Don't Do Me a Favor at Birthday Parties
Is it just me, or have birthday parties gotten completely out of hand? I mean, it's not enough that you've invited a hundred kids over to celebrate. It's not enough that you have to feed them and entertain them—with a $100-an-hour magician or a $75 bouncy-house rental. It's not enough that you're spending 40 bucks on the character cake of the moment. Then, to add insult to serious financial injury, as they're walking out the door, all hopped up on sugar and bouncy-house goodness, you're expected to give them presents!
What happened to the days when kids used to bring presents for the birthday child and were happy that they'd get cake and ice cream at the end of the day? Why do I have to be so appreciative that other kids are coming to my kid's party that I've got to reward them with gifts? "Here, I know it was torture spending the day with my son at his circus-themed party complete with cotton candy and carnival games. Please accept this consolation prize."
This trend of party bags smacks of overindulged kids and the current touchy-feely, we-don't-want-to-hurt-anyone's-feelings parenting I'm so sick of. So some kid's a little jealous that Jimmy got all the gifts. For heaven's sake, it's Jimmy's birthday. And guess what? You'll have one, too.
Or maybe it's the result of so much thinly disguised parental competition. Sarah's mom gave out ice-cream-cone coupons in the gift bags? I better one-up her with movie tickets. What's next? Tiffany boxes at birthday parties?
I'm calling for an all-out ban on party bags. At your kid's next party, send the guests away with a smile and a warm "thanks for coming!" And when they extend their greedy little hands expectantly, high-five 'em and wave goodbye.