No more goodie bags

Elysha, Clara and I attended the birthday party of our friends’ three year old daughter today. It was an art-themed party.

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While the 1:00 start time on a Sunday was less than ideal, especially in the midst of an NFL season, I was extremely pleased to leave with party without a meaningless, useless, wasteful after-party goodie bag for my daughter.

What a pleasant change of pace.

In fact, I hereby call for an end to all goodie bags and similar parting gifts at children’s birthday parties.

Will you join me?

The problems with these goody bags are numerous.

First, it’s not my kid’s birthday, damn it. She shouldn’t be coming home with an assortment of candy and trinkets that I will invariably be throwing away in less than a week. Not getting a gift when it’s not your birthday is one of life’s little lessons. It needs to be learned. Stop indulging every child’s desire to acquire junk.

I’ve been told by more than one mother that they felt obligated to provide a goody bag for their guests because their own child had been given a goody bag at previous parties.

I am here to assure you that goody bag reciprocity is stupid.

It reminds me of the kind of adherence to peer pressure that caused kids in my high school days to wear parachute pants and Member’s Only jackets.

As stupid as these kids looked, they put those ridiculous clothing items on every day because everyone else was wearing them.

But this is not high school. Just because Sally Jane up the street handed out a bag of crap at the end of her child’s birthday party doesn’t mean you need to do the same.

There are also those parents who have raised the after-party goody bag to an art form, presenting children with personalized gifts that only similarly insane parents could appreciate. These are the goody bags that look as if they required massive amounts of planning, money, ribbon and hot glue.

In the end, no matter how much time you spend filling your otherwise empty life with good bag fabrication, that stupid bag is going to end up in a garbage can.

So just stop it. Stop it now.

Let’s all agree to reduce the amount of sugar and petroleum-based trinkets that enter our homes by dispensing with this ridiculous tradition as my friends did today.

More important, let us also agree to stop doing stupid stuff just because everyone else is doing stupid stuff.

Can I get a “Huzzah!”?