1. Christopher Noxon is tired of overdone children's birthday parties. His three-step plan to improve things begins this way:
Step 1. Immediate and total ban on goodie bags.2. San Francisco Bay Area columnist Jon Carroll wrote about attending a charity event where he ran the auction. Here's a snippet:
There was a time, not so long ago, when kids got genuinely excited by those little sacks of toys and do-dads given on the way out of a birthday party. That time is long gone and all those sad little bags do for us now is inspire worry about sweat shop labor and toxic plastic fumes. Kids have taken to carting off their bags with nonchalance. A ban on goodie bags will not only reduce waste - it puts the emphasis back where it belongs: the kid celebrating the actual birthday.
On the way out, I noticed a phalanx of black bags sitting on the lawn next to the driveway. I walked a little farther, and a woman offered me one of the bags. It was, she said, their way of thanking me. Now, I can remember when someone's way of saying "thank you" was to say "thank you," and I actually preferred that method.Want to know what was in those adult goodie bags? Read the rest of the article.
Do I need more stuff? Did any of the people who attended the event - who were mostly rich people, because charity organizers, like Willie Sutton, go where the money is - need more stuff? I don't think so. And yet there were the burlap-like black bags - further investigation indicated that they were made in China - to say thank you to people who, quite probably, already felt adequately thanked.
This cultural ritual is not confined to high-end charity events; children (or, rather, the parents of children) now expect a goody bag at the end of every birthday party. It's like, we invited your kid, we entertained your kid, we gave your kid lunch and some cake, and now - here's a reward for your child having to endure all that. Stuff! Because your kid does not have enough stuff.
Suggestion: Stop Giving Goodie Bags
[photo by Steel Wool / Wynnie Kwok]