Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pros & Cons of Goodie Bags

We celebrated Harper's 4th birthday over the weekend (pictures coming soon), and I decided to forego goodie bags this time around.  I didn't send guests home empty-handed, of course.  Since the birthday girl is obsessed with flowers, we decorated terra cotta flower pots and allowed our little gardeners a chance to plant their own flowers.

As each of my tiny guests was departing, it felt strange not to hand them a bag full of goodies to take home.  It got me thinking.  Are goodie bags necessary for kids' birthday parties?  Then I started thinking of the pros and cons of goodie bags.

  • Everybody Feels Special It's hard to understand, as a child, that there's only one star of the show.  Why does the birthday girl get all of the presents?  I know that this is an important life lesson, but I feel like it's one that can be eased into.  The birthday girl received piles of presents, and everybody else gets one smaller gift bag.  
  • Fight the Birthday Beast  On a day where the birthday girl or boy is being showered with attention and gifts, it can be easy to turn into a birthday beast.  Goodie bags allow an opportunity to stop, say thank you, and give (rather than just keep getting).
  • Expectations  Isn't going to a party enough?  We have gotten to a point where kiddos expect to get something every time they go somewhere.  We go to Target, they want an icee.  We go to the doctor, they want lollipops.  Every errand ends in a reward for not making me pull my hair out.  But at a birthday party with fun activities and yummy treats, do they really need more?
  • I Don't Need Any More Junk in my House  I'm sure you put together fantastic goodie bags.  Mine, however, are normally full of things like candy and novelty toys.  The kids play with them for two minutes, and then they break.  I've got buckets full of tiny, assorted toys that we just don't need.  So save the money and skip it.

As you can see, I'm torn.  What are your thoughts?  Are goodie bags necessary?