If I claimed this to a definitive guide to party packs I’d basically be saying that I’m Martha Stewart. And we all know that’s about as true as saying Saturday Night Live is as funny as Jimmy Fallon – not even close.
Not the kids silly, the Moms.
There was a lot of chatter but I think we can break it down into two separate groups which are:
- I like to/feel obligated to/want to make party packs for all of my kids friends
- The party is thank you enough you greedy buggers
Honestly I think both have merit.
The way parties are thrown nowadays, the actual party is an “event” and not just an informal gathering of friends to celebrate the birthday of the child. The amount of effort/time/money/food/planning/blood/sweat/tears* that goes into planning a party warrants the invite to be a thank you in and of itself. As Nicki mentioned, having kids come and demand their pack at the end of the party is just rude and entirely ungrateful. I absolutely agree that this is ludicrous and if anything it should be an extra and not an expected.
*(are those last three just me?)
And what about school? If your kids are having a party at home AND sending packs to school you’ll eventually be spending a small fortune giving other people things instead of investing that money in your own child who happens to be having the birthday!
Give me a theme and the first thing I think about is the party pack. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment or whatever, but I LOVE doing it and maybe I feel a little obligated, but damnit if I’m feeling obligated I’m going do it the way I want to. Elaborate and totally on theme.
And if you thought that breaking it into two was the easy part. You’d be wrong.
If you do decide to jump down the deep sugar laden hole that is the party pack, then there are things that are appropriate and then there are things that have the other Mothers wanting to hang you up and stuff the pack in your mouth. To avoid this I put together some of the thoughts I had while reading everyones comments.
Here’s a little guide to getting the party pack right:
- Don’t go overboard. For the love of all that is good, calm the heck down. Even as an adult you should not be eating 20 different kinds of sweets in one sitting or even over a week. Limit your party pack contents to 5 things – max!
- Try not to buy pre-made party packs. I’m going to hope that the Mom that bought the above pictured packs for her kids friends had no idea what was in there. I’m all for benefit of the doubt and all that.
- Most of the time parents do it because they love their kids and their kids love to hand out packs their friends. So do it because you want to (for you or your kids), but not because you feel obligated to one up their friends parties. Don’t be that person.
- Don’t buy the contents from China Town. I cannot understand any of the Asian languages so I can’t even begin to try and fathom what lurks beneath the packaging – MSG? sugar? heroin? who knows.
- Actually don’t even bother with food at all. There are so many quick, easy and CHEAP things that you can do that go a lot further than the sugar high. A colouring book and crayons, stickers, homemade playdough, brownies in a bag – the Pinterest options on this are basically endless.
- If you are going down the food road at least try and make it healthy. Stay away from MSG and unnecessary sugar, or at the very least limit it. Also no to nuts unless you’ve checked all the allergies of each guest. We limit ours to a juice, packet of chips of some kind, raisins, one sweet treat and that’s about it. Sometimes a toy if it was reasonably priced and works remarkably well with the theme.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no scrooge. Although we try and stay away from sugar, we do let them have the occasional treat. I get the moderation thing and keeping it to dish out later, but if you take into account our current culture if it’s not party packs, it’s school parties, weekend parties or grandparents (and sometimes I want to be the one giving them fun things instead of taking it away from them) – at that rate they’ll be eating sugar ALL THE TIME. Which let’s face it, is just not on.
Actually what we’ve started doing is making the party pack for consumption AT the party. Is that cheating? So be it. It saves on doing everything twice. Basically all the food is catered for with the adults in mind and then the party packs take care of the kiddie things and ensures everyone gets one. Or something fun for the family to do/enjoy together when they get home – like the brownies in a bag that we sent home with the girls Baking themed party.
So there you have it. Go forth and party – with or without the party packs.