It really is full swing into party season for my two youngest at the moment. They have endless party invites which is lovely for them (but costs me a bloody fortune in presents). Last week it was N, today S, next week is their joint party (mid-way between their birthdays) and the following week S has two and N has one – all on the same Saturday. Mum’s taxi service will be in full swing!
The variety of parties is amazing. The girls have had a princess party, quite a few at varying soft play centres around here, some parties at friend’s houses, and an art and craft party. All of which they have loved. They themselves will be having a circus party (a great entertainer, well priced, and a disco afterwards).
As much as I’m delighted for them to go to parties and have fun with their friends, the bane of my life is the sodding party bag.
Now when I were a lass [please say that in a Yorkshire accent – I can get away with that as my mother-in-law is a true Yorkshire lass] you went to a party, played games (usually in someone’s house), and had some sandwiches, biscuits and Twiglets for the party tea. The cake was sliced and wrapped in a paper napkin for you to take home. That was your party bag. Of course most of the fun and challenge was actually separating the cake from the napkin once you’d squashed it in the car on the way home.
Occasionally, you actually got a party bag which usually consisted of a balloon, and one of those funny pop-up toys – you know, the ones where you press the sucker pad onto a spring and 3 seconds later it pops up and nearly takes your eye out – and sometimes said cake was in said party bag.
I would rather not do party bags but it seems now that every child who goes to a party expects to have a bloody present in return! Trust me, I’ve had some corkers. From the extreme of a children’s DVD movie (I kid you not – in fact, I’m sure our present cost less), pen with feathers on top and more sweets than the average shop will hold, through to those awful colouring pencils that just refuse to deposit their colour onto any paper, accompanied by a colouring book around 2″ x 2″ of the thinnest paper you’ve ever seen in a kind of grey colour. You’re nodding at that aren’t you…
I would rather give every child a piece of cake and wave goodbye at the door and never see another party bag my entire life. Am I being mean? I don’t think so. I never went to parties to get a bag of treats in return. I went because they were my friends, we played games like ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ and ‘blind man’s buff’ and got too eat sandwiches and sweet biscuits for our tea without anyone grumbling at us. We didn’t expect anything in return other than a piece of the birthday cake, oh, and maybe a bag of sweets if we won the pass-the-parcel (not every wrapper having a bag of sweets as happens now – come on, a bit of losing does kids good!).
So, I’m lured into the seedy world of the party bag. I suppose I’m fortunate in that I’m no sucker for giving back lots of stuff. I do love eBay *grin* and have managed to source some little things at good prices on there like stretchy yellow men and tattoos (no, not real ones of course, although…no, stop it). I hope most of it isn’t flammable or manufactured using lead (I’m kidding – I’m far too tight to buy things like toy cars…).
I hope the kids have a great time at our party next week but if any are expecting a DVD for turning up, they’ll be sorely disappointed.