Wednesday, August 10, 2011
What Is It With All The Party Favors???
I might seem ungrateful - but really, I don't get the deal with party favors. Kids parties I'm talking about.
Growing up in Europe I never heard about such a thing - it was a friend's birthday, you showed up with a gift and enjoyed the party and that was it.
Of course I don't know whether or not that has changed overseas over the years, but I have to admit that I liked that so much better than the parties I've attended here.
Being very health-conscious and green, it's hard enough to let my kids eat whatever is served at most parties (that is, in most cases, lots and lots of candies, pizza and an assortment of cookies and crackers). Live and let live, right?
But then go home with a goodie-bag filled with more candy?! As my kids are getting older, it's getting harder and harder to explain to them why we can't eat those goodies in the near future (same night!).
Or go home with a goodie-bag filled with some, hm, goodies, I guess - you know what I mean. Stuff that nobody really needs, and yet kids get so excited to get it (just to look at it/play with it for a moment and then it lands in the land-of-the-forgotten.
I really, really don't mean to step on anyone's toes here, as I understand people just do what they grew up with and they just want to do something nice for their little guests. I get that part, even though I also know some folks (from Europe, you guessed it!) who just don't do goodie-bags at all.
So what is my advice?
Well, if you feel like you have to give something to your little guests, think about something health- and earth friendly, meaning don't go to a 99 cent store and buy these toys that are just so bad for the environment (just think about it for a minute, and you'll know what I mean).
There are so many things you can do. If you're crafty, make something personalized. I belong to the group of people who has to give party favors, even though I don't have real parties.
Recently I have done toilet paper wraps filled with a marker, stickers, bracelets that I received as a gift a long time ago and an (organic :-) lollipop, and also I did some personalized place mats made from reused fabrics and unusable clothes (will post about that project later).
If you need some more ideas for self-made favors, check out The Crafty Crow, there are numerous projects even if you're not that crafty.
Let's say you just don't have the time/energy/mood to make something.
Well, how about going through your kids bookshelf and give away some of those that he/she isn't interested in? We all have some in the shelf, and giving away a used book is as green as you can get.
Seedlings for planting are also a great idea and hopefully get kids into nature.
For older kids you might want to think about an activity (make a picture frame out of clothespins, stones, or whatever material, etc., which could be the favor.
Or simply think about something to eat - but stick to one or two items and try to go as healthy as you can (yeah right). Maybe a pack of little chocolates, individually wrapped (sigh) and a fancy lollipop?
I just have the great hope that things can change once we all start to think about our actions and I hope I inspired some folks to make some changes.
Please share your ideas about this topic with us, I'd love to hear from you!