Gift opening etiquette: your opinion please

we've always wondered what is the gift opening etiquette in our region - sometimes we visit friends in various occasions, a birthday or a simple home visit and we bring a gift for that matter - some of our friends open the gift at once and show excitement and recognition, whilst some others simply take the gift away to open it in discretion.

we used to keep the gifts away to open them in discretion, however a few years back we changed our habit and started opening gifts as we received them - the reason why we changed is that we wanted people to open our gift in front of us, and show us the appreciation, or the disappointment for that matter, that's the only way we could understand & evaluate what people want or like.

we tried to google the subject and it seems that gift opening etiquette varies depending on the culture & the situation - like in japan, it is rude to open a gift in front of the giver as it makes the gift more important than the giver - in birthday parties, it is not practical to open the gifts in front of the giver as it can take a lot time and this can be considered boring for the people attending the event - this can also make people feel awkward if they ended up spending significantly more or less than the other parents - finally gift duplicates can be spotted immediately and put the gift giver in an awkward situation.

we were curious to know if there's anything of that sort related to the middle east culture, but it was hard to find something relevant, so what's your take on this?

    14 Responses to “Gift opening etiquette: your opinion please”

    1. Shameless says:

      I like to have my gift open right away!!! I don't care about traditions :) I want to know what I got

    2. Bahaar says:

      In my home country its tradition that :
      For birthday : its tradition that after cutting the cake the host opens the gifts in front of everyone and announce them.
      For wedding: there is a reception the day after the wedding and again the bride opens the gifts and announce them with name of the giver.
      Here in Kuwait in all receptions that I went ( all locals) they take the gift away and open it in discretion. So we follow the same tradition while we are in Kuwait.

    3. LJ. says:

      If its a gift for my daughter, I open it straight away so that I can show her (she's 18 months old), but if its for myself, I tend to keep it aside and thank the giver later on.

    4. sarah says:

      I have raised two children in Kuwait and this subject was always a thorny topic for me. In my culture it is the custom to open the gifts in front of the guests and read the cards and it was always an exciting time for the children who are anxious to see what gifts they recieved and to have the opportunity to thank the guests. I continued to follow my country customs at their parties – if you don't like it, I don't care BECAUSE also I found out that people like to buy really cheap gifts in Kuwait and to open them in front of others blows their cover – I got hip to that real fast here. So I think this rule, which is to open gifts discretely after a children's birthday party is only to assist those cheap bas****ds who don't want to 'loose face' in front of the other guests. Screw that – I'm not going to protect anyone in Kuwait !

    5. 965malls says:

      good point!

    6. 965malls says:

      interesting, never knew this happens in some weddings.. must be quite a headache for the bride on the day of her wedding, or not? may be this is where the excitement lies?

    7. 965malls says:

      thanks for sharing

    8. 965malls says:

      looool sarah.. you crack me up! but thanks for sharing, good insights..

    9. Hiba103 says:

      As a matter of fact I like to open the gift in front of the giver because I can see how excited the person is to know they pleased you…so it's a double pleasure: You receiving the gift and the giver seeing that you liked it. We always used to open gifts as soon as we get them, traditions in Kuwait are to open gifts later.. Some of my friends do that and they call the next day to thank us, but I really hate this. I got you a gift, I spent time to choose it and I paid for it… So I like to have some direct appreciation :)

    10. Bahaar says:

      its not on the day of wedding. its a reception the day after. only and only for gift opening. Its fun. The brid opens the gifts and guests will clap for the giver or sing a funny song such as" Thank you,, thank you..why u didnt bring more"

    11. 965malls says:

      loool, sounds like a lot of fun – the singing part must be hilarious! thanks for sharing..

    12. anonymous says:

      i see there are differences in cultures for gifting, i didn't know that. Sometimes we open the gifts in private so we don't embarrass the gifter if his gift is not what we expect, or if we didn't like it . Sometimes it is hard to hide your reaction, so better do that in private

    13. On the eve of social events or birthdays almost everyone has to get some gifts. Some people just torn the packed gift wildly. They don't know that there are some etiquette. As you stated first we just give the gift and receiver opened it after we have been gone. But now this habit has been changed and gift is opened before the person delivering it. So it is very necessary to open it with love and affection means patiently to show your love.

    14. 965malls says:

      thanks for the info.

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