Call 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?
Image via Julie Desormeaux/Flickr