What is it with the new trend of not opening presents?! I understand when we're at kid parties held at a remote location that it's easier not to do it, especially when you've dropped $300 so Little Jane and fifteen of her closest friends can give their parents migraines at Chuck E. Cheese. I get that. However, I have a problem with the following:
1. Recently, we were at a home birthday party, with about ten kids, all of whom were 5-6 years old, and presents were placed on a table and left there, unwrapped. I have never been to a party at someone's house where the gifts were left for later.
2. This morning, I visited a friend at the hospital with her new baby, who is absolutely gorgeous because of a) good genes and b) c-section delivery. I brought a gift for her, one for the baby, and one small thing for each of her two other girls, both of whom I actually know and see on a daily basis. I didn't expect her to open the girls' gifts, so I placed them on the floor near her bag, but I put the presents for her and the baby on the bed. She didn't open them. They sat there awkwardly for about fifteen minutes, and then she placed the bags on the floor next to her bed, where they stayed until I left 45 minutes later.
I have adjusted to not having gifts I have brought to kid events opened, even though I dislike paying money to bring a gift to a child I barely know and then never hearing so much as a thank-you afterwards. I, myself, have left gifts unopened at event parties, although I always make sure to have my child thank the person at the time, and then we thank them again the next time we see them, mentioning the gift and how much they liked it. Even at that, I'm still uncomfortable with it. Giving a gift is a personal thing, and receiving a gift should be personal as well. I feel that we are removing the personal from so much of our daily life with technology, and now even things that should be intimate are not. I guess that's another reason why I'm more OK with kids not opening gifts, since kid-to-kid gifts are typically not of a personal nature. However, I would not like it if I bought something for my niece or nephew and they didn't open it, because I love them and pick out things for them that I think they will love.
I suppose in that way gift giving is a selfish thing, because it also gives me pleasure to give, and to see the happiness in someone's face when I've gotten it right. I pride myself in giving good gifts, and I put a lot of thought into things I give to other people. When a gift is left unopened, the recipient is ungraciously denying me that pleasure.
I was particularly shocked this morning that my friend didn't open her 'congratulations' gift. She is not a person that I would expect bad manners from, and is in fact typically very sensitive and concerned about other's feelings, so I'm not offended because I know she didn't mean to disappoint me or be rude. But, since she obviously didn't mean to be rude, that means that it was a casual thing, which in turn makes me wonder if this is some new common thing in society now that I have missed out on. It must have been assumed that I would be OK with her opening it later on. Are we so removed from each other now that we can't even accept gifts comfortably? It makes me sad to think that.
Have any of you either given and gotten no 'opening', or gotten and not opened? If you don't open, why?
2 months ago