I’m starting a one-woman revolution. My target? To rid the world of a scourge to parents everywhere. That’s right — I’m talking about birthday party goodie bags.
For you fortunate, uninitiated souls, goodie bags are usually a little baggie of trinkets and candy given to a child to take home at the end of a birthday party. Because it’s not enough to send them home hopped up on sugary cake (I’m certain kids’ birthday cakes contain more frosting than any other cake), you send them home with a handful of trinkets that adds to the other 1,237 toys in your house.
Let’s get one thing clear: No parent likes these goodie bags, regardless of what you may have convinced yourself. They’ve just become a sort of physical manifestation of the old school chain letters, and parents are convinced that tragedy will befall them should they not adhere to the tradition.
As my close mom friend put it,”I invited you to my party and paid for a fun activity/afternoon/event for you to attend in celebration of my birthday. You come, have fun with me and bring me a gift because it’s my birthday, so that makes us even. Now I gotta give you a goodie bag to say ‘thanks for coming’?!? Da hell kinda sense does that make?” Exactly, friend.
Here are seven other reasons why goodie bags are basically the worst.
1. There are some parents who have a Pinterest board dedicated to such crafts. The rest of us contemplate whether anyone will notice that we just gave out leftover Halloween candy.
2. They’re kind of a waste of money. Sorry, I hate to be the one to say it, but they kind of are. Plus, they always come in weird-numbered packs, so you have to buy an extra pack of 10 only to use two of them.
3. The hyperactive car ride home is pretty much the 7th circle of Hell.
4. Goodie bag toys are always tiny, and every parent knows where tiny toys end up.
5. Even the stuff that seems like it might kind of be cool like temporary tattoos or Sea-Monkeys, never actually seem to work when you get them home.
6. Not having enough of them to go around is pretty much guaranteed to lead to just one foreseeable outcome.
7. Every time one parent gives out goodie bags at a party, it continues the circle for every subsequent party. Because no one wants to be the one who didn’t do goodie bags. It’s like the worst chain letter ever.
Seriously, if you really, really like giving out these goodie bags, who am I to stop you? But, believe me when I say that it doesn’t really matter to the kids if you have them or not. They want to have fun with their friends, run around and play, and eat cake.
But if you come to my kids’ party, don’t expect to leave with a goodie bag. If all goes according to plan, I’ve given you a much more valuable gift — a tired kid who will take a nap as soon as he gets home. You’re welcome.