It is time to take a stand in this country. This country of over excess, over doing it and overly ridiculous expectations. But we can’t make changes over night. We need to start small. Small like the over the top, extravagant birthday and other party staple called Goody Bags. You know, the bag stuff with trinkets that will get lodged in between the seats in the car to be unearthed a year later. The bag with the candy that the sugared up, I just got CAKE! child will insist on eating. The bags that come with controversy among mothers. I say it is time. It is time to take a stand and say Burn, Goody Bags, Burn!
Now, listen. I am not trying to ruin junior’s birthday party experience. Moms all around understand the importance of celebrating their little one’s birthday’s with family and friends. After all, we are so so proud of our offspring and love them more than anything in this world. Even wine.
But let’s break it down for a moment.
Here is a mom, or dad – we don’t want to leave them out! – who has worked tirelessly to create a beautiful party for their child. They have sent out the invitations, purchased the decorations, make or purchased a cake, payed the fees to host the party out of the home, spent the last three days cleaning their own home if it is at their house, and has spent endless funds on food, drinks and other little things for the kids to do. Like bounce houses, snow cone machines and more.
All to celebrate the magical day when their child arrived in the world.
They invite guests to come, snack, play and eat cake. The child opens gifts most of the time and then everyone just enjoys until guests start to leave.
So, why, if we are doing the party to celebrate one child, are we giving gifts to all the others?
The Goody Bag is a stress of it’s own. In this current culture of “I don’t have to RSVP!”, moms have to guess how many kids will be there, determine whether to create bags for siblings that tag along, determine what the budget is per bag and then stay up frantically stuffing the night before the party when she really should be sleeping.
Then we ADD to that the kids who actually get the bags. Candy we don’t want them to eat, toys that hurt like heck when we step on them, and the constant fight in the back seat of who got what. OR we have to deal with the children who did not get a bag because it was not their friends party – and the mom only planned for originally invited guests – crying loudly all the way home because they did not get one.
Goody Bags are useless, wasteful and send the wrong message to our kids. Giving is a precious value that should be done without the expectation of something in return. Kids should learn to celebrate each other without the constant looking at the table to see when they will get their brightly colored, stuffed bag. Just like adults do.
Unless, of course, the parent who started the Goody Bag trend was really actually quite intelligent and figured out that by handing them out, parents can actually get their kids to leave a party.
In that case. Let them be.