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Are We There Yet?

Thu., Sept. 11, 2008, 1:58 p.m.

Party favors

I’ve never been a big fan of party favors.

By the time we make it back home from a birthday party, the backseat of our car is often littered with candy wrappers, ripped-up stickers and plastic toys that the kids barely played with. The best part is often just opening the bag. But once the contents spill out, that’s about it. It’s over and I have a mess to clean.

But what’s a crabby mom to do? Aren’t party favors a requirement at birthday parties? We couldn’t possibly send our young guests home empty-handed.

So I felt a little disappointed this week when I found myself at the Dollar Store. My son is turning 5 so I bought all kinds of junk to fill the party favor bags for guests at his birthday party.

It was the easiest thing to do. My son also liked the idea of giving away bags full of crayons, plastic Star Wars Frisbees and other cheap toys.

Am I just being a grump about the party favors? My conscience keeps telling me that they’re bad for the environment, but the kids do enjoy them (even if the enjoyment lasts only as long as the car ride home).

Have you found affordable alternatives to the ubiquitous party favors? What do you usually put in your giveaway bags?

Photo: Megan Cooley decorated her backyard with big bouncy balls for a party. Afterward, the guests each got to take one home. Brilliant!

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