Fellow parents, now that birthday parties are back in full swing, I have a request: Can we stop with the goodie bags?
Personally, I hopped off the goodie bag train a few years ago, and I’ve never regretted it. Before you get the wrong idea and think this is another preachy post about how today’s parents are raising entitled, ungrateful children, let me assure you that it isn’t. I don’t subscribe to that notion and frankly find it to be an insulting generalization. But back to my point…
I love a good birthday party, and I’m known for loving a theme. Invitations, decorations, cake, games, and even costumes are all a part of my master plan when organizing parties for my kids. I have a blast doing it! And I confess: one of those components used to be goodie bags for guests to take home. But after MANY times as the parent of a child coming home from a party with a bag full of plastic toys and bubbles (noooooo!) and stickers, I had enough.
As well-intentioned and generous as it is to give my child a gift for attending your child’s party, I have to ask if it’s really a good idea for several reasons:
1. I don’t know any parent who says, “Yes, my child needs more tiny plastic toys.”
There’s no shortage of disposable plastic trinkets in my child’s life. We truly don’t want any more.
2. Although we don’t always succeed, we do try to encourage the idea of Quality over Quantity.
I would much rather my children have fewer things that they value more.
3. Hosting a birthday party can be costly.
Food and games or entertainment is already an expense, and I don’t think parents should have to feel the additional pressure of buying all the things to make parting gifts for guests.
4. We are there to celebrate YOUR CHILD’S day!
Isn’t that the whole point of the party? I want my child to appreciate the idea that not everything is about them. Honestly, why should my child receive a gift when they’ve already had the honor of being invited to a party?
To be fair, I’ve been to some awesome parties where the parting gift was a craft that the kids made as an activity during the party. I think that’s a great idea! Let the kids get messy and make things! Challenge their brains! Let them be creative! Just please keep the tiny container of bubbles that’s going to be spilled in my car in less than 3 seconds.
So if you come to a party for someone in my family, I can guarantee you that there will be good food, good drink, and a delicious dessert. There will be a festive atmosphere and some cute decor. But there won’t be any goodie bags. I mean really, do you need any more stickers on your car windows?