The Birthday Party
Last weekend I took my youngest daughter to a birthday party. Like so many parties before, it was not held at a home, but a fun location. This time it centered around a bowling alley. While I have always admired an old-fashioned home party, believe me– this DSP certainly can appreciate the ease of enjoying a child’s big day where you are not responsible for the clean-up.
But just as we were wading through the discarded wrapping paper to politely thank our host and head for the door I heard, “hold-on, don’t forget your goody bag!”
Ahhh, The “Goody Bag”
What I hate to admit was I hadn’t forgotten about the goody bag because I had been reminded of it since the day my daughter discovered she would be going to a birthday party.
Time and time again, I tried to relate a more responsible message regarding birthdays: the party was about sharing in someone else’s celebration— about giving a gift, not getting one.
I know I can’t be the only parent who would like to give the goody bag the boot. Let’s face it, has anyone ever received anything other than those itty bitty plastic favors that end-up at the bottom of the toy bin only to be tossed-out when the kids aren’t looking.
And what message does a goody bag send to our kids? The very same one they get when trophies are given to every team, rather than just the winning team. Basically, you’re just as deserving as the child whose birthday it is, when the truth is you’re not– at least not that particular day.
This is not to say we don’t all want to make our children feel special, but it’s just as important to teach them to allow others to have their special day. Be happy for them. Give a gift with no expectations of anything in return.
A Lesson Learned
I must admit, even I have yet to say “no” to giving a goody gift. But I have always prided myself on giving something kids can use— a coloring book & crayons, for example. This year I am taking a stand and saying “no” to the goody bag. The kids may be disappointed, but I have a feeling parents will be delighted to ditch the expense and be given a chance to share with their kids why we give a gift in the first place.
How about you– are you ready to bag the goody bag?
View all posts by: DSP Nurse Kris.