Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Quandry of the Goody Bags

OK, so tomorrow night is Brayden's first-ever "Ten Squealing Girls for an Overnight Slumber Party Complete with Cake and and Hot Fudge Sundaes and Karaoke and Dance Dance Revolution and Dear Lord Where is the Advil Can I Take an Entire Bottle as a Preventative Measure Now?" sleepover birthday party. I'm sure it will be fun, once my migraine goes away, the one I don't even have yet, but that I will undoubtedly get and that won't go away until probably sometime the middle of next week.

Now, irregardless of how I feel about the trend in birthday parties, for the hosts to provide all guests with take home goody bags and party favors so no-one's little feelings get hurt and God forbid that every kid there doesn't feel just as special as the birthday child, oh no *everyone* should take home a present ::insert roll-y eyes:: (remind me to tell you a hysterical story about this at the end**) Yeah, despite how I might feel about that stupid practice, we've always done it for parties we've hosted for our own kids because yep, you guessed it, as much as I bitch and moan about it, when it comes to social customs I have the spine of a jellyfish and I fold like a lawn-chair in a windstorm.

But what about tomorrow? Am I supposed to send the girls home the next morning with a goody bag? Will they be expecting something? Is one final sugar rush with donuts (because yes Megan, I remember about the donut shop by your house that is open 24/7!) going to be enough? Is taking all ten of them out for pizza, then back here for an overnight sugar frenzy, too lame? Are they going to leave here disappointed if they don't have goody bags? And if I *am* supposed to give goody bags, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should give ten and eleven year old girls?

Ideas? Opinions? Assvice?

**So this one time, at band camp ..... no, of course I'm kidding. This one time a friend of mine told me about a birthday party she had taken her two young kids to attend, and they gave a pretty nice gift to the birthday child ---- then a nicer, bigger, more expensive version of the gift they gave was given back to them in each of their goody bags! How embarrassing is that?? And funny, too. Well, sure, funny because it wasn’t me, of course. But it sure sounds like something that would happen to me.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goodie bags for 10 and 11 year-old girls?? Maybe nail polish and lip gloss, hair crap (what we used to call it when we would find our daughter's all over the house), pens, pencils? Personally, I think the pizza, etc. should be more than enough. Sounds like it will be a really fun time at your house! I'm glad we don't live anywhere close.

ps. Irregardless isn't a word! It's just plain old regardless.

Anonymous said...

Krisite, I say no goodie bags.!! I think they are for the preschool crowd. Though I am with you on the spineless mom thing. I do it b/c the other moms do it. I think we should band together and say "NO GOODIE BAGS" because we're all complaining about the same thing. So which Moms actually LIKE doing goodie bags? I say their "treat" is the pizza, donuts and time to sleep over at your house.

BTW, what age do kids start sleep overs? Mine daughter is 7 and I just want to be prepared!

Claire in TX

Karen a.k.a Mamacita said...

We have 3 daughters and have had our share of slumber parties. When we do give out goody bags we just do cheap candy, cheap nail stuff, hair stuff, pencils and little note pads. Junk like that. We use leftover Halloween candy sometimes too since the birthdays are around then.
One thing you do need to specify is a time for the kids to be picked up. I made the mistake one year of saying oh pick them up at 11. That was a bad idea. The girls woke up early and then drove me mad for FIVE hours waiting on their parents.
Have Fun!

Sandy Tracy said...

Kristie,
Take a picture of the entire group shortly after they arrive (or of each guest with the birthday girl). Buy cheap girlish picture frames at the Dollar Tree. Give each girl a picture in the frame as they leave. I have used this a couple of times for my girls. It's cheap, quick and easy. The kids really seem to like it too!

Lorna said...

My daughter has had sleepover parties for the last few years and I don't give goodie bags for those. They're getting an approximately 15 hour party, complete with two free meals and all the fun and giggling they can stand. That's enough.

Good luck to you. My daughter's next sleepover is in March. I have a question, though: How do you take 10 girls out for pizza? Do you and Blaine both go in two cars? I won't let my daughter invite more than five girls because we only have a seven-passenger minivan. That's all my sanity could handle, anyway.

Kristie said...

Dear Anonymous, yes, I know "irregardless" isn't a word, and every time I type it or say it I think about the double-negative-ness (?) of it. But you know what? It just *flows* better than "regardless" .... the "ir" puts the stress on the syllable which sounds best to my (obviously untrained and uneducated) ear. So I'll keep using it, until such time as Websters puts a price on my head.

Dear Claire, I suppose the right age for sleepovers depends on the kid. Brayden, for example, was doing sleep-overs at one of her classmate's house in the first grade and loving it. We joke that now, she would probably be fine in her own apartment. Kellen and Kendrie have always done well at grandma's house, but only recently has Kellen stayed with a friend. Kendrie's first attempt at an over-nighter, in the first grade, resulted in our having to go pick her up about 10pm. By the time we left Georgia she was ok with families that we knew well. She's trying her first OK sleep-over with a friend tomorrow night, and I'm crossing my fingers that it goes well. If I could just figure out a way to get all three of them loaned out to other people's houses on the same night, I'd be in business, don't you think? :)

Anonymous said...

Nail polish, hair ties, lip gloss-don't spend more than 5 a girl, and even that is too much. I hope this is no longer expected when I have kids. Good luck!
Did you paint the ceilings of your rental house? I am still trying to get my husband to repaint my lousy paint job!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,
For my daughters 9th birthday we we tye-died tank tops for all the girls...now I'm in Canada but they are cheap...usually they come in packets of 3 or 4 for less the 10 bucks and you can buy a tye-die kit at Michaels for around 15$ if you want to make it more fun...you could buy some of those iron on jewels. It kills time, its fun and easy and each girl get exactly what she wants :)!!
Pammy

KirstyB said...

Oooohhh....I can remember one of my favorite sleepover parties from my childhood days. The mom bought white pillow cases and fabric paint and we decorated them and got to take them home. Not sure how expensive it would be but it was fun!! :) I remember having all my girlfriends sign it when I was done...I LOVED that pillowcase!! LOL

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous,
irregardless IS a word that IS listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Your mastery of the English language remains intact Kristie!

Anyway, I can't imagine that pizza, soda, DDR, candy, running water and electricity wouldn't be enough. I agree with Claire - stand your ground and "just say no" :)

Stephanie in Portland, Oregon

Anonymous said...

DOWN WITH GOODIE BAGS!!! I just did a b-day party for my 4yr old and refused to fold to the "parent pressure". Each child got a take home plastic theme cup. Something they can reuse and not leave in the car after the trip home, just to be tossed out at the next car wash.

Anonymous said...

Kristi - I think something that the girls will really love and their parents will really hate is always a great thing. And by the way this is the teacher in me "irregardless" while spelled correctly is not actually a word.

Good luck with the sleep over, I have manage a classroom of 9th graders everyday and I need a bottle of something at the end of the week.

Kristen said...

Burn a CD of dance tunes that you have the girls boogie to at the party. Throw those in a bag with some lipgloss, nailpolish a cool pen or pencil and call it a day! Ooh- I just bought the snuggliest fuzzy lounge socks today at Costco- they would make an ideal pj party gift. I'd put the stuff in clear cellophane bags from Michaels- but wrap the stuff in colored tissue on the inside of the bag, and then tie the whole thing with a cute grosgrain ribbon. Irregardlessly (screw you anonymous) I hope you guys have a wonderful, headache free time.

Anonymous said...

A gel pen, a small bath and body works lotion (or whatever brand!), a "cute" lollipop (or any lollipop), and an elastic headband (Goodie sells them in packs of 5 or so). There you have it...and ridiculously enough, that'll cost you about $4 per girl!

Chris M. said...

Well, I have an idea of what NOT to give. Allie and Justin went to a party a couple years ago and the take home gift was a guppy. Did you know guppies don't have gills? They need to be aerated or whatever it is called. So, to not break their little hearts, we went out and bought two tanks (because God forbid their guppies share a tank), pumps, rocks, nice little plants for the guppies to swim around, etc. It ended up costing me $25 bucks per guppy.

Then, because this is the kind of parent I am, a year later when the darn things wouldn't die and no one but me would clean tanks, feed them, etc., I finally (oh God - did I really do this?) put the guppies down the garbage disposal. I will swear to Allie and Justin to my dying breath that they were already dead, but...

Now, another year later, my kid publishes a book (for school) and in his about-the-author page has the gumption to mention his 'dead pets'. I look like the worst parent ever.

Seriously? Who sends a live animal home as a take home gift without talking to the parents first?

I am, however, totally on board with kirstyb who suggested the pillow cases. At Allie and Justin's first slumber party they decorated pillow cases and it is the only goody bag item that didn't get eaten, thrown away a couple days later, or, sadly, garbage disposaled a year later. They still LOVE and USE the pillow cases.

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

MAKE.A.CRAFT!
Okay, I am the grandmaster of girls sleepovers....I let my kids pick the crafts, I bought the crap and they made a boatload of them over the years...plus it kept them BUSY! And offer lots of chocolate...they are never too young to be taught the importance of chocolate in life :) It is hard not to have fun with a mouthful of chocolate.

melinda marie said...

Did you say "irregardless?" A typo for sure!
I love your posts.... looking forward to hearing your surrogacy stories and seeing more scrpabook layouts! I wish that we could read the journaling... I'm sure the captions are priceless.
Melinda

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the pillowcase idea - my daughter "made" one at a birthday party a couple of years ago and she still uses it!! Now that my kids are older (11,12,13), I've had the kids pick out their favourite songs and then burn a CD to put in the goody bags. Add a chocolate bar, some gum and you're good to go...

Denise

Mom on the Run said...

I take my girls to the dollar store. We purchase a bag of some sort--a makeup bag or small purse. Then I have them choose several things that come in a pack of three, such as bath cubes, pencils, whatever. We divide uop the pack of three packs so that each bag has one or two things in it. For my girls the dollar store is a heavenly place...ofr me not so much.

Kelly said...

I like the pillowcase or CD idea. You could tye die pillowcases!! That would be fun!!

I'm a little sick after reading the guppie story above. The disposal?? That's just WRONG!!

heartshapedhedges said...

I like to do a craft, and have that be the "goodie"

We just decorated picture frames at Christine's bday last weekend.

For $1 at Michaels, you can get a wood frame. I painted mine all white ahead of time.

I got some stick on gems at the scrapbooking store, along with little flowers and buttons (and some glue dots)....it was easy, cheap and they turned out super cute.

You can take a picture of the group, and give it to them later to put in the frame.

Also, Target always has jewelry, cute socks, beauty products in the dollar bins....I like to load up on that stuff to put in goody bags too.

have fun!

Anonymous said...

Take pictures and to kill some time at night have the girls make a "scrapbook" page to frame and take home. Go buy dollar store frames! That is my ASSvice. :) They love to scrap at that age.

Hyzymom said...

No goodie bags, but here's an idea we did at one of Brenna's sleepover parties until we outlawed all birthday parties. Yes sir that's right... no birthday parties at our house anymore. Anyway, go to Walmart buy the cheapest white pillowcases you can find. I'm sure you already have permanent or fabric markers. The girls spend the evening decorating their pillowcases to take home. It's a party favor and a craft all rolled into one!! Have fun!

Amy said...

I say no to the goodie bags too. After all you aren't made of money. I'm sure you will go way overboard with every other aspect of the party. If the kids complain then you will know who NOT to invite next year.
My kids usually either lose or break their goodie bag stuff before they get home. So I see it as a waste of money.
I'm sure you will cave and gets the bags....I suggest a craft.
Have fun!!
Oh, I just remembered a party that I took my 7 year old son to last year. It was at a park and other than family, we were the only ones there. This family is 100% redneck but nice folks...just a little off. I had to use the restroom at their house because there wasn't one at the park. The house was close so that was nice except for the fact that the bathrom had no door. This was the good part for me. A car down the street burned to the ground...no kidding. And when it was time to go (thank God) I get in my van and try to start it but something was wrong with the alarm. You guessed it, the alarm would not stop!! It was awful and I just wanted to die. Someone finally unhooked a wire but my husband had to come help.
There was another party I took Luke to at a park and everyone was smoking pot!! This was a party for a 6 year old. So I'm thinking no more parties at parks with Luke!!

Anonymous said...

Doing a craft is a great idea. At one of my daughter's birthday parties, not a sleepover, the girls decorated plain tee shirts with fabric paint. They had a blast. Tie dying is also a good fun thing to do (Anonymous, I know that I spelled 'dying' wrong so there's no need to point it out). Good luck with the party!!!
Susan in MN

Anonymous said...

I had another idea that ties in with what somebody said about taking pictures of the girls and then framing them. Get frames that the kids can decorate themselves and let them go wild with the decorations.
Susan in MN

Anonymous said...

I don't usually EVER post but this time I had too. I say no goody bags. The fact is you will be spending enough (not just money; sanity is expensive too and not being able to get out of bed due to that migraine until the middle of next week will cost you not getting the painting done in the rental house for the new people moving in next week which you can't put a price on and not only is this one big run one sentence and not necessary to put in parenthesis I am anyway). So, either start a trend of NOT sending home those dreaded goody bags because while the ideas of cheap nail polish and hair crap is good...... what about the kids whose parents won't let them wear nail polish or are allergic too it (yes, it is possible) or the kids that have hair too short to put into clips in the first place? So, how about a candy bar, a tooth brush (just kidding) and a $5 Walmart gift card (something different) or $5 to a book store (if there is one close) and than the parents could either by their ouw crap for their own kids or buy the, a book to perhaps, read? JMO! And most likely cheaper than all the crap that you would have to buy to put in the bags anyway. Get one of the holders for each child and write their name on the front and be sure to tell them not to let the door hit them in the ass on the way out! And, have you ever read such a grammatically poorer (is that even a wrote) comment in your entire life (do me a favor and don't answer that, please)? And to think I am a teacher with a Masters in Reading. "I am definitely NOT Smarter than a 5th Grader." Good luck and hope you feel better (in advance of course for the migraine that will keep you in bed until the middle of next week which has probably already started).

GOOD LUCK!

Jodi (IL)

Hopefully this is not a bunch of repeat suggestions since I have only read the first few comments so far. But just poorly written. You get the drift though, right?

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

I love the idea of the picture and putting it in a frame, but the crafts sound good too, so how about having the girls make their own frames for the picture? The story about the expensive goody bag made me laugh. Whatever happened to the little trinkets that come in big bags and you just dump a handful in the little bag? I remember that we used to spend about $10 max on bday gifts, and recently a friend's daughter had a party and one of her friends gave her $50 in a card! My friend was shocked to say the least. I guess by the time Raegan has friend parties the norm will be up to $75- YIKES!

wmarcero said...

On my daughter's 10th birthday we made CD's for all of the girls. My daughter picked out 10 of her favorite songs and we burned them on CD's for all of her friends. Easy and cheap and the girls loved it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie, good luck with that sleep-over party. They are my not so favorite things to do. But I have held 1 or 2 for my daughter. At the last birthday sleep-over we had, I gave the girls a dollar store eye (sleep) mask, it was satin and sequency, very cute. Than I made up a bag of cheap nail polish and nail decals for them to paint their toes that evening. They had a blast! NOTE*** if you do this, put down an old sheet for them to sit on while doing this. Some kids are very messy! I was sure glad I did. I think I spent $2.00+ on the party bags. Hope this helps, have a great night!!
Brandi

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband thought up a game for my daughter's birthday party when she was in middle school. In the toy aisle at the grocery store, we picked out some of those sponge animals in capsules. They have a couple different kinds, one year it was farm animals and safari animals. Get one of each. Then he went to Axman (a surplus crap store in town) and picked out lots of goofy prizes. We mixed up all of the capsules from both packages and each kid picked a capsule. Then they guessed which animal it was and which package it came from. Then they dropped it into a bowl of water to see if they were right. If they got the right package, they got a small prize. If they also guessed the right animal, they got a BIG BIG prize. One year, it was a Roaring Dinosaur that only cost four bucks. We got them so worked up about the whole thing that they loved the crappy little prizes. They had so much fun that every year (since the BunnyGirl still insists on having a birthday party even though she's almost 18-I think this year, I'll just give her $25 and send her to the casino)she and her friends still have to play the game and they still remember the year we didn't have a BIG BIG prize and Dad coughed up a $20 to the winner! A lot of the prizes were left at our house the next morning, but who cares? They had a blast playing the game and remember it several years later. Plus, we only spent about $20 on all the prizes, so it didn't matter that I threw all the abandoned prizes away after they left! Good luck, have fun.
Sheila-Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kristie-
When my daughter went to a sleepover party, the girls decorated plain white pillowcase with fabric paint and came home with them as a party favors....They were pretty cute! Good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot: to waste more time, have each girl pick her capsule, write down what her guess is, then make a big production of doing the water thing one kid at a time. They all stood around our kitchen watching each one to see what it would be. It was a great way to kill an hour of party time!
Sheila

DebH said...

I love the pillow case idea and will use it this year. Last year I bought cheap T shirts at the dollar store and fabric paint at Wal Mart and let them decorate their own T shirts and that was there goody bag. Neat thing was seeing them still wear those T shirts to this day! TIP: they have to dry over night and read the washing/drying instructions and pass along to the parents.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,

This is Jenny's sister in GA. Hope you are well. My daughter is just 7 months old, so I'm not into the party scene yet.

However, I have cracked up at this "irregardless" discussion. So...I googled the word and found it on wikipedia. Here's the link if your interested.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless

Seems its up for debate...so I say, go for it.

Glad to hear you are doing well in OK.

Nikki

The Running Girl said...

I'm sick of the goodie bags, too, and I think once kids get to a certain age, you can do away with them. If you feel you need to do something, have a "craft" of some sort (maybe a wood picture frame they can decorate). They can do this to pass time and entertain themselves during the party and then they have something to take home as well. Good luck!
Briana

Sandie in MN said...

I haven't read any of the other comments yet, so forgive if I am repeating here-- how about taking a group picture and then (since you'll have ALL night and all!) putting them into little frames.. or having them decorate their own frames with puffy paint? You could also do the standby fleece tie blankets or put a little twist and make them pillows. Of course, that requires all that fleece and being as I have never set foot in a Fabric Store, might be pricey. How about a nice kick out the door in the morning?! :)

On a side note, my daughter is turning 4 this weekend and will be having a tea party with 4 friends. I bought china tea cups and saucers from the thrift store (60 cents each!) and will send them home with the one they use during the party. What a 4 year will do with a piece of china, I'm not sure, but I refuse, refuse! to fill one of those bags with crap from china.

Alisa said...

I've never been one to bow to convention. I think you're doing plenty. I wouldn't worry about goodie bags.
Better than goodie bags, you're giving those parents a night of no puberty driven tantrums. If I were them, I'd be bowing down and buying you all the diet Dr. P I could find. And Advil. Lots of both.

Anonymous said...

I'm 21, and I remember going to birthday parties and not really expecting a goody bag. If we got one, I thought it was nice, but I don't remember it being a something that important. My first sleepover was for my 8th birthday, and we decorated white tee-shirts with fabric paint, which seems to be a popular idea here!

Ann from St. Peter MN said...

I have to agree with the folks who voted NO tot he goodie bags. Sooner or later you are going to have to phase them out, and an over night party is the best time to do it! They are getting a lot of bang for their buck with such a long party - let it go!

Jenine said...

Some of the online music downloading sites allow you to burn the songs to a CD up to 10 times. Maybe you could burn some of your own music to CD's for the girls. It might take up some time, but it should be free, or not cost very much if you need to purchase a few extra songs. It's not really a "goddie bag" but it's a nice memento of the party.

Jeanette, no longer giving goody bags in Ga. said...

ASSVICE ALERT:

Who is the bastard that invented goody bags anyway? I say NO MORE GOODY BAGS!

Let's start a new trend and STOP giving goody bags.

Starting....NOW!

krunck said...

I don't like goody bags OR the idea of them! What we have done in the past is time set aside for some lame craft and they get to take it home. For example, foam door knob holders or stamping greeting cards etc.

Anonymous said...

What about a CD with the TOP TEN song from each year of their lives. So go with Brayden and select eleven songs. That would be quite cool and not hard to figure out. Start at the beginning with a song from the year she was born and one from ever year after that to whatever is the most popular song now in 2008?????

The kids might find that cool! Especially, if they know that these are songs "Through the Years!"

Anonymous said...

The CD is a great idea! My 11 year old came home from a b-day party with a mix of dance tunes last year and it was a hit! In fact, her 9 year old brother kept stealing the disk! If you feel the need to be crafty - the girls can decorate the cd case with their names in marker/puffy paint, etc.
Diane

Grandma J said...

I love some of the ideas in the comment section.
painting t-shirts
painting pillow cases
picture frames

Another one is if you have a Kareoke machine, record all their singing and put it on CDs for them to take home. That should be a real kick-in-the-ass when they go to their high school reunions.

Anyway, sending them home empty handed is fine too.

Natalie said...

Stand strong, girl. Just say no to goodie bags. If you do, I will, too! Be our leader! Together we can change the face of birthday parties!

Natalie said...

Stand strong, girl. Just say no to goodie bags. If you do, I will, too! Be our leader! Together we can change the face of birthday parties!

Natalie said...

Oh, look. I'm such a moron I made it post twice. That just means I really, really like you.

Lisa L said...

I thought about the goodie bag thing. I loved them as a kid, but we only got candy (maybe that's an Aussie thing?) I would've died and gone to heaven if it had also included hair stuff, nail polish, lip gloss etc. I say go for it maybe this one last time.

Anonymous said...

We decorated pillowcases with fabric markers once and that was their take-home thing. And, I've also just taken pictures of the girls and put them in a cheap frame for the girls to take home. Or, stand your ground and don't give any... I'll back you up. :)

Lisa C.

lizinsumner said...

For once I'm glad that I only have a son, and no daughters! Some great ideas, everyone - I'm impressed. Oh, and IRREGARDLESS, Happy Birthday Brayden!!!!!!!!!!!! (and good luck Kristie).....oh, almost forgot - no goodie bags - children need to start learning at some age that they don't need to be totally catered to.....

Anna in MN said...

I do birthday parties at the local nature center - so I have seen around 3 a weekend. Everyone does it a different way, and as many state, there is no correct way. Some cool ideas I have seen thus far:

*Instead of presents, the birthday child picks an organization (ie. zoo, nature center, charity, homeless shelter etc.) for which the kids bring items for. The "gift" for the kids is then a certificate stating their good deed, or perhaps a tour of the facility, or just a big thank you.

*In terms of present opening, many people have told me that they never have the kid open presents in front of the guests (especially the younger birthday kids) to avoid disappointment, unnecessary comments, fighting over the toys, etc.

*One instead of gift bags took a photo of each child with the birthday kid and put the photo in a frame (homemade) and sent it with the Thank You note.

*One had the kids make play dough or oobleck and they got to take some home in a baggie

*Instead of a giftbag a few have chosen a craft, in which the kids take home

*And of course, many, including my own, considered the birthday itself a treat for everyone (who doesn't enjoy pizza, cake and a sleepover??).

I never complained whether or not I received a gift bag, and instead just enjoyed being at the party. And for the gift bags I did receive, I am sure I tossed it aside a day or two later, no matter how "cool" the items were. Kids=short attention spans, and majority already have everything they need or want at home anyways.

Laura in Michigan said...

Well, Brayden is a little old for this, but it would work for Kellen or Kendrie. Whenever we had sleepovers, I would buy each kid a cheap flashlight. You know the kind that comes in a two pack with the batteries included, usually at Target. I'd put their name on it, and they would play with them all night. Then take them home... and if I was feeling daring, I might take them out for a "pajama hike" with their flashlights.

Krista said...

Oh I despise goodie bags and the crappy little plastic junk people usually put in them. I too have given into my dislike for them and sent some to school. I try to put stuff that they can actually use like pencils, hot cocoa, and stuff like that. I would definately "just say no" to goodie bags for your situation!! I usually lurk but I have issues with goodie bags, lol.

Melissa in CA said...

Okay, so I'm a little late...and the fact that I'm in CA probably means that you're in mid-squeal right now. So all I have to say is GOOD LUCK!!!!

feefifoto said...

When did party favors take off? I just linked to you from my blog: http://blog.feefifoto.com/2008/02/post.html.

Hope the party was great!