No Goody Bags, No Crying

Don't Put Any Candy in the Goody BagsMy twins just turned 6. And my how the time flies. As we become more involved in school and other students’ lives we have been invited to their other parties. At the end of these parties, I see parents handing out goodie bags. When did this start happening and why? (photo credit: http://www.deadspin.com)

I see these bags and cringe knowing it is full of candy, bad and sometimes inappropriate toys that I will step on, break and are choking hazards for the baby in the family. There can be cool things, like the parachute men a friend recently gave my kids, but these things are NOT the norm. We are still throwing those off the stairs. But usually these goodie bags stink.

Have kids gotten so used to being given something, even when its not their birthday, they feel ‘left-out’? When did the act of going to someone else’s party mean you get to take something home too? When did a thank you note stop being enough to thank a good friend for the gift of their time and whatever wrapped bauble that might end up in your toy bin?

At our birthday parties, we have given party hats shaped like firefighter hats for a firefighter themed party, or given out the dozen or so balloons that marked our table at the bowling alley for this years party because they didn’t all need to come home. But we have never given out goodie bags. I guess I just don’t see the point. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we all have little dissapointments in our life. If your kids biggest gripe is that he didn’t get a goodie bag, then I think he/she is doing all right. Give her another hug and ask if they had fun with their friends.

At 6 this might fly, at 15 – not so much. But, by then I think (hope) they have outgrown goodie bags and just be grateful for pizza, soda and mind-numbing activities like the irrational teens they are. For a funny post on this (contains strong-ish language) see: http://deadspin.com/5877906/parents-dont-put-any-goddamn-candy-in-the-goodie-bag

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2 thoughts on “No Goody Bags, No Crying

  1. Great point, Lynette. I think that the “goody bag” “loot bag” phenomenon has in some ways overshadowed many birthday parties, as the kids can’t wait to get their hands on the loot that awaits. Sadly, the party then takes a backseat to the ending of the festivities when kids dive into their spoils. It’s an interesting idea to not give out the bags; I’m curious at the reactions that many kids and parents have upon learning that they’re leaving “empty-handed.” Are they happy and satisfied that the party alone was enough? Though it should be, I’m probably not wrong in assuming that many of the visitors left a tad disappointed.

    • It’s possible someone left the birthday party feeling a little let down, but we’ve always had games of fun: visit with crafts and activities like visiting firefighters, swimming, bowling. So all in all, I think the kids had a fine experience. For the firefighter themed party the kids did get to go home with play firefighter hats that I found at the dollar store and the swim party they got to go home with the superhero coloring book we spent time with and bowling they got a balloon from the bunch we used to mark the table. And before their friends leave, my guys hug each one and say ‘Thank you for coming to my party’.

      I hope the activities, fun experiences, pizza, cupcakes, and ice cream made it a memorable enough time not to feel disappointed.

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