Monday, September 10, 2007

This Crap Blows

Last weekend we went to one of those bouncy castle warehouse places for a three year old's birthday party and, at the end, each of our kids got a goody bag full of crap.

Said crap is all over the floor in it's cheap, plastic, useless way.

K and I, employing the horizontal parenting method, looked lazily at it all from our positions on the living room couches.

The Rooster handed me a small plastic fire engine.

"Hey, Rooster!" I said. "I know a special secret about this firetruck!"

I showed her that it was also a whistle.

The Mayor tried to grab it from me.

"No, Mayor. You have your own." I told him.

"Where is it?" he asked.

"Somewhere on the kitchen floor, I think."

He ran off to get it.

Within seconds, both children were blowing our ears off.

K mumbled to no one in particular,

"I think from now on Mommy should keep her special secrets to herself."

Am I the only one who hates kid's birthday party goody bags?

Surely I can't be alone.


When my child is handed one of these bags of craptastic plastic, the message I get is,
"Thank you for coming. Here is a bag of total crap."

More for my local landfill.

I hate to be so harsh, but honestly, the bag-o-junk demands that I stealthily sneak the contents, bit-by-bit, into the garbage can because of each item is a ticking time bomb.

Every "goody" can and will break at any moment which will be followed by the hysterical sobs of children who don't yet understand the difference between junk and something worth having.

I would be so much happier if goody bags had snack sized servings of goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels or raisins for the car ride home.

Stand up. Resist! Start a revolution! No more crap filled goody bags!

A mom can dream.




132 comments:

Stepping Over the Junk said...

over the summer, at a party, we got goodie bags of sand toys!

Mel said...

I hate goody bags.
When we give parties for the kids here (which is NEVAR, because I hate birthday parties; instead we let the girls invite one or two good friends on a birthday outing), we talk it over with the birthday girl, figure out something nice and unique to each of her friends, and give them that. It never costs more than ten bucks a kid, so maybe twenty bucks per celebration, and it's something each kid will remember a lot more than a wad of cheapo dollar store candy and some pointless toy.

Bananas said...

hear! hear!

Circus Kelli said...

AMEN!

Horizontal parenting... I like that phrase. That's what I did Sunday. I wonder how many days in a row I could get away with that...

Diane said...

Geez, my son is only 15 months old and I'm already tired of plastic crap! It hurts when you step on it.

P.S. Thanks for the horizontal parenting advice. I think I shall employ that this afternoon...

Anonymous said...

Hey its mauniejames3 who cannot remember her password...anyway...
went to a baby shower yesterday and we received little shoe, pocket books, or dress frames..cute
and ta da..the best..chocolate lolipops who cares about crap bags
give me chocolate anytime..bad for you but a great thank you I think your idea of snacks is so much better for the kids

Busy Mom said...

We're having 13 year old's party atbouncy castle warehouse.

Don't ask.

Didn't even offer her the option of buying bags o' crap.

Cathy said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyou

What really sends me over the edge are the parents who bring goody bags to the day care for every freaking holiday. (um. can you guess who doesn't and who therefore spends long minutes wondering whether her slacker-stinginess will one day render her kids totally uncool? don't worry, that feeling quickly passes.)

DD said...

I've already beat you to the revolution: I have never given out goodie bags b/c I'm cheap and I've already provided enough sugar to make Donald Trumps next wedding cake, not to mention given away bits of my sanity with each minute that ticks away.

Emily said...

My first comment!
I agree with you 100%. But we're swimming against the tide. Not only does it suck to have our kids getting more candy than we want them to have (until we can sneak it into the garbage or in my case, eat it myself), in addition kids now expect to leave a birthday party with gifts of their own, thus reinforcing for the next generation the disgusting American materialism and consumerism and buy-crap-and-throw-it-away mentality. Not to mention the extra expense for the parents giving the party - it's not enough that the hosts are providing pizza, cake, ice cream and 2+ hrs of entertainment for other people's kids, now they have to spend money on goody bag crap. It's almost as much of a racket as weddings!!! But I digress. The problem is how to get off this goody bag train w/o looking like the cheapo parents if you're the only ones not to do it. So far I have not found a way. So until parents unite and stop the madness, for the record I liked these goody bags that my kids have received: paperback books (that was a party yesterday - one received "Caps for Sale" and the other "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", both of which they liked and neither of which did we already have. I did observe however that the hosts spent as much on my 2 kids goody bags as I did on our gift for her kid, and I felt bad about that. Another non candy/crap goody bag they've received was magic markers and a pad of paper. The only problem with that was I had to take it away from my 2 yr old within about 5 min bc he started coloring on the wall (naturally). I like your idea of healthy snacks for the ride home tho, maybe that is what I will do next time around!

daryl said...

Thanks for your refreshing comments... everything was probably made in China and is toxic. At my 3 year old son's party he gave his friends books. I wanted him to give his friends "presents" too and he really loved picking the books and then handing them to his friends. Only made in America products for us!

GBK Gwyneth said...

Yup, no plastic crap. And no art supplies that are really not useful either. Do I really need MORE crayons coming in my house???

There are many creative ideas for "goodies" that don't involve waste. Go for it.

Paige said...

OK. Next year I'll be sure you get the goldfish and raisins.

Iris said...

I agree with you on the goody bag thing...

This little town doesn't do much in the way of birthday parties... either that or my heathen children are just never invited....either way, fine by me. I have done a small handful of friends birthday parties for my kids....the two oldest.....and my daughter has never had a friends party since her birthday is on Christmas Eve.

But, if I have occasion to throw a birthday party, I have always put quasi-healthy treats/snacks in the goody bag...along with stickers, pencils, McDonalds gift certificates....

I think in the future, if I have to do this again, I will also make goody bags for the parents, with chocolate, Tim Horton's certificates and airline sized bottles of booze.......

NotSoSage said...

This summer a friend of ours sent the kids home from a birthday party with seeds and a little pot. I loved it. I'm stealing it.

Elizabeth said...

Hate goodie bags! Don't give em' try to escape without em'

pinks & Blues Girls said...

I think goodie bags should consist of a little slip of paper that says, "A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund." Let kids chew on that for awhile.

I know someone will get the reference...

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Mrs. Chicky said...

Haven't had to worry about the goody bags yet but I suppose they're in my not-too-distant future.

and I just read Not so Sage's comment and I believe she said her kids were sent home with "a little pot". Weed! Score!

Sunshine said...

I take pictures of the kids during the party, upload and print them off on magnet paper so the guests have a picture of themselves from the party to put on their fridge. I have parents from parties my boys had 4 years ago say they still have those magnets up!
USEFUL!!

The little plastic stuff is a waste of money and time.

PT-LawMom said...

Yes, yes, yes!! Pumpkinhead is only 4 but I've tried so far to come up with really creative and useful things for his party bags. It can get expensive, so I try to just give one main thing and a few little side items. We've done books, playdoh, stickers, etc. When he brings one home from a party, we take out anything useful and then I chuck the rest when he's not looking (eating any good candy first, of course). He usually doesn't notice. :)

CamiKaos said...

I can not believe you showed them the whistle function.

That aside, everyone hates goodie bags. WHY do they exist? I always do a little something... but I never do toys. A fruit snack or animal crackers, some stickers (cause they are teh aweesome) and a ready made to make craft project or coloring book. Or I have them make something really special (paint a plate or build a picture frame) and send it home with them.

Goodie bags should not be torture...

None of that junk. Ugh. It is the reason I hate kids parties.

Sue at nobaddays said...

The crap starts early ... in infant daycare. At 18 months, Tau (rough, tough, *ss-kicking, all boy) was given a tiny baggie with a mint-green (plastic of course) care bear in it. We hold it under the water in the bath tub and watch the air bubbles come out of its butt as it fills with water.

Kyla said...

Me too. We give out mini-playdoh (which I know some people hate *lol*), bubbles, stickers, and a snack.

Luckily, my kids forget about the craptastic goodie bag loot upon falling asleep and as long as I bury it far enough down in the trash, they never realize it is gone. Muahahaha!

Magpie said...

I'm with you all the way. But the worst is when you sneak something into the trash and a week later the kid wonders where it went.

For my kid's birthday last year, the grandparents bought some of those hideous mylar balloons - which I handed out as favors. I wasn't going to do anything - but it was a nice way to get the ugly balloons out of my house.

Marmite Breath said...

I want to come home from a party with a little pot. I'll just take it to the next party.

Mmmm. Pot. (Homer voice)

Disclaimer: I am not advocating sending home pot from children's parties. I am only advocating people giving me pot. And me smoking it. That is all.

3carnations said...

The kids love the goody bags, and we enjoy making them. We try to go a little outside the norm. This years goody bags consisted of a sheet of stickers, a pack of fruit snacks, a Matchbox car and a mini frisbee.

painted maypole said...

Amen to the crap filled goody bags. Like I don't have toyboxes filled with that junk already. Why can't we all just stop giving them, then the kids would stop expecting them? Who started this "tradition" anyway? Why does every child have to get a gift at the birthday party? Shouldn't it just be the birthday girl or boy? arg! (you've hit a sore spot, can
you tell?)

WILLIAM said...

Tell the kids the stuff has been recalled for Lead Paint.

Julie Pippert said...

Do I agree with you?

HELL YES!!!!!!!!

In fact, I might have been a teensy bit harsh on this subject at the recent parent meeting at school, "It's not a dadgum competiton, folks, you don't need to see who can do up the snazziest birthday or send the nicest bag of junk and junk food for your kid's birthday or the holiday of the moment."

The ante keeps getting upped with birthday parties at home and in school and holidays. All these bags of junk.

Yes, I hate it.

I wish I was grateful but I hate it.

The bags often contain candy (no), candy with peanuts (absolutely not, allergies), and the crap you mention.

I get to be Big Bag Meanie Mom and take it and toss it. I used to tolerate it but I've just learned toss it before even entering the house.

Wasteful.

But I know it is de rigeur and I don't want my kids scoffed at for having a Nazi Mom and Lame-O birthday with no goodies.

So last birthday we made a craft and that was the take home, and previous birthday I sent home books.

Yes, I'm THAT mom.

Start a new trend. I'm 100% behind you!

We can have green weddings, why not green birthdays?

Julie
Using My Words

acumamakiki said...

word. a small portion of my friends are crunchy and they give out goody bags just as you described and/or with a little toy that is actually useful and not crap. i've always appreciated their concern.

Annie said...

I hate them. Thankfully we haven't had many to deal with yet. And Golfish and Raisins it is for my kids party bags in October.

Jennifer said...

Hate, hate, hate the bags o' crap. I have worked around it for my own kids' parties and usually give a small (cheap!) book or some other small but usable trinket instead of the crap bag. One kid at my son's recent party took his Scooby Doo book and said to me, "Don't we get a bag of candy or anything?"

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

AMEN! I can't say it any better! HATE, HATE, HATE the gift bags. We gave out actual baseball cards at my son's last party, but really, why do they need a take-away gift AT ALL! The party was the gift for crissakes!

Stop the madness! I am all with you!!

SquidgesMum said...

I HAAAATE goody bags. I went to a party on Saturday and an extra kid showed up I soooo tried to give ours away. I kept telling the mum, oooh take it please, Squidge is waaay to young to appreciate it. Unfortunately she had extra crap and quickly made up another bag o'crap. For Squidges 1st birthday I made them some crowns(a couple of them had tiny baby sibs so I made them some bibs, just in case). It took me a couple of evenings but it was inexpensive(Ikea fabric) and the kids LOVED it. Oh and it didn't brea after a day.

Kaleigh said...

Feel free to steal the idea that some preschool moms came up with when my kids were little: create a chapter of MAGB (Mothers Against Goody Bags). Send out notes to all your kids' classmates' parents. Get them all to swear a blood oath that they won't do it. If you get everyone in, you'll never have to deal with those bags of crap ever again.

Melissa Garrett said...

I so hear you on this one, which is why we have a craft that also serves as the guest's parting gift. My daughter recently went to a birthday party in which the "goody bag" turned out to be a Polly Pocket Easter basket!! The mom got six of them for 75% off. I felt like asking, who's birthday was it anyway?? Not to mention, I have two other children who went into hysterics when they saw big sister with tons of TOYS that she wouldn't share. (and this originated from a mother of FOUR - you would think she would know better)

T. said...

I completely agree - I'm just concerned about the repercussions of not providing said bag of craptasticness. I don't want a revolt lead by a 3 year old-lord knows that'll end badly.

Jenifer said...

Oh loot bags, I just finished making 17 this weekend. I have been given everything from little pots and seeds to beach pails and towels to bookstore gift certificates and kites and everything in between.

I have mixed feelings about them, but have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the kids would be pretty upset to not get one at the end of the party.


I have given out everything in between as well, but never spending more than about $4/kid. My best one was little facecloths and towel sets I found at WalMart for $5/each.

This year I stuck to random, but slightly useful stuff. Babies got rubber ducks tied with a facecloth. Older girls got hair ties, little journals, pencils and erasers. Boys got matchbox cars, pencils and erasers and some kind of superhero item.

I always give one treat (like a lollipop) and one snack item like a granola bar or snack pack of crackers or cookies like you said.

I waver about scrapping them altogether, but I just don't have the heart. I do agree that some loot bags require much editing, but really most of our friends are pretty creative and come up with cool and (somewhat) useful stuff.

~JJ! said...

You are so NOT alone in this.
I usually throw the entire bag out before we get home...
Am I a wench?

jen said...

wow. I went to one of those parties this weekend too. how odd is that.

i took the bag of crap and once M was in her carseat i opened it the front seat and took out the stuff i didn't want her to have. And yo, it's still all in my bag.

Kami said...

I just learned about the horror that is the goody bag from a mom struggling to find appropriate contents for her two year old's party. Do two year old's need goody bags? There is alot about this parenting thing I'm going to have to learn, isn't there?

The Sour Kraut said...

I skip the goodie bags and give each partygoer a single toy. I agree the goodie bag stuff is crap.

Sarcasm Abounds said...

Clearly, a bag with kittens in it would be more appropriate. . ?

My feeling is this is EXACTLY the kind of Made-in-China junk that is filled with lead and Soylent Green they’ve been warning us about, and this bag shouldn’t make it past your front door.

Feel good about being indignant over this trash. Although, I wouldn’t mind a little fire engine whistle for my collection of crap. Perfect for Geocaching. . .

SA

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

That settles it, no goody bags at my son's 2nd birthday party.

Biddy said...

i hate those things too and i'm not even a mom! snacks or crafts are definitely the way to go! to the idiots that insist on giving a bag-o-crap, i say off with their heads!

Cat, Galloping said...

my sister does bags of 2-3 small, homemade cookies, mainly because it's cheap. but i'll bet she gets cursed for giving them a bag of sugar for the ride home, after an afternoon of cake!

Gwen said...

You are not alone. We all hate these bags o junk. Not enough to stop passing them out, however (and I really hate the bags of pencils and plastic rings that come home from school, since food is no longer allowed. Hello! Freaky parents! How about you send NOTHING?) One year I watched a mother give out snacks after a five year old's soccer game: plastic bags full of enormous candy bars tied with carefully curled ribbon. WTH?!?!?

I have in the past spent too much money trying not to fill bags with junk. Now we are just moving on to what Mel does: a few friends on an outing. And my daughter is already worried she won't get enough presents. It's madness and I hate it.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I've also given gift certificates for a child-size ice cream cone (usually about $2.50) or a single movie rental (kid movie) at either Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. Or, even more fun is to burn a CD with music that fits the 'theme' of the party (and only music that the parents will like), like 70's disco for my daughter's dance party or 'Outer Space' stuff (Cosmic Thing by the B52's, Blue Moon, Rocket Man). . .we even have a program that lets us customize a sticker for on top of the CD. Candy and snacks is also ok with me too. Usually, the kids forget the candy after a day, and then I dump it.

Those little plastic toys from Oriental Trading? Shudder. . .

Thalia's Child said...

what a good idea! *storing away for when Punkin is old enough for parties* Of course... Punkin is a christmas baby and therefore may never get a birthday party.

Jen M. said...

You know, I never really thought about it, but you're right. It just adds to the meaningless crap we fill our lives with.

Healthy snacks, on the other hand, are useful and might even help detox the kid from all the refined sugar etc. consumed at the party.

Ooh! How about a bag of raisins and a colonic?

Lawyer Mama said...

I immediately confiscate said bags & hide them in the closet. When we go to the beach or something, I'll pull a couple of cheap toys out & throw them in the bag to keep the kids happy.

I LOVE Sunshine's magnetic photo idea. So stealing that!

FENICLE said...

damn plastic crap from china!!!

at least it wasn't painted with lead!

NotAMeanGirl said...

Ok. I'm going to stick my neck out here and stand up for those of us that DO like making the craptastic goody bags.

I LOVE making these things. Its like a sickness. I try to find fun items for the kids like bubbles, cool stationary, whatever. The Pinata serves the candy and the goodybags hold their booty.

The thing is, I make them because I WANT to. Not as some type of one uppmanship or some sort of competitimommy thing. I have one kid. I'll never have more. I want to spoil/treat as many as I can as often as I can. I suck at arts and crafts. I'm not creative when it comes to that stuff nor am I very able bodied when it comes to making it.

Finding cool stuff for goody bags is my crack! If the kids are young enough to have fun with the stuff I fill em with its all good.

Imma go hang out in that corner over there now... sniffle.

Lisa Milton said...

It's just the beginning...

Some families send home crap on every holiday at school. It feels like some competition, to be the Mom who always gives treats. I hate it.

I see it in soccer too - the decorated bags, the toys, 4 snacks. I don't get it. Zack picked baby carrots on his day and all the Moms laughed and laughed. They figured no kid would eat fresh carrots, but they were a huge hit.

I try to be reasonable. We did little medals at the Star Wars party (like they did in the movie, don't ask which one) and I said something nice about the kid when I put it around their neck. I also did little gumballs in tiny chinese take out boxes for Lexi's party (her cake had gumballs on it too). It wasn't ideal, but I didn't feel like I stuck someone with trash.

PunditMom said...

NO MORE CRAP! It's the same with the Happy Meals and the "prizes" from the arcade (yes, we "won" a few things at the beach arcade this weekend). Now we just need a catchy acronym -- Mothers Against Goodybags -- MAGS!

flutter said...

ah dreams are a lovely thing....

Shannon said...

Oh I've started the revolution and don't give out "goody" bags after my kids' parties. I feel the same way about the crap.

I wish everyone else who's parties we go to would follow suit.

My kids are still working on eating through the pinata candy they gathered at their cousin's party.

Grrrr......

Mary Alice said...

A proud hater of birthday goody bag since our first birthday parties back in 1990....That's right, I just celebrated my 17th anniversary of protesting birthday crap bags.

K said...

We hate them too! We gave out a book to each child at our last bday party. The kids were probably thinking "huh?" but the parents all seemed to like it.

We've also started implementing the "every other year" birthday party. Our kids are both born in the fall. This way, we only need to do one bday party a year!

Worker Mommy said...

Horizontal Parenting. I know it well.
Good point on the goody bags. I like what they stand for in that they thank guests for coming but yes perhaps more thought could be put in to what actually goes in to them.

Sarcasm Abounds said...

I'm not sure if this would qualify as a good toy for a small child, but I remember getting a little bag full of foriegn coins when I was four, and I thought it was the best treasure in the world, and the gifter was out about $1 US.

SA

PS still have many of them 33 years later.

tulipmom said...

notameangirl, you're not alone! I too LOVE assembling the goody bags and my son gets so much enjoyment out of them. I try to steer clear of the plastic crap and gravitate more toward matchbox cars, craft/writing items, and snacks.

As for that fire engine whistle, I know it well. Sweet Boy got that very item in a goody bag yesterday and within 3 minutes of hearing it on the car ride home, I'd confiscated it. Either that or risk driving off the road. What a G-d awful sound!

Keep the goody bag. Get rid of the plastic!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

See, here is where I get lucky! Declan's birthday coincides with back to school markdown, so I get the goody bags stuff from there - Declan's party had a box of markers, a box of crayons, a curley straw.

And OK, it had a whistle in there too.

The crayons were 8 cents each and the markers 25 cents. ROCK ON!

My beef is actually with the goody bags filled with candy. Like they didn't eat enough crap at the party???

jakelliesmom said...

Yes, indeed. My kids love them, I'm not a fan.

A couple of the better parting gifts we received this year were a CD of music related to the party theme and one of those soft-animal shaped ice packs. Another one gave little slippers and hair accessories (no idea what the boys got). I'd rather give or get a thoughtful little something than a bag full o'crap.

Stimey said...

Seriously. Why do our kids have to get something every time we leave a party? Wasn't the party enough? I didn't get any goody bags from birthday parties when I was a kid and I don't remember being upset about it in the least.

Kristin said...

Oh we are SO over the crap-bags... last year I gave out nothing but I Vitamin water and a full size candy bar... thanks for coming, see you later!

slouching mom said...

Here's what I do. I forego the goody bag in favor of a small toy (a four dollar Lego set worked well one year).

The kids like it better, it seems, and the parents DEFINITELY prefer it.

the individual voice said...

OK, here goes. (Deep breath). I am a REALLY BAD MOTHER. I should say that up front. But somehow, I have managed to raise two amazingly wonderful teen-aged sons. Without the big rigamarole of birthday parties. Sure I started off with the face-painting clown hiring etc. But by the time my second son was four, I'd had it with the whole materialism and craziness of it all, and we settled into a pattern of going out to our favorite restaurant (Legal Seafoods) for birthdays, often with another family, and the waiters sang happy birthday as they brought out the cake and that was that. Some really nice presents from us, mostly books. And as a result, the party invitations also dried up somewhat so we weren't obligated to go through those horrible pinata rituals etc. and my kids didn't seem to care at all. OK, now I'm prepared to be shunned for child abuse.

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

I stopped handing out goodie bags a few birthdays ago.

I'm so ahead of the anti-crap bag revolutionary times.

Come and touch me.

Wendy said...

Oh, how I hate the goody bags. I have been on the search to find the perfect goodies to stuff in the bag. I have given up. Unless you plan on spending a fortune on trinkets then you end of with crap.

I say, I let you into my home to eat my food and then gave you cake. No goody bag, for you. You have already had enough. I am protesting and not giving out anymore goody bags.

BOSSY said...

Yes! Down with the Goody Bag! They're awful to receive, and worse to have to provide.

katy said...

I always hated those stupid little toys from goodie bags and school fall festivals. I would much rather have had then send chocolate home with my kids so I can borrow it......that reminds me DD has a candy bar hidden in her purse..got to go!

BethGo said...

I wrote about this same topic about a month ago. I think it was entitled, "Goodie Bags are Stupid". We don't give goodie bags because...well... they're stupid. :)

You gotta be the change to see the change.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

I hate that plastic crap too. I try to give something a little more useful. W.'s birthday is in June so I have given things like a beach towel (wholesale lots are great and cheap) rolled up with a frisbee. One year it was swim goggles. If I going to spend the money I want to know it will get some sort of use.

liv said...

That's why I give out cigarettes and fifths of gin in my kids' goodie bags.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

Oh, I agree with you! I hate Playdough too, that stuff is a nightmare!

We went to a party once and the "goody bag" was a $3 gift card to Bruesters Ice Cream! That was the kind of "goody bag" I can get behind!

Next year, I'm giving baseball hats or t-shirts they can take home (like tye-dye or something).

Omaha Mama said...

I'm with ya. But have also given out craptastic goody bags, so can't really complain. Although last year the fart in a can I gave out was a big hit with my nephews.

Mrs. Swizzle said...

I'm so with you on that. We don't give out goodie bags at Swizzle parties. With no apologies.

Mommy Bits said...

Preach it sister. I hate that crap. I always try really hard to find thank you gifts that are usefull. I usually go the bath toy route. I also avoid candy. They are already all hopped up on cake, why feed the fire...

nell said...

I completely agree. My personal solution (which works 'cause I have crafty girls) is to do an art project of some kind at the party, and then the kids can take that home. We'll see how this holds up as they get older.

Sarah said...

I have the same problem with happy meal toys. I hate them.

I also try to do art projects, like painting a T-shirt, or something instead.

Shannon said...

Amen! I have little kids - and the stuff is not only breakable, there are at least a dozen little choke hazards per bag - not to mention that the necklaces are probably full of lead paint! Good grief!

Mamma said...

Seriously, eighty-two comments later I'm not sure I can add much except to say I'm so on that train.

nutmeg said...

Thank you! I did 4 kid parties this year without them. Everybody left with a Hershey Bar instead. Much better to give kids a sugar high rather than a freaking noise toy!

zellmer said...

omg, I am a PRO at horizontal parenting. So glad to know I'm not the only one with these skillz.

Nancy said...

I hated them when my kids were small and I still think they are a waste.

Kids b'day parties can really get out of control. It seems the parents just try to out do each other.

I didn't let my kids have annual friend included parties except with family.

They each had one in elementary school, nothing elaborate.

WorksForMom said...

Well it appears official.

The goody-bag-o-toxic-plastic-crap is dead.

mothergoosemouse said...

It's official - Greeblemonkey HATES me. Because our goody bag from the party contained three whistles and four party horns. Not a crayon in sight.

But we had a damn good time at the party.

cate said...

since my oldest is only 2, we haven't had any birthday party goody bags yet, but we do get them from various friends and family for Easter and stuff like that, instead of a real present.

if they only knew how difficult it is to get that stuff away from your kids after....man!

BTW...Horizontal Parenting Method...I love the fact that our fave parenting technique has an official name...makes me feel less lazy!

Catherine said...

I recall attending birthday parties as a child and leaving (gasp!) EMPTY HANDED. How about that? Since when does everyone need a present? Is it part of everyone being good enough & special? Blech. The birthday kid is the special one that day. The party is the present for everyone else.

urban-urchin said...

I'm with you on this one- hate hate hate goody bags. Since the oldests birthday is in the fall, I give carmel apples to the kids.

moosh in indy. said...

There's a freaking rubber lizard from a BDay in March of '07 that keeps popping up and scaring the living hell out of me.
I swear I've thrown it away 18 times.

Virtualsprite said...

Preaching to the choir, sister. My stepdaughter wanted to pass out goody bags at her birthday party. I said a firm, "NO WAY IN HELL!!!!!" and marched her out of the store.

I'm subtle like that.

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

One day, I swear, I will hand out an empty bag with a little note on the inside.

Said note will read: Wasn't the party enough?

You ain't gettin nothin. deal with it

Queen Karana said...

I don't like the plastic crap either, but I do love birthday parties and I do love giving out goody bags.

DD had an under the sea party, and we wrapped the "goodies" up in yellow cellophane decorated to look like goldfish. (Googley eyes, feathers for fins, heart shaped mouth) -- the kids got to fish for them when they were leaving. At that point they were so excited they didn't care WHAT was inside them. We gave them each a packet of goldfish crackers, three temporary fish tattoos and a punching ball with fish on it. I thought it was pretty reasonable.

We're having an ABC party for Becca in about two weeks. We are giving them each a ABC handwriting type book, plus some kind of writing implement (yet to be determined) - probably a pencil. I might include some ABC stickers or some Alphabits cereal. I found the books at the dollar store.

wordgirl said...

Thank the baby Jebus that we're past that stage now.

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I am putting that on my, "if I ever get over my emotional baggage and have kids" to do list. No crap, more food!

angela said...

i'm so with you on this one.

blue lollipops would be sufficient enough, don't you think?

Shannon said...

Right on Sista! I feel the same way about the crapstravaganza in the pediatrician's "prize" bucket and at the kidde hair salon.

EE said...

Yes....goodie bags suck! They go straight into my trash can.

blooming desertpea said...

Can I join the revolution against the craptastic plastic - I think it's time this disgusting stuff comes to an end!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I am with you on this. At Junior Mayhem's party this year, our goody bags included a cup, a crazy straw (in the them OF COURSE) and candy from the pinata......sans plastic crap!

I don't even sneak the stuff slowly.....I make a swift, clean break from the crap...once the tantrums are over.....everybody wins!

Aunt Nancy said...

I, of course, concur. Then I sat here thinking about it and I realized that I never once even entertained the idea of giving these goody bags away at my children's parties. The thought never even entered my head.

mamatulip said...

I hate goody bags.

I think I am going to ban them completely.

Or...wouldn't it be cool to get a tree to plant instead of a goody bag?

Life As I Know It said...

amen, sister.
Do away with goody bags once and for all.
I was just telling my son a few weeks ago (after returning home from a party that did not give out goody bags!!) that I never had goody bags when I was a kid. It's a new trend...he didn't care. He just wanted his bag o' crap.

carmachu said...

Sadly...I love them....

SUEB0B said...

Why darlin', I do believe you struck a nerve!!

Jackie said...

For my son's birthday I went to Kohl's and got the $5 book and $5 stuffed animal that went with it for the kids goody bags (there were only a few kids - I realize this could get pretty expensive if there were a lot of kids.) But, I felt good because 100% of the profit is donated to support health and educational opportunities for children. Plus, it wasn't crap! I think I'll do the same when my daughter's b-day rolls around.

Amy said...

So true. I've ordered Favor Boxes from www.birthdayexpress.com for the last few years. Very cute little assortment of goodies in an adorable box that matches your theme. And the stuff is not like the super-cheapo Dollar Store crap. Pretty nice stuff.

Kevin said...

Oh, how I hate the goody bags. Hate them hate them hate them. And here's something that I don't, nor will ever, understand:

I was sitting at a table with this one parent and the kids brought over the goody bags, "Here, hold this! We're still playing!" This parent made the comment about how she hates these things...for all the reasons you described (which are universal). And yet, when the child of this parent had a party, what was handed out? That's right. Goody bags. So I called her on it. I asked, "I thought you hated this stuff." Her response? "I do. But the kids expect something." I shook my head and walked away.

I hate people.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, the burden of goodie bags. Hate them.

But the kids don't just expect them, they DEMAND them. At the end of a 2-hr extravaganza that clearly cost the parents hundreds of dollars and huge amounts of time, I hear the kids saying "Where are the goodie bags?" I think we've created monsters.

Lemming-like, I provide a parting gift too: one year it was rubber balls, another year it was punch balloons. I refuse to compile a bag of crap, I refuse to spend more than a dollar per kid, and I refuse to spend hours handcrafting something special for 15 five-year-olds high on cake. Not much of a revolution, but I'm still young.

Angie said...

whoever decided that it was necessity to for the parents hosting the party had to spend MORE money on MORE crap needs to be banished to the dollar store for a year. Argh.

Moi said...

Soooo with you on this one. I try to give goody bags with crayons and notepads ... and temporary tattoos. I make an overt effort not to have noisy items in the bags.

My eldest got a goody bag full of makeup in the spring. SHE. IS. 6.

Gah.

Candace said...

it looked like you needed some comments so I'm saying hello!
wow! 113 comments would break my blog! anyway, you are hilarious. love your blog.

Ally said...

Holy smokes. I hate the goody bag crap, too. Your idea about snacks for the way home is a brilliant one. And one I intend to steal.

Motherhood Uncensored said...

But what about plastic sex toys?

Now that's what I call a GOODY bag.

Kevin Charnas said...

I hate them too. And I don't even have to deal with them.

JamesMommy said...

James gave out cowboy hats and bandanas at his 2nd party. I'm with you, I hate the crap. As a matter of fact, I try to slip goody bags into his bag before he ever seems them.

the individual voice said...

OK, I lied. I'm not a terrible mother. And I think OTJ has clearly hit a nerve here. She's right on the mark. But I went even farther when my kids were little. I stopped throwing the extravagant, wasteful parties too. I decided that everything we do for our children teaches them something, and I did not want my kids to grow up over-consuming the planet like my generation has done. If parties must be thrown, what about some planet-oriented message at the end? Seeds they can grow in a pot? Compost? Cow manure? No, really, a seed pack would be perfect. They'd hate it, it would be the dud party of the year, but it would teach them something valuable.

Just A Girl said...

for Kelly's 7th we only had 4 extra children. SO I was able to preselect what went into their goody bags. The 13 year old got a miniature video game, the 3 year olds got some other age appropriate toy and so on. This year for Jarrod's 4th I'm not sure what will be in the bag, but you can rest assured there will be no craptastic toys for parents to hate me for.

Damselfly said...

Look how many comments you got! You sure found something everyone is passionate about. I have not yet been indoctrinated into the goody bag culture because my boy is a year old. But knowing everyone hates the goody bag, I guess that means I don't have to give them out!

MommyMommy said...

I totally agree, and they are a waste of $$ too. For the past several years we give one good toy instead of a bag of themed crap. Last year it was a pirate patch at a pirate themed party and a real china teacup ( from the thrift store) for an Alice in Wonderland party. We have also done superman capes, and tiaras. It is actually cheaper for me to but something like that than a bag full of trinkets.

carrie said...

I understand. I complained about this at naseum last year.

Just. Say. No. To. The. Goody. Bag.

If we all banded together, you know we could put an end to this ridiculousness.

deb said...

There's only one thing worse than plastic crap, a live fish. Now that's just cruel to the fish and the parents of the kids that get it in their "loot bag".

shelookslikeme.wordpress said...

Hallelujah, Sister Joy!
Down with the crap!
No kiddie swag!

Devra said...

I abandoned the crap filled goodie bags three years ago. Choosing instead to give out bags filled with candy. Tons of it. In the three years since I instituted the "Candy Only" bag, I haven't had one kid ask me "Where is all that cheap plastic crap lady?" Actually not one kid has even asked me about an effing bouncy ball. They don't miss it. They just want the candy. It's all about the candy. I say give em the candy and don't worry about the crappy toy.

Alpha DogMa said...

I think of the loot bag as a thank you present and hence my boys give them out and recite a speech along the lines of, "Thank you for coming and celebrating my day. Here is a present so that you don't have a shit fit in the car trip on the way home as the refined sugar from my birthday cake makes its way through your system. My mom sends her apologies to your mom."

However, my loot bags don't have plastic crap in them, and the snacks are healthy. Cos I pander.

What I really really want to do is give the parents gift bags of little bottles of liquor and bottle of Tylenol. One day I may get brave enough to do this.

Seattle Mamacita said...

we always burn a cd of the G's favorite songs to share

Nancy said...

I'm totally shameful. We usually don't even do birthday parties for our girls, so the issue of goody bags has never come up.

Thank goodness, because I'm not much of a fan myself.

kittenpie said...

Oh god yes, I'd much rather have one or two nice things in a bag than a bunch of junk. The best one of late was a ball. A nice round rubber ball for each child. period. Nice.

Anonymous said...

For my daughter's party I had the kids decorate little terra-cotta flower pots, then we planted little baby plants in each one.
The parents were thrilled-my daughter still has hers.
I can't stand the junk-nor the fact that they leave other kids' parties with toys??? Consumerism gone bad!!

Dana said...

I know this is a litle bit of self-promotion but I linked to your blog from another blog and read this post. I feel excatly the same way and I started a business because of it! We are in Canada aqnd if you have any Canadian readers, check out www.funnygreenbag.com
It's right up the alley of any parent that is sick to death of "crap-tastic" loot bags. LOL