The time I took a stand… against goodie bags

My oldest daughter turns five on Sunday. Don’t even get me started. I start hyperventilating just thinking about it. MY BABY. Sorry. Tangent. Anyway, since her birthday is so close to the holiday, we decided to have her party last weekend. I knew for months what date we’d be celebrating. Months, people. You know what I did with all that lead time? A whole lotta pinning stuff on Pinterest. That’s pretty much it. I had grand ideas, guys. HUGE. But in the end, I did… not a lot.

I realized about three weeks out that I hadn’t, um, invited anyone yet. So, instead of the glorious handmade invitation I’d been daydreaming about creating, I whipped up an e-vite and called it a day. And NOBODY EVEN CARED THAT THEY DIDN’T RECEIVE A REAL INVITATION.

Next, I cancelled the art company I had scheduled to come do some elaborate project with a select few of Liv’s friends because hello, it’s summer. Let’s try something new and I’m just spitballing here, but how about PLAYING OUTSIDE?!

When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said the only thing in the whole world wide (I’m never correcting her on that) was a bounce house. Done. I emailed the bounce house people and rented one for the day.

Two days before the party, I ran out to the dollar store and bought a bunch of party plates/utensils/decorations and balloons. I spent $14 (plus stupid tax). A word of warning, though… spend the extra money on good balloons. The jacked up dollar store ones popped whenever you just even glanced at them. Jerks.

The party was scheduled from 2-4pm, so I made a giant fruit salad with Olivia’s favorites: grapes, blueberries and strawberries. I also whipped up a quick pasta salad with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. I figured those would be good OMG IT’S SO F’ING HOT OUT HERE foods. I think there were some other chip type situations happening and my sister-in-law brought a seven layer dip, BOOYAH.

The night before the party I did absolutely zero things and the next morning I made 40 cupcakes and frosted them in pink, blue, and purple (as requested by the birthday girl). P.S. food coloring FTW. I do not advise waiting until the morning of a party to bake cupcakes. That was just stupid, but it all worked out.

So. This was my theme: WHATEVER. HAVE SOME SNACKS AND JUMP AROUND. I put a bunch of juice boxes and little water bottles in one cooler and a bunch of beeyahs in another cooler and labeled that one “grown up drinks” because who doesn’t want a cold one in the heat of summer? I SURELY DO.

People came, kids ran around, jumped, played on the swing set, drew with sidewalk chalk in the driveway, drove the plasma cars around, had some snacks, sang Happy Birthday, ate cupcakes and freeze pops while the grown ups mostly chatted and relaxed in lawn chairs and enjoyed a frosty bev if they so desired.

And then Olivia thanked everyone for sharing the day and celebrating with us and everyone went home. Boom.

That night, as I was tucking her in, she said, “I don’t want the fun to end yet! I enjoyed this whole day. Best. Birthday. Ever.” And I didn’t even make one single goodie bag.

6 thoughts on “The time I took a stand… against goodie bags

  1. LOVE IT! Nate’s best birthday “ever”, was when we pulled out the tiny little tykes bounce house, had pizzas delivered, and he got the DQ ice cream cake he wanted. I did NOTHINNNG. I really think the elaborate parties are for the mamas not the kids. Which is fine, if you like party-planning (and I generally do, but sometimes, time does not allow!), but it’s not at all necessary for a great memory!!


  2. Goodie bags make me CRAZY! Half the time, I have to weed out the choking hazards first. the other half of the time, the contents end up strewn all over my house or lay broken under the sofa. My husband and I don’t agree on this – last birthday party, I had custom cookies made (dinosaurs since that was the theme) and gave them out as the party favors.

    Your party sounds like it was AWESOME!


  3. AWESOME. Isn’t this what our parents did and we didn’t notice the difference? I would love to go to a party like this as a kid or as an adult. And love how low stress it is for an adult guest. Such a great post!!


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