Oh, how people can debate over the necessity of goody bags.
I had one "people other than family are invited" birthday party when I was growing up. It was when I was 10 years old (1973). One friend from school came to my party. That was it. I thanked Doreen for coming, and wrote her a thank you note for the birthday present she gave me.
Flash forward to today. My daughter is having TWO birthday parties -- one at preschool (cupcakes for her class AND the pre-K class) and then another the following day at the rec center (with gymnastics, cake and ice cream, balloons, and goody bags).
The question of the day -- who started this goody bag tradition? Was it someone who works for the party supply industry? Once you have a bag, then you need stuff to fill it with. And when you fill it with stuff, the LAST thing I want to give is those cheap toys that multiply like rabbits in the house. And the cheap toys are always choking hazards for kids under 3.
And don't get me started on the pinatas...there is no pinata at any birthday party that we're having. At least this year.