take a mental note on gifts that are out there that my kids might like,” she continued.

“Apparently, in the year of 2023, we stop opening presents at birthday parties.”

She also notes that her son just had his birthday party, where they opened presents in front of guests, and all the kids were loving to see all the gifts.

“Can somebody explain this to me?”

Several TikTok users sounded off in her comment section with some agreeing that this age-old tradition should continue on while others think this omission is a great thing. Several other users corrected the OP about the reasoning behind this change, stating that it really doesn’t have anything to do with rudeness, but rather the fact that opening multiple gifts in front of a room full of people is just plain weird.

One mom had another explanation and wrote, “my kids open them privately because they do have friends that can't bring a gift and we don't want to embarrass them.”

“Nope! I don’t want a million toys opened & half the pieces lost before the party ends,” another wrote.

Also, opening up 10-15 gifts takes a good amount of time. If you’re renting out a venue that caps your experience at 2 hours, who wants to waste that time watching a kid receive Legos and a Bluey stuffed animal? Everyone would rather be playing or eating pizza, trust me.

One user noted, “my daughters party is coming up and we aren’t opening presents 🤷🏻‍♀️not everyone can afford gifts and we have no time at the venue lol”

One mom suggested a cute and thoughtful alternative and said, “We open gifts after everyone leaves and then take a pic after he opens it and send it to the person who got it for him with a heart filled thank you.”

”Normalize 5er birthdays! Ask for $5 from each child as the gift and then birthday kid gets to pick out something they’ve been wanting!” another user suggested.

“Normalize no gifts. So much stuff. Just easier for everyone! 🥰” another commented.

However, there were some people who sided with Roberts’ opinion on the fading trend of opening birthday presents during a party.

“If they don’t open it, I’m taking it with me when we leave,” one user wrote.

“I find it sad that we can't celebrate a child once a year!! My kid will be opening his presents. If you can't bring a present, Idk. Try and remember,” another noted.

Another noted, “That is odd! Well, my family/nieces and nephews still open their presents. Thank goodness! They are confident/mannered — it teaches manners — I think.”