I’ll make a deal with you fellow parents: you stop sending my kid home with cheap, messy or destructive toys in birthday party goody bags and I won’t tell your kids where you really put all the “art” projects and worksheets they bring home from preschool…if you get my drift.
Look, I understand that you don’t want my kid to leave your kid’s birthday party empty-handed. It makes you look cheap in the eyes of the other parents. However, the problem with your logic is this: giving away crap also makes you look cheap. Your thoughtfulness about the feelings of my child would come across as a lot more sincere if all the “goodies” you provided didn’t speak to an overwhelming sense of obligation on your part. So, allow me to share these thoughts with you – to free you from this ridiculous burden:
I’m just going to throw away or recycle those shitty toys (after my kids are asleep of course). If you really don’t want to send my kid home from your kid’s party empty-handed please give him something the entire family can enjoy, like coffee beans (dark roast, please), alcohol or chocolate.
There. Feel better now?
No? Well, if you absolutely can’t resist the urge to gift and coffee, booze & chocolate for 25 is out of your budget, for godsake, please DO NOT send my kid home with any more of the following:
I acknowledge that my stance on “goodies” is harsh, and somewhat self-serving (particularly the request for booze & chocolate). I’m sympathetic to your situation. We’ve all been in your shoes – crippled by minimal planning time and budget. I know that it’s easy to grab handfuls of those cheap crap toys in the dollar bins at Michael’s or Target and shove them in a cute bag tied with ribbon. However, I think (and I’m hoping you’ll agree with me) that it’s time to stand up to parental peer pressure and say, “Kids, in real life you don’t leave other people’s parties with gifts. The best gifts in life are not the ones you receive, but the ones you give from the heart – thoughtfully and with care & consideration for the recipient.”
For those of you who remain concerned about your reputation with other parents, allow me to sweeten the deal a little. You promise to keep these so-called “goodies” out of my kid’s hands and I won’t send your kid home from our next party with something like this.