Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not-so-goody bags

I recently read an article about the god-forsaken trend of giving out goody bags at birthday parties. Yes, we, as a consumer-focused society, have decided it is not enough to have a birthday party. Nope, we have to give gifts to the guests. That's right. We get to host the party, provide games, entertainment, food and cake. Then we have to thank the kids who came to celebrate by giving them a gift. They get a gift for coming to a birthday party! Try explaining this bizarre ritual to someone of your parents' generation. My dad asked me about it once. In my ever-so-diplomatic way, I explained that you buy a bunch of little junk and candy and put it in a bag. He was stumped and horrified. Now, I have seen some good goody bags - a puzzle or a book. But, typically, it is an assortment of junky little trinkets and candy. Most moms hijack the bag and toss most of the stuff. I would like to find the sadist who invented this custom and relegate them to purgatory. They will be forced to spend eternity trying to sort millions of mismatched socks. I also don't understand throwing a mini-wedding or bat/bar mitzvah for a small child. For the first 5 years of Sara's deprived upbringing, she was deluded into thinking a birthday party was when your family came over, you got a couple gifts and some cake. We even splurged and got some balloons to add to the festivities. I guess all the money we saved will be spent on her future therapy.

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