We arrive at the kiddie birthday party ready to enjoy festivities. Once the cake is eaten, my kids inquire about their gift. Just when I tell them there might not be one, the little baggie filled with goodies shows up.
These bags are typically filled with candy or small toys (or both). My kids, three and five, then ask to have the candy after they have just loaded up on juice, pizza and cake. The toys are initially exciting but eventually end up, unused, in their already-crowded toy bins.
Whenever I go to kiddie birthday parties I find myself asking the same two questions: When did providing party favors become the norm? And what are we teaching our kids by providing them with gifts at someone else’s birthday party?
I could be the only mom who feels this way but I don’t think so. Every time I discuss my issue with party favors with other moms, they always agree with me. They admit that they dish out the goods because they don’t want to be the only parent who disappoints. I was even encouraged to write about it in the last mom discussion I had!
And to make it clear, I’m not talking about the moms who really want (even enjoy) cool party favors at their child’s party. Like my friend who included pirate paraphernalia for the theme party we went to. I understand there are the creative parents out there but the difference is their heart is totally in it.
I think a majority of parents buy favors because it has become the expectation — and guilt is the only thing keeping this trend alive. So in addition to planning the party, buying gifts and food and sending thank you cards after the event, we also have to worry about clever gifts for all the pint-size guests.
Is this really what we want?
Big A’s 6th birthday party is around the corner and I’m taking a stand by forgoing the party favors.
Anyone want to join me?