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To really resent doing party bags for my dc's bday parties??

(144 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Mon 05-Aug-13 09:10:53

It annoys the hell out of me!
This week we are having a bday party for 4yo DS and 8yo DD (bad planning from us a few years back, I know!)
Money is tight and we are already hiring a bouncy castle, feeding the party guests and entertaining them with games, etc. for 2-3 hours. And feeding the parents of the 4yo guests as well, if last year is anything to go by, as they all decided to stay and tuck into the buffet...
I don't mind any of that, but I really resent the custom of then having to present the guests with presents in the form of party bags for even turning up!
Maybe it's because I'm not from this country and I know that in my home country the concept of party bags simply doesn't exist (at least it didn't years ago...maybe that's changed now though?!)
Or maybe I'm just a miserable so and so... hmmm [hmmm]

bumblebeaver Mon 05-Aug-13 10:11:50

I was impressed when we went to a party recently for a neighbour's DD where we made bead necklaces. Tonnes of beads and bit of thread set out on a blanket. One girl asked for her party bag and was told her necklace was her gift.

I have to admit I'm feeling the pressure though, DS will be 4 soon, and I am planning a really nice party for our friends and his and don't really want to do bags. I may be a wimp but I really don't want all the children asking me for party bags and having to tell them there aren't any - it seems to h. Very annoying.

Tailtwister Mon 05-Aug-13 10:18:15

If you don't want to do party bags then just don't do them! I don't see the problem with giving the children a piece of cake to take away and if you're really fussed a balloon or something.

As for food for parents...you would think they are old enough to ensure they eat before they come and I certainly wouldn't be serving (or expecting to be served) alcohol at a child's party either!

CamperWidow Mon 05-Aug-13 10:25:34

My eldest is having a Pirates and Pixies party and we are making wands/hooks/hats/necklaces and those are going in the bags with a piece of cake. No plastic tat and things the kids have made will be more appreciated all round!

TheSecondComing Mon 05-Aug-13 10:33:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bababababoom Mon 05-Aug-13 10:40:26

Don't do it. The kids never play with the stuff inside them, it all gets thrown away, and it's always full of sweets the parents don't want them to eat anyway. Lucky dip is a better idea. Last year we did party bags, but made a little colouring book to go in there - and a piece of cake. That was plenty. And we decorated brown paper lunch bags.

I'd never feed the adults either - parents do stay, but it's a children's party and I've never provided food, or expected it. If they want to pick at the food when the kids have finished, that's fine.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 05-Aug-13 10:52:06

I loved doing the party bags but the venue where DS has had his party the last few years does their own bags and I have missed doing them.

It doesn't have to be tat, i have done bubble wands, inflatable balls, travel games, coloured bubble bath etc. Few sweets, cake and stickers and the children love them.

haggisaggis Mon 05-Aug-13 10:52:26

I don't do party bags as such - just give the kids a wee gift to signify home time - it could be a bracelet or a small toy. I don't put cake in the party bag either - it gets eaten at the party.

TheSecondComing Mon 05-Aug-13 11:35:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 05-Aug-13 11:43:38

At least the balls can be played with and the travel connect 4 etc are great for long car journeys. Party bag tat is those fortune fish, stretchy men etc. Things that dont get played with and just thrown away (although i save them to give away at halloween lol). Id rather spend money on one decent thing that is likely to get played with.

mumnotmachine Mon 05-Aug-13 11:44:56

I used to buy the Lucky Bags instead of doing party bags, they were a pound each and saved sooo much hassle!

thegreylady Mon 05-Aug-13 12:11:49

Go to Home Bargains or Pound Shop and get bubbles,lollipops,bouncy balls or stickers.I used to make napkins into 'Dick Whittington bags' with a balloon a few sweets and some stickers.Fix to a pencil with elastic or thread or a hair bobble for girls-very cheap and cheerful smile

KirjavaTheCat Mon 05-Aug-13 12:14:10

Party bags aren't mandatory!

FreudiansSlipper Mon 05-Aug-13 12:16:23

a friend of mine wrapped up a piece of birthday cake and there was a lucky dip much better idea and cheaper. i shall be doing this next time

Dackyduddles Mon 05-Aug-13 12:23:48

I don't know it matters so long as you aren't sniffy if your child doesn't receive one at a party they attend....

bluefox37 Mon 05-Aug-13 12:27:16

Most kids tend to expect them but I find with the contents that my wee ones have received , end up in the bin or broken after a day or so.A bit of cake and a punch ball balloon seems to go down well.

500internalerror Mon 05-Aug-13 12:29:11

Hand held windmill thingy, with a flump sellotaped to the stick. Cake in the other hand.

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Mon 05-Aug-13 12:30:26

For DS1's 5th birthday last year I made a bunch of fairy cakes. When the kids arrived we sat them at the table with a load of icing and various sprinkles and they all spent 15 minutes decorating one (well several in the end 'can I do one for my sister / brother / mum / hamster' etc!). I stuck those in the party bags with some bubbles etc.

This year I got a set of sticker /activity books from Book People and gave them one of those with some cake and the leftover sweeties from the school 'it's my birthday so I've brought in some haribo' session.

Beastofburden Mon 05-Aug-13 12:31:07

Party escalation is a real pressure on people with low incomes. In your shoes I would be less stressed by party bags than by the bouncy castle/food for adults thing. I really dont know how people are supposed to keep up and afford all that (not getting at you, OP, more sympathising).

I used to give one small present per child, no party bags or other tat. With a slice of cake. but then I never did professional entertainment/ bouncy castles, it was all blind mans bluff and apple bobbing- traditinoal party games, supervised by moi, for around eight kids. When theyw ere older, it was capture the flag with a a party in the local woods.

Beastofburden Mon 05-Aug-13 12:31:46

agree with Gma on decorating fairy cakes, you can do mini pizzas too and then they eat them smile

iseenodust Mon 05-Aug-13 12:34:06

It's the faff not so much the cost (although I am very cheap wink). So The Works is my friend. Last year party bags were not in a bag and consisted of a packet of Haribo and a book (eg buy box of 10 Horrible Histories for £12.99). Year before it was small wooden box sets of dominoes £1.50 and on 3 for 2!

SamGeek Mon 05-Aug-13 12:35:04

I really don't like giving out or receiving junk food as a 'gift', so would never put sweets in a party bag. Bits of plastic rubbish also end up in the bin. In the last few years, I've done alternative 'take home gifts', last year I bought a cheap multi-pack of books from Book People (often £5 - £10 for 15 books or so) and each child got a book to take home. Children's magazines/comics are also a hit.

PeterParkerSays Mon 05-Aug-13 12:36:27

I had DS's party at the weekend. They all got £1 plastic mugs with a few sweets and a power ball in, as I was sick of DS coming home from parties with rubbish that breaks within 10 minutes of getting it in the door. Much easier to hand out at the end as well.

Flatiron Mon 05-Aug-13 12:38:38

I've tended to regard party bags for my DCs Birthdays as a bit of a challenge - make them as varied as poss. for the least amount of money! As for being upset if my children don't receive party bags - they might be, but I'm certainly not! No squashy bits of uneaten cake that go in the fridge till they're inedible, no sub-cracker novelties to clutter the place up even more, and a great opportunity to lecture DC about how not to expect things, the importance of gratitude for what you do have, etc., etc!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 05-Aug-13 12:39:59

i'm happy to do party bags, as the DC really do love them
however, their enthusiasm for them does not appear in any way linked to the contents, so a bit of cake and a packet of sweets is more than enough. it's all about the sweets, really.

Quenelle Mon 05-Aug-13 12:47:25

I stay with my 4yo son but I never eat any of the food, nor do any of the other parents. Sometimes we're offered a cup of tea, sometimes not. And we all help serve the food and clear the tables afterwards.

So far there has always been party bags with a few sweets and a couple of pocket money toys but I don't think there would be any eyebrows raised at just a balloon and a piece of cake.

I appreciate my experience is still limited because DS is only 4 and I can imagine the ante gets upped as the children get older but perhaps the other parents would be grateful and relieved if somebody else was the first to start reversing the trend?

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