Let's End The Party Favor Tradition

by Melissa Sher
Originally Published: 
A kid blowing on a pink party whistle with other kids in the background attending the party


Enough with stale Tootsie Rolls and broken bird whistles.

Enough with half-opened Hershey’s Kisses and misshapen Slinkys.

Enough with erasers that crumble and rubber ducks that emit fumes.

Enough with the plastic.

Enough with the small.

Enough with the cheap.

Enough with the crap.

Sometimes nothing is better than something.

So goodbye, party favors. I’m over you.

And I want to know: who’s with me?

I know my friend, writer Nina Badzin, is with me. Or I’m with her. She wrote about favors in Brain, Child Magazine: “Why in the name of all that’s sensible are we parents perpetuating this worthless tradition of handing out junk at the end of a party?”

Why indeed?

We no longer smoke on airplanes or perm our hair or let people drive with open Budweisers. So why in the world are we still giving out bags filled with shit to thank kids for coming to our children’s birthday parties?

Thank them for coming? Because why?

Because decades ago some overachiever decided that throwing a party, serving cake, and entertaining a horde of loud, sticky children wasn’t enough?

No! The party is more than enough! I’m putting my foot down. (And then I’m picking my foot back up. And then I’m putting it back down again. I’m actually stomping my foot because I feel really strongly about this.)

Unless there’s a need to rid the world of all its old Jolly Ranchers, there is no possible explanation for why we’re still giving out goodie bags.

Enough with the stuff.

Let’s cut the crap.

So goodbye goodie bags. Goodbye, party favors. Goodbye, crap.

I don’t want to get them.

And I don’t want to give them.

A few years ago, at the end of a birthday party that I had thrown for my son, a little boy came to find me. His mom watched.

I thought he was going to thank me.

Silly me.

He wasn’t.

He was asking for his party favor.

He was demanding it, actually.

He held out his hand.

Part of me wanted to reprimand him. Part of me wanted to high-five his outstretched hand. I did neither.

But looking back on it, since I hate party favors so incredibly much, I know exactly what I should have done.

I should have given him two.

Related post: 10 Ways Birthday Parties Suck

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