Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More on birthday parties...about goody bags

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.


maxandzoesmom said...

the whole goody bag thing was really getting on my nerves, too. for my son's birthday every year, we always have a big barbecue, and we invite his friends and their families. the year he turned five, he got so many presents it was embarrassing. so we solved the too many presents/goody bag predicaments in one fell swoop. every kid brings a present to the party (boys bring "boy" gifts, girls bring "girl" gifts). then we have a gift exchange. every kid picks a number, and that's the order in which they get to choose a gift from the pile.
this way, my son is not inundated with a pile of toys we don't have room for, and we don't have to do goody bags because every kid gets a gift in the exchange. it's worked out great for the last two years!

(just re-read this and am not sure it makes sense)

maxandzoesmom said...

i forgot to add.....

about the pinata thing.....

did you know that there are now pinatas with strings hanging from the bottom. every kid pulls a string, and one of the strigns opens the hatch. of course, this does not prevent the riot that ensues when the kids dive after the candy. but it does prevent giving small children a weapon to beat the pinata (and each other) with.

Karen said...

Love the idea of the gift exchange! We HAD thought about doing something similar, but in this case a book exchange. I actually suggested it to a friend. Then I saw the "implementation". I went out and bought a nice (Caldecott Award Winner type) book for the book exchange. My daughter picked a number and was last to pick a book. She ended up with a very tihn, maybe 6 pages, Golden Book as her "book exchange". I was none too pleased, to say the least. So I said no to the book exchange idea.

And the thing that drives me batty with the pinata is the "riot" afterwards. It's not the candy per se (and I know parents that opt to fill pinatas with craft things instead of candy, which I think is a great idea) -- it's the mayhem that results after the pinata is cracked open (wither with a stick or with strings).

There really has to be a better way to do this stuff.

Elizabeth said...

Karen, that sort of book exchange is how we wound up with the darned Berenstain Bears book.