Thursday, January 21, 2010

An Open Letter to Moms about Goodie Bags

Dear Moms,

I hate kid parties. But what I really hate is goodie bags. I am sure Lydia and I are going to be polar opposites on this. She's super crafty and creative and wields a mean glue gun. I go into the craft store to buy birthday gifts for other kids. And mine walk through the store like it's DisneyLand. [Editorial comment: I actually hate goodie bags, too. Can I please have some more easily breakable, plastic crap from the dollar store? With extra lead paint, if that's possible? And with many tiny choke-able parts?- Lydia]

Your expectation of a goodie bag is the equivalent of a Gift Card as a birthday present. You're giving me or my kid a gift that requires me to add one more thing to my to-do list. "Hey! Happy Birthday! Here, go run an errand." [Editorial comment: And here we differ because I would take a gift card over a Bratz doll any day of the week. - Lydia]

Don't get me wrong. I can do up a birthday. I made a mean Tank Cake last year for Darth Lefty. We routinely do pool parties because 1) their birthdays are all in the summer, 2) it's easy (Take kids. Add water.) and 3) there is nothing that's going to justify me paying money to have to be at Chuck-E-Cheese. I'd no sooner pay money to go to Riker's Island, and they have better food. Not that I've, you know, been - to - Riker's Island. But after as many Law & Order episodes that I've watched, I'm pretty sure I could navigate my way through there blindfolded. Education, people. These things come in handy.

So it is going to come as no great surprise that, when it comes to birthdays, I completely oppose the goodie bag. For the simple reason that, ummm, you got to go to a party, see your friends, play, have cake, and - these days - the party is at some kids-on-crack indoor trampoline/air filled funhouse/videogame/build-your-own-Ferrari/87-dollars-per-kid Insaneapallooza. They expect a gift after all that?

[Editorial comment: It's also an opportunity for Perfect Mommy to prove how awesome she is by making The Best Goodie Bag Ever. A cute little (100% recycled or organic) bag filled with adorable, artistic, hand-made or over-the-top expensive crap designed to make her look good and set the bar so ridiculously high that no one wants to invite her kid to another party for the next five years. - Lydia]

And, the contents? It's totally different if the kids did some sort of craft at the party, or had a pinata and Party Mom put the candy in bags for the kids. But this is crap from the 14-cent store that makes McDonald's toys seem like Faberge Eggs.

An inventory of the last goodie bag that entered my house:

  • Miniature Disney character playing cards printed on tissue paper
  • Candy that my three year old can't have yet or he will choke and die
  • Bubbles
  • Unsharpened pencils
  • Uninflated, oddly flaccid balloons
  • Erasers that look like food but are not food
  • A yo-yo that broke before I got the plastic packaging off it
  • Temporary tattoos of what I think may be gang symbols
Thank you, Party Mom. I found half the contents of your goody bag scattered all over the back seat of my car and the rest I threw out when my kid wasn't looking. Then I pretended it got lost. But the dog got into the trash and I later had to pull a drool covered eraser shaped like a hamburger out of his jowls. Awesome. I should have burned that damn bag and all its contents. Because like I said - goodie bags are evil and I. Hate. Them.

Here's a poem I have composed about goody bags:

I hate you, goodie bags.
You suck worse menstrual cramps.
The End.

So, please. For my sanity. For the sake of the environment, for the sake of saving a few dollars in a time of recession, don't do it. Don't give out goodie bags. And if any little snots (or worse, their mothers) complain that they are not getting one at your party - tell them, oh so sweetly, to go suck an egg.

And on that note, I'm out.

xo, Kate
[I totally concur. XO from me, too. - Lydia]


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