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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are loot bags necessary
at kids’ birthday parties?
mother of two, is
and contributes to
the blog Canadian
Renee Kaiman of
Toronto owns and
blogs at My So-Called Mommy Life
MANY OF US live on a pretty tight budget, and the costs of a birthday party
can add up quickly. That said, a loot bag is still something I like to budget for.
I enjoy sending our party guests off with a little thank-you for taking the time
to celebrate and be a part of my child’s special day. Without our guests, it’s not
much of a party.
Saying thank you as the children leave is always expected and not something I normally have to remind my children to do. As they say thank you and
hand each of their friends a loot bag, my children get to show their appreciation
and extend some of the enjoyment into their friends’ homes that they have
brought into ours.
If your kids are anything like mine, they want to invite the entire class by
the time they finish making their guest list. Regardless of the number of children invited to the party, filling a loot bag should not be a big expense. A little
thank-you goes a long way.
We had a Hot Wheels theme birthday party for my son one year, and we sent
each kid home with a new Hot Wheels car to add to their collection, plus a couple of lollipops. In this case quality won over quantity and was budget friendly:
Each car cost only ;;.;;.
A birthday party should not be a financial burden. There are ways to save
money without eliminating the loot bag or other “thank you for coming” gifts
that kids love so much. For example, hosting a midafternoon party with chips,
cake and ice cream is less expensive than providing a full meal and is sure to
make any kid’s day.
Creating a fun, special day for our kids is the most important thing. C
TWO YEARS AGO, after a weekend filled with birthday parties that my children attended, I was left with a pile of trinkets from the loot bags they received.
I sat down and in ;; minutes wrote a blog post about why I don’t like loot bags. I
pressed “Publish” and assumed I would offend some people with what I wrote.
Instead what ensued was a blog post going viral and my feelings on loot bags
being written about all around the world.
Why do I wish everyone would just say no to loot bags?
First, I don’t understand why kids need to receive a gift after being invited
to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We came to celebrate and make the birthday
kid feel special. Period. It’s not about my kid; it’s about the birthday kid. These
types of interactions should be free, and kids should never come to expect it. At
every party at least one child asks for their loot bag when they leave. Kids should
learn the feeling of giving to others without expecting anything in return.
In addition, loot bags are usually filled with the same cheap items. I wish
parents would just keep their purchases to themselves instead of sending my
kid home with candy that they would never feed to their kids or toys that break
into a million pieces within a few minutes of being played with. And where does
it all end up? In the garbage.
These days, birthday parties tend to cost a lot of money, and the additional
cost associated with loot bags adds up. Many times, parents spend ;; and up
on each loot bag. If I buy your kid a ;;; gift, please don’t spend a fifth of what I
spent on your kid in order to thank mine for coming.
Can’t we all agree: enough with loot bags? Let’s teach kids about making the
birthday child feel good by being there to celebrate with him or her. After all,
that’s the point of a birthday party, not what the attendees are leaving with. C
Is procrastinating a
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