Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday Parties & Goody Bags

This happened to my friend during her daughter's 6th birthday party:

Hyper mom drives up: Hi! Sorry, we can't make it. We're just here for the goody bag.

My friend: Pardon? Oh! Uh, okay. Here you go. (Then proceeded to squeeze the plastic princess bag through the 4" of rolled down window.)

Hyper mom: Thanks! See you later!

My friend (to me): What just happened?

Me: A great story for my blog just happened.

What is this world coming to when a woman drives her Hummer to retrieve a goody bag at a 6 yr old's party? And, not that there is official etiquette that currently exists for this type of behavior, but she didn't even bring a gift for the birthday girl. Not even a fucking card.

I'm thinking the proper response to this request would be, "I'm sorry, we're out of goody bags, however I do have a big bag of bullshit for you if you're interested."

And on the other end of the spectrum is the new trend of no gift-giving. If you haven't received that little note on invitations, it's coming. "Please, no gifts. We have plenty." I was the only idiot that didn't bring a gift. Take it from me and bring a backup gift just in case. I'm certain my daughter is blacklisted from parties after that stunt.

And can we all agree to calm down on the goody bags? Especially in this economy. Let's make a pact to toss some rub-on tatoos in a ziploc and call it a day.

Some of these bags are trumping the gifts. My daughter (before the blacklisting) walked away once with a purse. She loved it. She loved it even more when she saw it was stuffed with nail polish, hair clips, and a necklace. My God, I was wondering if there were dollar bills crammed in there.

The point is, we gave the birthday girl a $9 diary. We felt like chumps.

So take it easy on yourselves. The party isn't about goody bags or gifts. No one gives a crap if the cake is shaped into Dora's head.

It's about laughing and the excitement of another year. Instead of spending an hour stuffing plastic bags, spend it watching old home movies with your child on their birthdays. Let them see how far they've come.

And pat yourself on the back too. You made it another year without having a nervous breakdown (or maybe you did, which is totally understood).


  1. Thanks, Kel. This could not be more apropos as Marie's 2nd birthday rolls around. I totally intend to request no gifts, we've got enough plastic shit made in my living room which is now called the Tangletown Toys-R-Us, so I hope people honor it like you did. Hell, I was planning to give away some of this stuff in a goody bag. Ha! Who needs more Hello Kitty stickers?

  2. Maybe it's boys and because they are older...but below is my recent bday party story...
    These days, my sone takes a tenner from me and he simply slaps it in his buddy's hand saying, "happy birthday, dude" or something like that I assume.

  3. Kelly, I feel I have to comment for all the Moms out there, like me, who ENJOY hosting parties and coming up with themes, and putting together cool goodie bags! I do everything on a budget, getting goodie bag stuff on clearence, baking my own theme cakes, which is way cheaper...I actually made a cake in the shape of Dora's head! And I am proud of it! I really think we can't dis on any Mom who is only trying to do the best for their child. Kids have fun at all kinds of parties! And, the "no gift thing"? Get serious people! Children like to open presents, so what?! If you don't want it, then donate to Good will later! It feels good to give! I say, "Rock On!" to ALL the different types of moms out there! As long as your doing what feels right and your child is enjoying their party...SUPER! We all rock! :)

  4. Yes, that last post is from my best friend from college and no, I did NOT know she made a cake in the shape of Dora's head. HA!

    Kristine, God bless you. And thank you for cheering on ALL moms! Yes, we do ALL rock.