(Closed) Has anyone been to a shower where they do not open the gifts?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Open or Not

    For sure you Have to!

    It would be nice not to sit through that

  • Post # 46
    Member
    2156 posts
    Buzzing bee

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    weddingmaven:  i’m not talking about the way any of the guests are taking it. i’m talking about the purpose served by ever having to have a gift you’ve given someone opened in front of you. it’s self-interested, plain and simple. if YOU feel like it’s important that the recipient of a gift open it in front of you, then it’s become about YOU. the fact that it’s not enough to know that you’ve given someone a nice gift, and then later are thanked for said gift, tells me that the gift is more about you than the recipient.

    Post # 47
    Member
    13958 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

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    ilovesophia:   I can understand that you feel that way with what some showers have become.  However, as I said,  a shower is meant to be by and for your very nearest and dearest. If your mom gave you a gift in person would you not open it up in front of her? Same difference. The whole purpose of a shower is to give and receive little gifts. 

    Post # 48
    Member
    924 posts
    Busy bee

    I wouldn’t really miss it. And it’s one of those tough ones, because much of the advise is “if you don’t want to open it, don’t throw one” BUT technically you aren’t supposed to be throwing one for yourself… it’s like well, I hate sitting there and watching presents be opened because I always start second guessing my choice, and I hate opening presents (Christmas, birthday, etc) in front of people becsuse I’m horrible at responses (my family is known for giving “weird” stuff to each other and when I was younger on several occasions I’ve been embarrassed). That’s just me though… and I guess it also depends on the crowd. Is it a group less than 10 including the moms, sisters and/or BMs? Then sure… does it involve work people, church ladies, distant family? Not so much… 

    Post # 49
    Member
    2175 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    The only part of the gift opening that’s mildly entertaining is snarkily guessing which gifts the bride/new mom didn’t like.  “Oooh you went off registry with that cow-shaped creamer there didn’t you Aunt Brenda, and she hates it. Yesssss.”

    Waiting for things makes me pure evil.

    Post # 50
    Member
    2156 posts
    Buzzing bee

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    weddingmaven:  you’re really missing my point. i’m not talking about the recipient’s comfort in opening gifts (which is what you’re talking about); in fact, i’m not talking about the comfort of the social situation at all – so it’s irrelevant how many or who surrounds you.

    what i am discussing is the mentality behind the expectation of a guest to have their gift opened in front of them. if the sole purpose of gifting is to generously give something to another person without expecting something in return, then it should be completely irrelevant whether the gift is opened in front of you or not; all that matters is that the recipient receives the gift – which in turn means that there is no standing for getting offended or upset that gifts are not opened in front of them.

    if you think it’s important for the recipient of a gift to open the gift in front of the giver, then you don’t agree that the sole purpose of gifting if to generously give something to another person without expecting something in return. instead, you must concede that gifting is really self-interested; at least part of the purpose behind gifting is about the experience of the gifter. it becomes about your (the gifter’s) desire for gratittude, or praise, or thanks, etc.

    so again, this has no bearing whatsoever on who is part of the party. if my mother gave me a gift, would i open it in front of her? sure. but that’s not what’s at question here. the relevant question is that if my mother gave me a gift, would she be offended if i didn’t open it in front of her? and the answer there is of course not. she’s giving something to me our of generosity, not expecting something in return. it’s enough for her to know that she gave me something i’ll enjoy, and later on when I do open it, I’ll thank her accordingly.

    i’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t have a shower where you open gifts (though I have a preference for the ones where you don’t). what i am contending is that it’s perfectly acceptable to choose to have a shower where gifts are not opened and presents no (good) grounds for anyone to get offended.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by ilovesophia.
    Post # 51
    Member
    13958 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

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    ilovesophia:  So what if ones nearest and dearest would like the joy of seeing you open their gift? That’s what a shower is. The bride gets gifts and the guests get the joy of seeing her reaction.

    And yes, there are only a few occasions where one can get away with it in public and it’s acceptable, even traditional. One is a child’s birthday party and the other is a bridal or baby shower. The latter because it’s something that’s done for you, not by you, with only your closest friends and family present. I don’t know how to explain it better than that. 

    Post # 52
    Member
    2156 posts
    Buzzing bee

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    weddingmaven:  “the guests get the joy of seeing her reaction.”

    exactly. gifting as you’ve just described it, is self-centered. It’s no longer about giving a gift, so much as it is about your own experience of seeing someone open it. And i think that’s bullocks. 

    Post # 53
    Member
    256 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

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    futuremrspep:  I’ve never been to a bridal shower where presents were not opened but I have been to baby showers where it was more about enjoying food and good company and no gifts were opened – my husband and I actually chose to do this at the baby shower our parents threw us because everyone was drinking, eating and mingling and as grateful as we were (our daughter is the only child born in that generation in both our extended families) so the sheer number of gifts would have meant I would have spent the entire afternoon opening them instead of spending time with people who made an effort to celebrate with us. We just loaded everything in a few cars and brought them home to open that evening.

    Post # 54
    Member
    1465 posts
    Bumble bee

    I  have never attended a display shower or one where gifts are not unwrapped.  Personally, I enjoy seeing what gifts have been given.

    I will say this though – we live in a day and age where thank you notes are not done nearly as often as they should be.  If I oblige the host’s request to not wrap my wedding shower gift and I get no thank you card – don’t even think of inviting me to your display baby shower.

    I am astounded at how many people do not do those anymore.

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