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How do you feel about goodie bags at kids' birthday parties?

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM
  • 207 Replies
1 mom liked this

I Refuse to Give Out Goodie Bags at My Kid's Birthday Parties

by Adriana Velez

goodie bagsCall me a radical, but I'm protesting this one birthday party essential: The goodie bag. You know, that little bag full of cheap, plastic crap every self-respecting host hands out to the guests at the end of a kid's birthday party? I am so done with that. And I'd like you to join the movement with me -- the I'm Not Doing That Effing Goodie Bag movement. We shall overcome, you guys. Oh deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome the tyranny of cheap plastic crap someday.

Admittedly, my timing is a little convenient. My son just turned 10, so the kids have kind of outgrown goodie bags anyway -- or so you'd think. He's still coming home from other parties with them. But I boycotted them last year, too. Last year's party was all about DIY stuffed animals, so every kid got to take home their own plushie. It was a fun activity, and the take-away was more substantial than the usual airplanes, bouncy balls, and stickers.

The year before that we had a Tron-themed party, and every kid brought home a Tron-related craft they'd made. You get the picture. I'd rather send kids home with something somewhat meaningful.

I'm not judging other parents who persist in the goodie bag game. But man do I hate that crap. I feel like I've spent the last decade of my life shoveling snowdrifts of petroleum-based kid detritus and surreptitiously throwing away broken (and maybe not-so-broken, just ugly) trinkets. I'm doing the other parents a favor by not sending more of that shit their way. And where is my thanks?!?

This year I didn't bother sending anything home at all. Geez, I just fed and entertained your kid for two hours -- isn't that enough? If I were to create a pie chart explaining this decision, it would be about 30 percent "Not Enough Time," 30 percent "Broke From Purchasing Wii U," and 30 percent "No One Will Miss It." The remaining 10 percent is comprised of "Meh, Who Cares?"

No one cares. And guess what? If you fail to send home a goodie bag, only the kids will notice. And who cares what they think? These are not your children. Screw them! (Hah, just kidding, your children are all little darlings whose opinions matter greatly to the adults in their lives.)

If you get all giddy picking out those little deely boppers and carefully placing them in little bags, great. Good for you. But if you're sick of all that, I just want you to know: You're not alone, and this is your get out of jail free card. Liberation!

Now grown-up swag bags ... that's a whole 'nother story. Bring those on.

How do you feel about goodie bags at kids' birthday parties?

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM
My kids are only 5&7 so I still give them out. Though I wouldn't if they did the whole build a bear thing like in the op
by kid crack dealer on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:54 AM
5 moms liked this
I used to love making goodie bags for my kid's parties. I used to make bags for all the kids at school too several times a year as a room mom. The kids always loved them.
by Lauren on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM
1 mom liked this

I hate goody bags. DD is always excited to come home from parties with a bag of trash that she treasures... for 30 min till its all broken. No, something that came in a 6 pack for a dollar is not meant to last. I never understood why we give them out at the end of parties. No one wants one.

For DD's last birthday, we had a rainbow loom making party so the kids all made bracelets and then took home some packs of bands to make their own at home. I figure at least its semi-useful since every girl in elementary school has at least 4500 bands in their homes at all times. Then we added in the standard trash... tiny nail polish, candy-flavored chapstick, etc.  

by Anonymous 1 on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM
9 moms liked this

I like making them. I don't mind if the kids get them or not...Unless they come with glitter. Then you're just a b**ch.

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Don't like them. I toss them out or not take one if the party we attend has them.

by Butters on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM
3 moms liked this
I believe goodie bags are a must for any party, for children or otherwise. My daughter is young so shes always given one, but seldom do adults give them out anmore, I feel a bit cheated when I don't get one lol.
by Keyser Söze on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I do it because the kids enjoy it. I get stuff from the dollar store, it doesn't cost much, especially when the parents just shelled out $20-30 on a gift for my child. In middle school I switch to doing crafts instead.

by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:56 AM
1 mom liked this
I hate goodie bags.
Hate them!

We have never given them out.
And know what I do with all the crap when it comes into my house?

Throw it out. Almost immediately.
I don't want that crap in my house.
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:57 AM

I love making the bags, but dont think they are neccessary for a party... But I dislike the $ spent to make them.. All that junk adds up QUICKLY!

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM
My DS is turning 3 in two months. I've been giving them out to give the other little ones something to play with while he opens presents because at 2 and 3 not all kids grasp the concept of not all presents being for them haha. But I give pretty good hoodie bags. Last year was a dinosaur theme birthday so they got some small toy dinosaurs, a Dino "egg" to break open, and lots of bubbles. I don't understand kids fascination with bubbles but I just go with it. This year is a construction theme so I'll have a "hard hat and equipment area". Gonna have hard hats, inflatable hammers, and flashlights and they can paint their own bird house. Those will be their "goodies" I stead of an actual bag this year.
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