18 answers

Birthday Party Gift Bags

Im starting to plan a party and im curious about the 'gift bag' for guests. We never had this when growing up. I know its normal to do nowadays but is it odd to anyone else to give gifts to the people attending the party. What happened to just coming to have a good time?

Im strapped too... last year doing snacks with drinks and cake was close to $100. That is not even the gifts for my kid! Its horrible to think that I cant give a party because the gift bags take it over budget. I know its not what other people think, but Im curious what other parents thoughts of attending a party without getting a gift bag?? When we get one its useless stuff anyway.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I loathe gift bags!! Don't worry about it. Maybe they can make a little foamie craft or something as part of teh party activity, and that can be their take home thank you gift.

Last year, I bought mini playdoughs, there was like a package of 10 for $2. I tied them individually in cute ribbon and handed them out as a thank you favor. Party favors for 10 kids was less than 3 bucks, and they loved it. You could even do that with those mini bubbles, or just like a little baggie with a cookie or some popped popcorn in it.

3 moms found this helpful

Gift bags are a racket and not needed. But if you want to do something the past couple years in the gift bags we have put big chocolate chip cookie and a note saying thanks for coming. that's it. not junk from the dollar store, nothing to go in the landfills. the only other items we have done is sidewalk chalk which you can get a package of like 20 pc for a couple bucks. but we like the cookies best.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I loathe gift bags!! Don't worry about it. Maybe they can make a little foamie craft or something as part of teh party activity, and that can be their take home thank you gift.

Last year, I bought mini playdoughs, there was like a package of 10 for $2. I tied them individually in cute ribbon and handed them out as a thank you favor. Party favors for 10 kids was less than 3 bucks, and they loved it. You could even do that with those mini bubbles, or just like a little baggie with a cookie or some popped popcorn in it.

3 moms found this helpful

Gift bags are a racket and not needed. But if you want to do something the past couple years in the gift bags we have put big chocolate chip cookie and a note saying thanks for coming. that's it. not junk from the dollar store, nothing to go in the landfills. the only other items we have done is sidewalk chalk which you can get a package of like 20 pc for a couple bucks. but we like the cookies best.

2 moms found this helpful

I think gift bags are ridiculous! But I have done so just because I wasn't strong enough to say no. The older the kids got, the less I did them. Instead I would do other things....crafts they take home, helium balloons I decorated with sent home with each child, etc. I wish I had been strong enough when when my kids were younger to just say no as I was strapped for cash! I finally did when my son turned 11, is diabetic and I was not buying candy or "junk". Not one child noticed!!!!! Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly, I'd be THRILLED if our kids didn't get goody bags. They're always filled with cheap toys that break right away or candy I don't want them to have.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with CAWriterMom completely. I hate goodies bags. Skip it and have no regrets!

1 mom found this helpful

Let them take home the party hat, or decorate something and let that be their take-home (ie - decorate the construction tool belt, take that home. Or decorate the cookies with icing and take home the extras).

I don't expect a bag. I don't want a bag. I think it's all b/c the kids expect one? Let the kids take a balloon home and they'll be happy. Save your money.

1 mom found this helpful

I've responded to many of these types of posts. You may want to do a search for more responses.

HATE HATE HATE goodie bags. We didn't have them when we were growing up.

You offer your guests food, entertainment, and a social environment for their enjoyment and in return they give you a gift. Then you send a thank you note. That should be enough.

If you feel you must give something then skip the "goodie bag" and give something that doesn't get thrown in the garbage. You can usually find something at the dollar store. Other suggestions...
bubbles
coloring book w/crayons
book
beach ball
sidewalk chalk

1 mom found this helpful

Maybe something from the dollar store, like a colorful ball, a pack of stickers or even a pack of crayons(at Target they are like $.69 now). It can be something they can use for school like a decorated pencil or something.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, if you are not sure and also have questions on your party, Call Butterfly Dreams, theme parties for kids, they bring everything including the gift bags and they have so many parties to choose from. They come to you and they travel. check out there website: www.ButterflyDreamsParty.com
or call ###-###-####, they are amazing.

After reading all the responses, I just had to laugh at how many moms hate gift bags, but we continue to give them(including me :) ). I did stop buying the cheap toys that break as soon as you open them. This last party for my daughter(7) I gave $5 Barnes and Noble gift cards. We have moved to smaller parties, so there were only 6 kids invited. In the past, I bought one of the small crayola paint sets for each child(about $2). Most of my friends have plenty of money and go crazy.....which I think is silly. I'm going to be stronger next year and say no. If anyone decides not to come because of it, that is their choice.

I don't think they're necessary. I'm actually grateful when we go to a party and DON'T get one. If you don't want to do gift bags or they do not fit into your party budget, then don't do them. And don't feel bad about it:-)

I think this is ridiculous and started by moms who want to "one up" each other. I never give gift bags and never will. Don't do anything you feel obligated to do. My kids would care less if they did't get one. Good luck!

Hello!
I personally think they are a HUGE waste of money. I end up throwing the bags out when my kids go to bed. What I do for my kids party's is a piñata. I fill it w/candy & hand our goodie bags that they can fill once the piñata is broken. Both of my kids birthdays fall shortly after candy holidays, so I get it 50% off.
I've been to parties where they give out embroidered items, which is really nice. But I don't think it's necessary.
H.

Updated

Hello!
I personally think they are a HUGE waste of money. I end up throwing the bags out when my kids go to bed. What I do for my kids party's is a piñata. I fill it w/candy & hand our goodie bags that they can fill once the piñata is broken. Both of my kids birthdays fall shortly after candy holidays, so I get it 50% off.
I've been to parties where they give out embroidered items, which is really nice. But I don't think it's necessary.
For my sons 3rd birthday, we did a pirate theme. I went to Michaels& got plain wooden treasure chests. I also got bags of huge gems, wood glue, & stickers for them to decorate the treasure chests. This was a craft for the kids to do & also their "goody bag".
H.

I try not to spend much on gift bags. I just usually buy a big pack of stickers and give a few in the bags, a healthy snack like fruit strips, pencils. Pretty much anything you can buy in a big pack.

My daughter just went to a birthday party where they decorated little purses and that was their goody that they took home. So maybe you could do something like that.

I always tried to stay away from the goody bags when I could, but I did do something along the lines of the theme of our party. We had a Luau, and each child got their own beach ball and hoola hoop. (dollar store finds) At our son's pirate party we gave each child an eye patch and a foam sword, also dollar store finds. We did a spongebob party, and I found some little pads of paper and SB pencils. They were actually given as "prizes" for games or as part of the game, like the hoola hoops. I have done bags in the past, and they are so expensive. I have found that there have been many times I have spent more on the party bag and contents that the partygoer spent on the girt. LOL! Not that the gift is the reason for coming to our party, but the party bag shouldn't be either.......... right?

I hate the bags also. I wish everyone could agree to do away with it. They drive me crazy, especially when you have boys and girls and kids of different ages. Even if you can get away with $1-2 a bag that adds up fast on top of all other expenses. But I feel like as long as others do I have to do them as well.

I hate them too!!
Most of the bday parties we attend are with the same group of friends and I am trying to make goody bags go bye bye.

Or at least make the goody be ONE good goody. I like the cookie idea-except it is unhealthy. Us moms need to just get a backbone and NOT do it so that not doing it is the new norm.

I've always given into the gift bag thing for kids coming to my boys' parties, though once I gave each kid a book instead of a bag of "useless stuff" (I agree, btw). I've tried to make the fillers something useful - a mini thing of playdoh, pencil/mini notepad, bubbles (depends on the age) - that kind of thing. I'm actually relieved when we go to parties & walk away with nothing, most of it goes in the trash anyway. The party itself is its own treat: the guests are getting to have a fun playdate, eat cake/ice cream, sometimes pizza/other food, maybe obliterate a pinata - really, that s/b enough. When you send thank you notes, you can enclose copies of pictures featuring them having fun at the party. If they're the age where you'd do a craft, they can make a frame & put their name on the back; when you have the pictures ready, you can stick their party picture in it.

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