party favors

The holidays are over but in my house we have a new season of celebrations upon us. With kids birthdays in February, March and May It is officially birthday season!  Let the planning begin!

My kids are still fairly young so planning the perfect party is still a big deal.  Everything from the theme of the party to the location for the party to what activities will take place all get mulled over (and over and over…) until we come to our final decision.

A really big part of the planning (and running around to a million stores) that can’t take place until after the location, activities and theme are identified is the assembly of the goody bags!  The bag has to be the perfect color and the junk (yes, I said junk!) inside the bags has to fit the theme perfectly as well.  This usually means at least an order from Oriental Trading Company and a trip to Party City!

So, now with the first birthday of the season just around the corner I’m wondering – do I have to give party favors?

The Junk

We usually go with the typical party favor stuff – plastic kazoos, mini bubbles, bracelets, plastic jumping frogs, bumble gum, lollipops – you name it.  So, now that we (okay, I) have started really trying to be more environmentally friendly in our decisions, I have to wonder where all of this stuff ends up after kazoos mysteriously disappear (after driving parents crazy) or candy has been eaten.

The bah humbug truth is that it all probably gets dumped straight into the T-R-A-S-H!  And, it will be all my fault!  🙂  I’m not 100% sure but my gut tells me that little plastic frogs can’t go into the recycling bin.

The Bag

There is also the actual bag part of the goody bag.  Depending on the theme of the party and what color and look we are going for we have used both paper and plastic cellophane bags.  Of course these have to be tied up and/or decorated with curling ribbon (not recyclable) as well.

It’s pretty likely that these bags did and will end up in the trash, especially the plastic ones.  I have to make that strike 2 against the party favor.

The Need

I am 100% sure that none of the kids I have ever given a goody bag to was actually in need of more toys, candy, etc.  My own kids have arrived home from parties and tossed their goody bags aside completely forgetting about them.  They were left for me to sort though, decide how much candy to keep and then figure out how to best dispose of the rest of it. In short, they did not miss them one bit. For me this speaks to our society’s mindset of always needing more stuff.

I say strike 3! Not that I’m counting!  🙂

The Decision

Obviously it’s up to you to decide what to do about party favors and whether or not they should be a part of your next birthday celebration.  Maybe I’ve brought this whole topic up because I’m feeling guilty for even considering not handing them out later this month?

Despite that, I think the good feeling I’ll have from making an environmentally friendly choice and not handing them out will outweigh the guilt I feel for not sending kids off with a party favor in hand.  Can’t wait to see the look on their faces!  🙂