Question: When given a token gift in person (say a housewarming present or a thank you card), is it generally expected that it will be opened immediately in the presence of the giver and discussed, or just acknowledged gratefully and put aside for later? Does it matter if the gift is likely to contain money (or equivalent)?
(Edit: cultural context is USA. This happened to be at work, but I am not looking for work-environment-specific answers.)
Either way, as both giver and receiver, I have seen experienced moments of awkwardness during such an exchange when both parties aren't on the same page. Aside from the social setting, it seems to depend on whether others are around (and how many), and the need to balance demonstrating interest in both the gift and the giver - "I really appreciate you thinking of me" vs "let's check out what I just scored."
Background: Today at work I was given a personal thank you note (with small but non-trivial gift card) from a coworker for putting in some unpaid time helping with a difficult client. I made eye contact, said thank you, and set the card aside on my desk while we continued discussing the remaining work for a few minutes, but noticed the other person glance at it once or twice, then they mentioned "hope you like " as we started to part ways. I felt like I hadn't quite met their expectations in my initial response, and assured them I did and would likely use it soon.
I feel like the exchange was normal and that neither of us felt awkward about it, but since I happened to have this site pulled up1 I thought I'd do a quick search for similar questions. Didn't see anything similar so I thought put up the question and see how most people would expect to handle something similar.
In contrast / for discussion, at an event where presents are customary from many people at once (e.g. birthday party or wedding reception), there is often a table reserved for placing gifts during the proceedings. Often gifts go directly onto the table with a card naming the giver, and presents handed to the recipient are generally met with a smile and a "thank you" before the present is placed with the rest.
1 Thanks to the SE sidebar for keeping me off Wikipedia and TV Tropes - I think...