Down with Birthday Party Goody Bags!
Every year my daughter celebrates another birthday and every year I refuse to hand over goody bags at the party. If a “Down with Goody Bags” picket line existed, I would probably join it. Probably. I can’t stand them.
Call me an old-school parent or whatever you like, but I believe the “goody” is attending the party. And, quite frankly, my daughter has never attended a party where the bag wasn’t filled with absolute junk that wasn’t toss-in-the-trash worthy. I mean plastic kazoos and harmonicas? I could create an amazing ball pit with all of the yo-yos we have received over the years.
Every year there is a lone parent that comes up to me after the party has ended to double-check that, in fact, no goody bag was handed out and every year I say the same thing: we gave up goody bags when the birthday girl was three. As if birthday party goody bags were an addiction that required my family to go cold turkey.
Maybe it’s where I live, but I have seen some truly exceptional party bags on Pinterest that I would absolutely never throw in the trash. And I want to be clear: nothing Pinterest-worthy has ever crossed our path. Plus, I am not a crafter so the poor children who attend a birthday party thrown by me are out of luck. My themes go as far as color-coordinated balloons in primary colors and matching cutlery.
I guess I’m the equivalent of a birthday party Grinch. Kids today get rewarded just for showing up — whether it’s at someone else’s birthday, sitting down to a meal, or visiting a museum – and that’s a trend I want nothing to do with. Of course it’s thoughtful to have trinkets to entertain, but I tend to think we’ve gone just a tad overboard in gifting our children things in order to placate them or make them happy. An experience can just be that: an experience. Things cost something, but memories are free and last longer.
And just in case: I also threw a birthday party where my daughter didn’t get presents. So I play it fair all the way around.
No one has ever complained about my goody bag policy, but they have inquired and almost every response has been one of: I can’t stand them either, but I do it anyway. Oh, those poor souls.
But I get it. I remember the first year I protested goody bags. I mean I actually really did care and thought there might be a child-sized riot with pint-sized terrors grabbing at my ankles and not letting go until I coughed up the goods.
I’m more than thrilled to tell you that I still have my ankles.
Do you always have goody bags at your child's birthday parties?