Opening gifts at showers

The title alone makes most cringe: the gift giver, the gift opener, even the standers-by who may or may not someday play one of these roles. It’s a part of every shower, though, and for good reason; the people you love are excited to shower you with gifts for your new journey into married life or motherhood, and you want them to know how much you appreciate them. But, as I said, for many, it can be a slightly painful process. As a result, some have started to adopt the “no-wrap” solution, whereby guests bring their gifts unwrapped and they are put on display at the shower so that there’s no drawn out present-opening part of the event which can certainly feel a little too center-of-attention for the guest of honor, and potentially a little boring and time consuming for everyone else.

There are pros and cons to both ways, for sure, and depending on the size of the shower, the age of the guests, etc., definite reasons to have it one way over another.

But at dinner with my friends Linh and Nicole (link them!!) a little while back, this topic came up in conversation, and Linh offered such a great solution from her own bridal shower that I had never considered, nor heard of, before.

Linh said that as each guest arrived to her shower, her sister (and MOH) would communicate to the guest that Lin would be opening up that guest’s gift with her right then, privately. It allowed Linh a more intimate setting to open each gift with just the gift giver herself there to witness it. How sweet is this?! While that is happening, all of the other guests can be mingling with each other and sipping coffee and mimosas as they would be anyway before the shower’s events get underway. Because guests tended to roll in over the course of, say 20 minutes or more, there was a natural flow to the gift opening. And while Linh didn’t specifically note this, I’d bet that because friends tend to carpool and arrive together, small pairs or circles of girls who are closer together could share the gift opening time to keep things natural.

How awesome is that? It’s a great bridge between the worlds of opening gifts in front of guests and not making everyone sit for an hour or more while you do so. Plus, it’s so much more private and natural! You can be yourself with each guest and show your appreciation for her/him and her/his thoughtful gift while not feeling like you’re on stage before an entire audience. And you could still even set all the gifts out on display after opening if guests wanted to peruse the line-up.

What do you think about opening gifts at showers? Are you into this private-opening solution, do you like the gifts-on-display nuance, or are you a fan of the old-school way of doing things?

PS: Kids' birthday parties