I hate birthday party goody bags. They are idiotic. What evil genius suggested that it might be fun to give little swag bags to a bunch of 8-year-olds? I don’t know who the whack-o is who came up with the idea, but I know the whack-o who is going to put a stop to it…and that’s me.
WHY are we giving out freaking goody bags? Did we get goody bags when we were younger? I don’t think so. (Either that, or they were so bad that my mind has blocked them out.) But I don’t think that our parents were foolish enough to hand out little prize bags to kids just for coming to our birthday parties. That’s not how things worked back then. Back then if you got invited to a birthday party you went, played pin the tail on the donkey, handed over the present that your mom sent you with, and you got a piece of homemade cake. That was it. If you asked for something else someone threw a shoe at you.
Now, birthday parties are a whole big, annoying, freaking experience.
They break down sort of like this:
1 month before your child’s birthday you’re like, “Shit! So-and-so’s birthday is in a month. I mean, of course, yay! But still, shit.”
You do some quick research and find that all the local birthday party hot spots are going to run you about $250 (minimum). Add to that having to serve pizza, drinks, cake and ice cream. If any parents are staying you need extra pizza, and you should probably have soda or water to offer. You know you could save money if you just had the party at home and entertained all the kids yourself (and if you didn’t already know, your husband will remind you)…but paying $250 NOT to do that seems totally worth the money.
It’s basically $20 a head, with a 10 head minimum. Plus, sibling’s heads aren’t free. Depending on the size of your family, your kid is going to have to pare his guest list down from every single person he knows, to his 5 closest friends.
So you book the “venue,” send the evites, and tally the RSVPs. And you decide you really hate birthday parties. Not like in a funny, ha-ha-I-hate-birthday-parties-but-I-really-don’t kind of way…but more in an evil “I want to stab the birthday party in the gut” kind of way. Like, in a scary way.
And since you are feeling mildly homicidal, now might be a good time to remember that all the little kids that are bowling or jumping or bouncing at your venue of choice are also going to be expecting goody bags when the party is over.
Again I ask you, why? You don’t want to give them, and the parents of the kids don’t want to get them. The only people who are happy are the kids. Which sounds nice, but these are the same kids who just ate pizza, cake, and ice cream. They should ALREADY be happy. I know that I’M happy when I’ve eaten pizza, cake, and ice cream.
And, not for nothing, but sometimes the contents of the goody bag feels like an act of aggression. I send my kid to your party and you send him home with a bag full of pixie stix and a whistle. Really? Why do you hate me? If there are more than three pixie stix in that goody bag chances are I’m calling the mother like, “are you mad at me for something?”
My son just turned 10. We took our kids, plus 4 of the birthday boy’s friends to the movies. Afterwards we came back here for cake and ice cream. They played for a little while and then we drove them home. My son quietly asked if I was giving out goody bags. I said no. I waited for the horror…but there was none. He didn’t care. As I dropped his friends off one by one I waited for someone to mention the lack of goody bags. No one said a word. No one cared. They were all happy as clams. They didn’t need goody bags to be happy after all. Imagine that.
Now cut the shit with the goody bags everyone. Let’s just all agree that these useless little bags full of candy and shit should be banned immediately.