I’m curious – when did it become required to give birthday guests goody bags?

Remember when kids’ birthdays were held at home where you played games like pin the tail on the donkey?  Or when you were older, the pinnacle of parties – the roller skating party where the universal anthem was “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang?


Whether it was at a house or the rink or (shudder) Check-E-Cheese, the party protocol was the same: as a guest you go, get to have fun, have cake and ice cream, give your gift to the birthday kid and say thanks for inviting me.  That’s it.

Now, we parents put on even more elaborate (and expensive) parties for our kids and their friends.  Bounce houses, trampoline places, rock climbing, video truck rental, laser tag, etc.  My kid even went to a party where they rented puppies to play with the kids.  I thought that was animal cruelty myself. Is there such a thing as puppy PTSD?  But I digress…

And on top of all that, we parents feel compelled to give each guest a goody bag – a parting gift as if they were losers on a game show.

Isn’t the gift the experience of partying down with your friends and gorging yourself on cake and ice cream?  No.  We have to top it with a bag of (let’s face it) obligatory crap-toys that kids undoubtedly loose or don’t give two-shits about approximately four minutes from receiving.


To add insult to injury, now we parents have to dispose of or deal in some way with this new bag of crap.

Can we parents make a pact right now to STOP THE MADNESS?

Can we all band together on this?  Because as we all know, if one parent continues with this practice, the rest of us look bad.

Well, I’m not afraid to look bad to a bunch of kids….

So heads up party guests! Prepare your kids so they won’t totally lose their shit when they don’t get a goody bag at my kid’s next birthday party.

Think of it as a teachable moment.  Sometimes the party is not about you, it’s about the birthday kid.  Enjoy and appreciate the experience already.

How about we bring back the thank you note instead?  And if we get invited to your party, I promise to put the money that I would have spent on craptastic goody bags towards a kick-ass gift for your kid.

We good?

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