Just Say No to Goody Bags

OK, so Krystal’s birthday is in less than two weeks, and Belle’s is a scant month away. This year I am throwing them a joint birthday party at one of the party centers nearby – I can justify the cost since it’s for both of them, otherwise I would never spend that kind of money on a birthday party. Last year I thought I was having a budget party for Krystal at our local movie theater that doubles as a restaurant, but once it was all said and done it ended up costing me a pretty penny. Belle’s was at McDonald’s last year, which is the best deal in town, but that is way too young for Krystal and her friends.

We’re distributing invitations this week, and I’m making my list of what I need to still buy for the party: cake or cupcakes, maybe little hoodsies (individual ice cream cups, in case that is a New England term), juice or water (for the parents too)….and goody bags? I am opposed to goody bags on principle. When my kids get them at parties they attend I end up throwing them away – they’re junk. Sure, it’s fun to get, but after the thrill of getting, there’s nothing left. And I’m even more opposed to giving them, because that means I have to spend money on someone else’s kid whose mom will probably end up tossing it. Did this tradition start so the guests wouldn’t feel bad about not getting a gift (even though they’ll get a turn on their own birthday)?

So I’m seriously considering not doing goody bags at all.

Will I be hailed as a pioneer or villified for my cheapness?

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5 responses to “Just Say No to Goody Bags

  1. You could consider possibly doing something else as a goody bag. For instance, one year I gave out REUSABLE drinking cups with a couple of small (think Halloween size) bags of candy. Both my kids have birthdays at the beginning of the school year, so this was a handy thing to have for lunch boxes. It was a tad MORE expensive than some other options — but I figure I’d rather spend a couple of buck MORE per kid for something that will actually get USED than give something cheap that gets tossed. (Of course, this is “the bag lady” speaking so for me to give out something that is “green” is just given plus at the beginning of the school year drinking cups were pretty cheap — that’s what started it actually I found a great deal on rubbermaid cups).

    Another thought for *YOUR girls — if you’d normally spend — let’s say $1 for a gift bag, what about giving red envelopes (you know what I mean?? don’t you??) with a dollar coin.

    Another year my daughter had a pet themed party and I gave inexpensive (found on sale of course) beanie babies. It was just one thing — but it was the kind of thing that kids (at that age) will actually play with.

    think outside the box, and try to come up with something creative.

    And as a mom that has tossed more than my share of gift bags :} :] — well less junk is always appreciated.

  2. Maybe a cupcake cake! Like the individual hoodsie idea. I never understood the gift bag thing…I would applaud you eliminating it altogether! Or, if you must, pull out that polaroid camera (or print off some digital photos) and send each child home with a photo of the partygoers.

  3. One party Matthew went to *YEARS and YEARS* ago as part of the goody bag the mom gave each kid a picture frame. During the party she took a photo of each kid with the birthday kid, and then sent photos (amazingly enough the same size as the photo frame) to all attendees.

  4. I always go overboard on birthdays…I’d say go with what you feel is best, and I bet the other kids will have so much fun they won’t notice the goody bag non-existence. I agree with everyone above, however that if you DO give something and feel the way you do about the bags, make it something worthwhile. You could have them MAKE their own treat. I’ve seen people make those little jars of sand or whatever at parties and the like :o) Even foam picture frames with a few stickers or the like might be a good idea, and a whole lot cheaper than the toys, bags, candies or whatever may go into goody bags. I hope…

  5. I really hate the current way of doing parties. (Which is why we haven’t had a party that invites kids over yet.) If we came to your party, I would be more than happy NOT to take home a goody bag. I like the picture frame idea though, with pictures of the kids at the party. That’s a keepsake, and even if the kids lose touch in a few years, they can still use the frame.

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