I'm torn on the whole goody bag thing.
Before I weigh in on that, here's an important side note. In general, one of the unwritten rules among my mom friends is that we don't judge each other's parenting choices and occasional goofs. We understand that we're all just doing the best we can as we let our kids eat some pretzels that just fell on the ground. And those other so-called "perfect moms" are probably drinking martinis out of their travel mugs at the playground in the afternoons (not that we're judging them.)
Planning a party is one of those choices. It's nice to know you won't be judged no matter how much of a raging disaster your child's party turns out to be, especially since the children always have a great time no matter what. Parents spend hours trying to plan the ideal party -- the kids would have fun if you took them to an abandoned warehouse and handed each of them a super ball (Damn - wish I thought of that idea a little sooner.)
But back to the goody bags -- you know, those little bags of useless plastic crap and stale candy that get handed out at kids parties? Should you or shouldn't you? There doesn't seem to be any kind of choice that anyone can make about those that really feels right. Here are a few thoughts on this pressing issue:
-The kids love them. You could literally pick up little pieces of trash from the ground and put them in a cute bag with a few Starbursts and the children would be totally thrilled.
-Nothing says "Time to go home" quite like that goody bag. The kids might be having the time of their lives destroying your house, but once they see those little sacks of loot, they are outta there.
-They are a simple pleasure of childhood. The days when they will not satisfied with a little bag of cheap trinkets are fast approaching, and when our kids are begging for cell phones in I'm guessing second grade, we'll be wishing for these days when they were perfectly happy with a spiderman ring and some pixie sticks.
-The contents of those bags end up everywhere. I feel I should include a note in the bag apologizing in advance to the parents who will find that half-eaten lollypop permanently fused to the floor mats of their car in a few months.
-Those little imported plastic toys are probably made from some deadly secret combination of kerosene and lead.
-Goody bags bring out the worst possible manners in children. The shyest kid in the world has no trouble whatsoever screaming "Where's my goody bag?!" And if there is no goody bag, the nasty looks those little cherubs toss over their shoulders on the way out are truly chilling.
One year I attempted to make a little homemade item to hand out instead of a goody bag. As a result of this, my daughter reminded me 8 months in advance that she wanted a Halloween costume "from the store."
So - there are no good choices. And there are no bad choices. Hope you enjoy that spiderman ring.