no goodie bags at DD's bday party: do I dare? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 10-23-2011, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD turns 9 in December.  We've had a really horrible year (sudden deaths of 2 family members), so I decided to give her a blowout birthday party.  My dilemma:  should I give out goodie bags to the party goers?

 

Here's why I don't want to:

  • I object to goodie bags on general principle.¬† I fed you and entertained you at this party.¬† I also need to give you a gift?
  • This party is going to cost a lot, and 20 or more kids will be there.¬†¬†No extra cash for goodie bags.
  • It makes me cringe when I hear kids ask the hostess where the goodie bags are, when they can have one, etc.¬† Such bad manners!

 

But I'll admit that I'm hesitant to Be The One who breaks with this awful -- but expected -- tradition. 

 

Am I brave or do I cave? confused.gif


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#2 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 04:55 AM
 
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Sorry you have had a rough year!! I say be brave. Or if you don't want to be so brave, maybe do a craft or something with them they can take home as the goodie bag????

 

 


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#3 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Ugh, I am with you. My DS (turning 7 at the time) was really uncomfortable with no gift bags, so we did a homemade mix cd and a packet of old-school pop rocks. I applaud you if you hold firm!

-e


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#4 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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Goody bags are so not cool.  Try to do a craft or something - that would be a fun activity for the party, AND something the kids could take home. 

 

I wish I had an idea for a cheap fun craft - but I don't.  Sorry - maybe someone else will help with that!

 

 

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#5 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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A friend of ours decorates with balloons and the kids take one home.

 

My dd went to a party last week where they made a diorama and took it home.

 

I don't think goodie bags are required, nor do I think they are not cool.

 

I think they help kids with the transition out of the party.

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#6 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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If you don't want to send anything home with the guests, that's cool. If you want some memento, and you have a camera and printer, you could take a group photo at the party, print it out and put it in an inexpensive frame (we've used small IKEA frames that come in a package of 4). The kids can decorate the frames as a party activity. 

 

In December, craft activities could be things like

- decorating a stocking or felt tree ornaments (If you celebrate),

- decorating cookies or making a small gingerbread house (using Graham wafers) and decorating it,

- rolling beeswax candles for solstice,

- making pinecone bird feeders with suet and birdseed

 

 

 

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#7 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I have made the pinata stuff the goodie but I have never not sent anything home.  I am a believer in sending something home with the kids though because they don't understand the money that goes into the party.  I think of goody bags as a nice little thank you for young kids and a way to make celebrating with others more fun if they have had to watch the child opening (or even just receiving) a bunch of gifts.  As someone else said, they are also a very nice way to transition out of the party.  A craft, a cookie that the kid decorated, or even a dollar store stuffed toy can also be fun for kids.

 

If you are doing a huge party at a place that hosts the parties they may already include the cost of goody bags into the party price.  You may want to ask about that before you make a decision one way or another.

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#8 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I am here and there on goodie bags...a small token that goes with the theme of the party (a book, a photo, some craft they've decorated, something they can plant) is great.  A bag of stuff that they won't even play with is...well, what's the point?  If the expectation in your area is "host a party, provide goodie bags" then I would find some way of doing that in a way that isn't overly expensive or time consuming or junky.  It's an expectation here and I don't want my daughter to be faced with, "I can't believe you didn't do treat bags" on Monday morning after her party.  She's only little, most kids her age would be candid enough to ask.

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#9 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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I also am hot and cold on goodie bags. A bunch of junk for the sake of a bag sucks. But a small bag of treats, a craft, something is good.

 

For your points above. You are doing the party for your daughter and inviting kids because that is what she wants. You are choosing when, where and how to have the party. It isn't the fault or expectation of the other kids that you decided to go all out and so spent some money feeding and entertaining them. That is part of the party. You can choose to have a smaller or less expensive party. The kids are coming to play their part in entertaining and "being" a party for your child. They are probably bringing a gift. In my mind a goody bag is a thank you to the people for coming and being the party. It shows appreciation.

 

For our DD's 2nd birthday we gave some home made playdough, a container of bubbles and a small book with a thank you note written inside.

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#10 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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Goodie bags are a big deal with 11yr old here.
My dd1 just had a party. The goodie bags were canvas totes they decorated, filled with nail polish, nail files, nail clippers, hair brush, makeup remover wipes. About $6 a child.
Kinda like the favors given out at weddings. Just a token to say thanks for coming.

I like simple parties and all that, but to plan a big party I think sets the stage for some sort of goodie bag.

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#11 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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I take the cue from my kids.  The party is for them after all.

 

My dd is 7yo and since "everyone" does goody bags it is important to her that we do them to... or an equivalent.  For her party last year I made a pinata, filled it with chocolates, pencils, glitter glue pens, stickers, silly bandz, etc and then made a little baggie out of fabric from my stash for each of the kids to fill and take home.  This year she had  "make your own sundae party" so I gave each kid a bag with all the different toppings in it, and then I bought some cute monster bowls.  They took the bowls and whatever left-over toppings home as their "goody bag".

 

I am not crazy about the whole goody bag thing myself, but since my kids want and expect it I do it.  I try to find stuff that's relatively useful and not just a ton of extra clutter for people's homes.

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#12 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Vital extraction technique for parents ("You can open your goodie bag in the car!!")  Cruel to take that away  ;)

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#13 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I agree with many of the others. I think goodie bags for the sake of a bag is junky and wasteful. However, at our parties we usually have a theme and I usually have activities that end up with something to take with them. For my 5yo's Star Wars party, we had homemade light sabers and jedi training robes that went home with the kids. That was it, no additional bags of cheap toys. We did wands and cauldrons for my 7yo's Harry Potter party. Everything was used during the party for an activity. That way I feel like I'm not just giving them toys for no good reason. I think a craft is a great idea. That way you have something to keep 20 kids entertained and you can send them home with them. Have a fun party.


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#14 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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What about doing something like a "make your own cupcake" station and have them take those home as their goody?  I don't like bags full of junk toys and candy, but it's nice to send them home with something, even if it is a piece of art or craft they made themselves.


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#15 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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Yikes! Goody bags are expected, all the time, and not giving one is rude? When did that happen?

 

No, I do not think you owe the kids a goody bag. If you want to do one, then do one. if not, than don't.

 

I have hosted 3 parties for my DD over the last 8 years. When she was one, I made bags with crayons, a can of play doh and some paper and tied a balloon to the handle. My thinking was that there would be something to play with if the kids got restless and everyone had their own. When she was 2 I think we sent the kids home with balloons and left overs. we had way to much food and it was a kids plus family cook out party. When she was 5, we had a fancy Nancy party so we purchased purses, necklaces, rings, clip on earrings, crowns and feather boas at the dollar store for each kid so that they could all be fancy at the party. No additional bag, the kids took home their dress up loot.

 

Just so I don't look like a stingy mom, the other years we did a family day trip to celebrate, or did a low key family event, due to a recent birth.


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#16 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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We try to make the gift bag the craft that we made at the party.  Last year DD had a tea party so, we decorated cookies and I bought a bunch of flowers to decorate straw hats.  I put the cookies in cello bags with pretty ribbons and they had their decorated hats.  

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#17 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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It's tough for kids to watch someone else open gifts and none are for them.  And as a mom of a very "passionate" boy, it makes it WAY easier leaving when he has a surprise bag in the end.  Goodie bags are good form, IMHO.  

 

However, at 9, kids should be past some of those issues, but it would still be fun for them, there are lots of ways to make it creative and interesting.


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#18 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Wow, I'm surprised by this thread.  I go to parties because they're fun, and that's why I went as a kid.  I never expected a gift and still don't.  I take my kids to lots of parties (many of them all-ages parties) and would be seriously annoyed if they started expecting or demanding a party favor.  Yuck!  In my mind, the people coming to the party aren't doing me any more of a service than I am them by throwing the party.  I set the atmosphere and invite people I think would like to join us -- some of them show up, eat, drink, and be merry.  It's about being together.  Not about stuff.  No way.  That is not okay with me.

 

That said, I like some of the ideas mentioned above, especially those that involve kids making something together.

 

I do not think you should feel pressured to do anything extra, though.  My family was the odd one out much of the time when I was growing up, and the kids that came to my parties had fun finding little toys, pieces of fruit, or all fruit popsicles at the end of the spider web game instead of candy.  They were thrilled when stickers and peanuts came out of the pinata, and they didn't care that we didn't have perfect pink decorations or a pink frosted cake.  We ran around and played together and sometimes stopped to eat.  Fun.

 

My dd is younger, but she loves to have sledding parties for her winter birthday.  It is great to get everyone bundled up and outside playing in the snow; the kids (and adults) have so much fun.

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#19 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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We do goodie bags or something to take home because my dd likes to. Usually it's more like a craft made at the party or something.


However, I don't think it's necessary, and I would love to see the trend turn around. I think it's a good learning experience to go to someone else's party and have it be about somebody else on their birthday, and I don't like the trend of kids getting presents at sibling's birthdays either for that same reason. There's a whole culture of entitlement (eta and consumerism) I think is fed by this kind of stuff, and I (internally only) rage against it.

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#20 of 38 Old 10-24-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Not necessary.  However not terrible either.  I don't know, I'm the kind of person that goes to a party and gives a gift to the birthday kid and his siblings.  Why?  Cause my great grandmother always did that with me and my brother.  I do it for my girls now too.  DH thought it was crazy but it's a special day for everyone.  We're celebrating!!!  It's the day DD1 got a little sister of the day DD2 made our lives so much richer.   My friend from Croatia always brings gift for her friends on her birthday.  Odd, since it's her day but it's kind of interesting. 

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#21 of 38 Old 10-25-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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First, I thought I already replied to this thread and I don't see it so...oops.


Second, I marked a post as "helpful" up thread when I was trying to quote.  Doh!

 

Third, my point, I would do some kind of take home for guests.  I guess I never thought of it is "entitlement" on the part of the guest but a thank you on the part of the host.  If the expectation in your area is pretty solidly b-day party = goodie bag/party favor, I don't think I'd make my kid the one to buck that trend and have to answer awkward questions on Monday at school.  At the same time, I do not enjoy taking home odd bits of plastic and most parents complain of the same thing (of course, I get that if your child is in on the goodie bag shopping process, the first thing they want to do is pick random familiar-from-from-other-parties bits of plastic).  I think art supplies, home made treats, or something that goes with the theme of the party (seeds and a pot, a book, a picture, etc) or a craft they've done together (you can get tee shirts from Hobby Lobby for like $2, iron on something and let them sign each other's shirts), candy from the pinata - all those are great.

 

I guess I don't see the whole thing as necessary but if it's an expected part of birthday parties where you life, as the mom of the birthday kid...I don't think I'd be the first one to put an end to it.  As a mom of one of the attendees, I would be thoroughly embarrassed if my child ASKED about bags but she's five.  I still coach her on some things on the way into any party.  I don't see this ending anytime soon.

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#22 of 38 Old 10-25-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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I don't like them or expect them and I don't do them. I have done parties where the kids each make a craft, but that's all. The same kids come to our parties year after year, so they seem to be holding up through the tragedy. wink1.gif

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#23 of 38 Old 10-25-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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i don't think they are necessary at all, but i did put some together for DSD party this past weekend. it was at a petting farm with pony rides and they each got to take home a craft they made there and a fresh chicken egg that they collected so i really didn't need to do goodie bags, but it was kind of fun. i just put a few glittery halloween stickers, a rubber bat and a paper halloween decoration in each, plus three halloween themed cookies with different coloured icing that i made myself. 


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#24 of 38 Old 10-26-2011, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for  your wonderful insights, opinions, and practices!  Admittedly, I have a bugaboo about the whole goodie bag thing, but I'm willing to have my horizons expanded.

 

I like the idea of a craft to take home or a book or a single item along those lines.  It's the bag of candy and plasticky junk I dislike so.  And the sense of entitlement.  But I'm much more comfortable looking at it as a thank-you-for-coming memento.  That makes more sense to me.

 

Now, to find something attractive to 9 yr old girls AND boys... 


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#25 of 38 Old 10-26-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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Be brave!! If you feel guilty about it though, maybe do a craft like a photo frame and then print out photos of the guest and the birthday girl.


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#26 of 38 Old 10-28-2011, 05:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
I like the idea of a craft to take home or a book or a single item along those lines.  It's the bag of candy and plasticky junk I dislike so.  And the sense of entitlement.  But I'm much more comfortable looking at it as a thank-you-for-coming memento.  That makes more sense to me.

 

Now, to find something attractive to 9 yr old girls AND boys... 



I have come to the place you are at in the last couple of years.  My home does NOT need anymore happy meal toys, etc.  We have done one big thing or a craft to take home; this year I was going to do screened t-shirts for dd's party but ran out of time.  They still had fun with no "prize."

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#27 of 38 Old 10-28-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama View Post

Vital extraction technique for parents ("You can open your goodie bag in the car!!")  Cruel to take that away  ;)

 

I've never given out goodie bags and don't see it as cruel. No one has ever left in tears or even asked about them. One year, DS's friends did a craft and got to take it home but our other parties didn't have a craft of any kind. I don't mind if my kids get a party favor when they go to parties but they aren't mandatory. Our gift to our guests is the party experience.

 

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#28 of 38 Old 10-28-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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DD2 is going to have her very first Bday party this year.  We're having it at Pump it up.  The fact that it's going to be there and we're feeding them pizza and cake means I'm not even going to consider a goodie bag.  I'm already trying to figure out how to nicely beg them to not go crazy on toys.  She doesn't play with them at all.  However if they feel like bringing them you can bet she'll be loading them in the car and asking me to return them so she can get some books or more art supplies. 

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#29 of 38 Old 10-30-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

DD2 is going to have her very first Bday party this year.  We're having it at Pump it up.  The fact that it's going to be there and we're feeding them pizza and cake means I'm not even going to consider a goodie bag.  I'm already trying to figure out how to nicely beg them to not go crazy on toys.  She doesn't play with them at all.  However if they feel like bringing them you can bet she'll be loading them in the car and asking me to return them so she can get some books or more art supplies. 



 DS would LOVE to have his birthday at Pump It Up! I don't think we've ever gotten goody bags at a Pump It Up party.

 

OP - I hear you on the goodie bag dilemma. This year I did caramel apples and they also had a little pumpkin craft to take home. One year I made small books and gave markers and stickers with it. It's fun to get creative with it instead of just buying stuff grudgingly because you have to. I know someone who sent the kids home with bags of homemade popcorn.

One yeare we did  pumpkin decorating and had a pinata, and did not do goodie bags, I think one kid asked and I just replied "oh you have your pumpkin to take home".

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#30 of 38 Old 10-30-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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We do a pinata and then buy several cheap smaller gifts at the party store and play a game for every child present and rig the games so that everyone wins a game and gets a bigger present, like silly giant sunglasses, or little toy frogs, or cheap mardigras beads.  These things are inexpensive but fun.

 

We have also just done the pinata thing.

 

I think of it as a thank you for coming, thing, as well.

 

The kids parents here spend a LOT of money on the kids presents, so sending them home with a bag of candy, an extra slice of cake (we always have way too much). and a few wee mindings seems reasonable.

 

I don't think anyone expects it, but it is nice.   It can also be a fun way to work a theme and be remembered. 

 

I am sure that if people know you've had a bad year no one will hold it against you if you keep it sort of low-key.

 

 


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