goody bagsI have a hard time believing the latest kid birthday party-related controversy is really that big of a ... well, that it's really real at all. Parents stuffing gift bags with goodies like American Girl dolls and Knicks tickets in an effort to one-up the swag from the last "Happy 6th Birthday" soiree? I'm sure it's happened a couple of times, but I doubt the practice is commonplace enough to call a trend. Sounds like the birthday party version of an urban myth to me -- and one more opportunity to judge parents we don't even know behind their backs.

Which isn't to say that goody bags haven't always been a point of contention among birthday party going/throwing parents.

Putting them together is no picnic, considering how expensive those little bags of cheap plastic junk turn out to be (particularly when you have to make 12 or 15 of them). And bringing them home from somebody else's party just means adding another handful of crappy toys to the already huge pile of crappy toys your kid won't let you throw away.

What if birthday party goody bags actually had useful stuff in them? Now THAT would be cool. They probably wouldn't be any cheaper to assemble than the usual eraser/boucy ball/yo-yo/bubble wand necklace-filled kind, but at least the money wouldn't go to waste.

Here are 10 things I'd love to find in a kid's birthday party goody bag:

1. Band-aids

2. Dental floss

3. Stain remover stick

4. Hand sanitizer

5. Kleenex

6. Lip balm

7. Advil

8. Mints

9. Nail file

10. Double A batteries (because you can always use more!)

Yes, I realize kids would be tremendously disappointed by these items. But at least they'd be prepared the next time they got ketchup on their shirt or something stuck in their teeth.

What would you like to put in your kid's birthday party gift bags? What would you like to see your kid bring home from a party?


Image via Janet/Flickr