*I swear – it’s something I do – so be forewarned. If you don’t like the word sh*t, don’t read on.
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How can you have an amazing birthday without giving people more plastic sh*t to throw away and feel guilty about? Read on!!!
Have you picked up your kids from a party and the loot bag was all the rage – for the drive home and then it was all over the floor of your minivan/SUV and stayed there until the next time you cleaned said vehicle?
Why are we wasting the world’s resources and polluting our beautiful air with manufacturing of disposable plastic crap that doesn’t make it 1 hour outside of the store?
My daughter is turning 5 this week and I am in the process of deciding what is going to be the thank you gift for the friends – you know, that loot bag.
I try to give meaningful loot bags. Last year, we gave the girls a gift card to a girly store (Claire’s) and the boys a small set of Lego – both equivalent to $5. It seems like a lot but a bag full of sh*t kids won’t use that you spend $60-$100 on is a real waste, in my humble but opinionated opinion.
I’m undecided this year. Until, a friend on Facebook was selling Booster Juice coupons for her son’s soccer team. $5 gets each kid a regular size smoothie for a fraction of the price – or for them – FREE!!
Why I love this idea:
- I’m supporting a local kid in his sport
- I’m not giving another mom a pile of plastic sh*t to clean up, or the kid to clean up (because we know how much kids love to clean up)
- Every kid loves a smoothie from Booster Juice
- I don’t have to drive all over picking stuff up – just one stop for thank you cards, one stop for vouchers
- My child can sign each card and put her personal touch on it
Sure it’s $5 a kid – but have you ever calculated how much you really spend on a loot bag? I’m going to wager about $4-5 if you wanted to give something “good”. $2.50-3 if it’s the stuff that goes in the garbage within an hour to 2.
My husband argued that kids love loot bags. (I love a great discussion to disprove or dispute my point. I’m influenceable if the story has weight.) They love all the junk, he said – but do they, REALLY!?
I want to spread the message that stuff doesn’t make us happy. Having a smoothie date with Mom or Dad, sister or Aunt – that is what life is about. Memories, laughter and a good healthy smoothie.
Here are some other ideas for “loot bags” or birthday party “thank you”s:
- Gift Card for $5 to a local toy shop, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s (or equivalent) in a Thank you Card
- A candy bouquet – most speciality candy stores will do up a candy themed “loot bag” and you set the price
- Lego set – the small one that is about the $3-5 range or Lego blind bags (Lego never gets old and doesn’t lose it’s value)
- Movie pass (a bit more costly but an option)
- Clip on Ty Babies – great for backpacks, purses and hand-sized “lovies”
Here are some ideas for seasonal loot bags:
- Packet of seeds inside a watering can
- Ice Cream Coupons (McDonald’s, Dairy Queen etc)
- Pass/Admission to a local outdoor pool or spray park
- Coupon to a grocery store to get a box of ice creams
- Cup with hot chocolate and mittens (personalize if you have time)
- A cake mix to bake with a parent
- A health bag (Sanitizer that clips on to a backpack with an individual tissue packet, and a lip balm)
- Admission to an indoor pool, skating rink or indoor playground
There are lots of great ideas so you do not have to give sh*t to kids. They don’t need more stuff – they need experiences, memories and quality. They need to bake a cake with a parent, play a game – you get the idea.
Sure some of that stuff ^ is stuff – but it has meaning, I think.
Don’t let society tell you HOW to give! Be you and set your own pace!
What can you add to this list?