FAVORS?

I’ve never understood the point of favor bags at parties. Growing up we never had them at birthdays or weddings. When I planned my wedding I was shocked by how many people kept asking me about buying favors. What does that even mean? Do I need to give my quests a gift to thank them for doing me a favor and showing up to my wedding? In the end I decided that favors at a wedding were just another excuse for you to buy something you don’t need and if anyone had an issue I would say the food, cake, and alcohol were the favors.At Princess A’s first birthday an older child asked me when she was leaving where her favor bag was? I was almost floored by how straight forward she was about it. She said it in a completely non snobby innocent way. It was just so common for her to get favor bags at birthday parties she didn’t think it was weird to ask me for one. Her mom was embarrassed and shhhed her. The girl was so matter of fact about it I started to question my decision to not have favor bags at Princess A’s party.Princess A’s party was Olivia themed and I saw tons of ready-made favor bags but they all seemed like choking hazards and worthless bags of junk. I didn’t have a good enough idea or enough money to make my own. Someone suggested I give a cupcake but I thought that was stupid because we had cupcakes at the party. And again if you don’t want to come to my child’s birthday don’t come. I would love you to come but you’re not doing me a favor by showing up so I am not giving you a favor. I just hate the phrase favor bag. Anyway, I always send people thank you cards for gifts so it’s not like I am being ungrateful.Whenever I have been to an event with favors or favor bags I have thrown them out because I had no use for them. So, that’s my opinion of favors. If you think favors are a must I would love to hear your reasoning because I just don’t get it.Until then Princess A and I are agreeing that we don’t see the purpose of favor bags at parties.

Oh and I realize these pictures have nothing to do with the post. I just like them and had no other post to put them in.

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon

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37 responses to “FAVORS?

  1. Favour bags are the new trend in the ultimate consumerism. Basically, you teach kids that they need to buy stuff that they have no use for. In all ‘political correctness’, favour bags are glorified ‘thank you’ notes. Which (in my not so humble opinion) is a bunch of cr*p. Money makes world go round and round.

    • I agree Dijana. I went to a wedding were a got a favor but no thank you card which upset me. I have also been to lower budget with no favors but I got a thank you and I preferred that. All the favors I see for weddings an birthdays just seem like a waste of money!

  2. In Sweden we usually give away small bags of candy at kids birthday parties. They often contain lollipops, sweets, chewing-gum, a fruit or a box of raisins, a balloon, one of those annoying little whistles with a sort of serpent that unfolds when you blow in it (don’t know what they’re called in English) and sometimes a small gift like a yoyo, a pretty pencil, hair-clips or one of those scented rubbers (and no, I don’t mean THOSE kind of rubbers… those are for more grown-up parties…). When my kids were younger they weren’t allowed candy, so we didn’t even have candy bags. Some kids questioned it, but their parents usually agreed that it was unnecessary.

  3. Oh, and no, we don’t do favor bags on weddings…

  4. My mom said that a “party favor” is so that you not only remember the party but it was a way to say thank you without having to write thank you cards later. Whenever she gave out favors they would be given out to each family and it would be something specific to each member within the family. I don’t know if I believe her logic but it makes her happy. I learned to smile and nod as I pick up the next thing on her list.

  5. Your def not the only one…
    We do have small bags of candy at kids b-day parties, exactly the same thing as SwedenSara explains.
    We don’t have that things on weddings or other parties…

  6. LOL…
    You made a good point, never thought of it that way…
    When I had Halloween parties for my oldest, I’d make goodie bags, full of the candy that the parents would bring. (i asked them to bring a bag of candy or pencils, eraser, useful things) and while the kids were playing, I’d make up the goodie bags, b/c most of the kids didn’t trick or treat, so this was a great way for them to get candy & treats…
    But, I didn’t supply everything, so that helped keep costs down.
    I have done goodie bags before at birthday parties, but like I said, never really thought of it that way…
    You’ve made a valid point & I don’t think I’ll be doing them this second time around…
    🙂
    I didnt have any @ my wedding either…

    • Go Star… Don’t have them at your next bday party… but I do love Karen’s bookmark idea because kids need to keep reading. Oh and I did go to a wedding where the bride and groom made a button of themselves in a funny outfit. I still have it. Something like that is a good favor because it is so sweet and meaningful!

  7. For me I think the best “thank you” you can have is the memories you have. At first, the people that invited you cared enough for inviting you… why not do “the same” ? You don’t need any objects or anything. A couple years ago, one of my best friend got married (i’ve known her for like, 6 years at that point, now for almost 10 years) and I almost couldn’t attend it. I did everything I could and finally could attend it. Still, she send me a thank you card, but the fact that she came to me during her wedding, telling me that she really really really appreciated my presence on her special day with a very emotional tone and that she remind me how she appreciated it from time to time is one of the best “thank you” I never lived…. I’ll cherish that memory forever!

  8. The reason why I do favor bags at my son’s (almost three years old) birthday parties are some of the children do not understand why one child receives gifts and they do not. I think that they are not needed, but they are fun. I go to a dollar store and buy ziploc bags (20 bags for a dollar) and let them decorate it as an activity. Then I fill it with a little thank you for coming card, a little bit of candy, a small pack of crayons, and a small coloring book. http://www.orientaltrading.com is a great place to get these items. Are they needed? No. Can we have a fun party without them? Yes. I just like doing it.
    ~Jacqui

    • Jacqui… I like the purpose that it is hard for kids to understand why one kid gets gifts and the others do not. Maybe when Amelia is older I will have this issue. I guess I just hate the pressure in NYC (the land of million dollar birthday parties and weddings) where if you don’t give an official favor bag you are rude.

  9. We don’t call them favor bags, we call them goodie bags. They’re not new to me either, I’ll be 40 this year and we had them when I was a kid. I don’t think they’re at all necessary, and I’d be mortified if my child asked a host/hostess for one. But I do think they’re nice and a way to thank the kids for attending and recognizing the birthday. I’m not at all offended to not get one, in fact if we’re not given one, I’m not at all sure I even notice.

    For my wedding in ’96, we didn’t call them favors either. They were souvenirs and mementos. I love being able to put things away (other than pictures, they just don’t have the same meaning for me) from every wedding I’ve attended. With that as well, though, I’m not at all offended if they’re not offered. Nor would I ever tell someone they had to have them, it’s their wedding.

    I do think people did us a favor when they attended our wedding or our kids’ birthdays, because they do take time out of often very busy schedules, and this acknowledges that this is something important to us. On the flip side though, I never think “Oh I’m doing you a favor!” when I go to a wedding or party.

    All in all, long response to say they’re not necessary but I don’t think they’re bad either. 🙂 Just whatever the host/hostess chooses to do.

    • Camilla, thanks for the info. My issue with them is that it has become this commercialized thing at least in New York. Where if you don’t give kids a bag filled with candy and cheaply made toys you are the weird one. I did give every kid some bubbles who came to the party. Most of them used them up by the end of the party so I think that’s why they didn’t see them as a “Favor”
      Also for weddings I have never been to a wedding that had heart felt favors or goodie bags. They were always just cheap things my friends said they bought at the last minute so they wouldn’t look bad for not giving favors.

      • I can completely agree that any time someone makes you out to be the weird one because you don’t do things their way, it’s wrong. That’s something I’ve never understood at all.

  10. By the way though, the origin of it isn’t from doing someone a favor, but the “favor” meaning gift of love. Like when a knight bestows his favor upon his lady love. 🙂 “Party favor” is actually synonymous with “souvenir.” We’ve done mixed CDs of the kids’ favorite music instead of a bag.

    Sorry, rambling now.

  11. Oh I am so with you on the party favours thing. I have succumbed to peer pressure and done them for my kids. I refuse to buy crap though! I hate when they come home with favours and I end up chucking them within an hour or so. It is usually useless crap that no one needs, but costs a fortune. We held Katie’s party on Sunday as well, this year instead of favours I had Katie make a thank you card for each of her guests, then I went to the book store and had her pick out a book mark for each of her guests and then I gave them a $10 gift card to buy a book. I figured by the time I put anything worthwhile into a favour bag (like nail polish, hair clips etc…) it would cost me more than $10 a child. We only had 6 of her friends this year so the cost wasn’t too bad. We also haven’t done a birthday party in a few years. The last one we had for her she was 6 and we had it at a big indoor play place. She had 14 friends come and she came to me several times crying because she was too overwhelmed. I realized at that moment that if she wasn’t enjoying her birthday there was no point. We started doing low key things with one or two friends. This year being her 10th we did a bit more, but still kept it low key.

    • Karen, I love that favor idea with the bookmarks and gift card! Maybe I will do that next year. I will do anything to encourage reading in kids! Princess A had fun because i just put a bunch of toys on the ground and acted like it was just a big play group. But I agree if you shouldn’t do parties if they overwhelm your kid. Say happy belated birthday to Katie!

      • Thank you for the birthday wishes, I will pass them on to her! The gift card and book marks went over very well. The kids were all excited to get them. Katie loved giving them out. She kept asking when she could give them out, she wanted to do that more than open her own gifts. Low key birthdays are the best. Her birthday was actually yesterday and after going to the dentist (I know how mean going to the dentist on her birthday), we spent the day as a family shopping. She picked out all kinds of clothes for herself and then we went out for dinner.

  12. I’ve honestly never been to a child’s party that didn’t have goodie bags or a wedding that didn’t have favors. Maybe it’s an Ohio thing? lol, however, I can say that my mom has always chosen edible favors for everything: when I was a kid, the goody bag had candy. For my wedding shower we had cookies. For my wedding it was personalized m&ms and for my baby shower it was gourmet chocolate truffles and two cookies. The centerpieces were larger alphabet legos w/stuffed animals sitting on top of them – those went to me for our son. Then around that there were cupcakes which served as dessert/centerpiece all in one. I’m also on here procrastinating writing baby shower thank you notes. We do both. Alot of people here do give out weird stuff that you would never use or eat though… those are the ones I don’t understand.

  13. You are so right!!!!!! I never found use for party favors. The only ones who are really cool are the ‘professional’ ones, those you get during official presentations and you take home samples of products, etc. I never found use for ‘too small to give them to your child’ toys nor sweets or any other (excuse me) crap. If we’re on a party we have fun, take home cale-leftovers and thats it. I don’t want a mini version of winnie the pooh to put on my table to remind me what an expensive party I joined o_O right?

  14. Oh it’s surprising to me. in France, wasn’t the principle of gift for the guests, because if I understand correctly, is not that?

    For birthdays, we do not … and I confess I wouldn’t have the idea. The guests make a gift to please the one who invites …

    When I got married, there was what are called “dragees” beautifully presented but this stay some candy. Personally, I put in a small ceramic heart where below it was written, by myself, our names and wedding date ! But that’s all and everyone was happy.
    Some of my dearest friends have to cross the country, or Europe to be present on the day … For them the most important thing was to be with me, they arrived during the day, exhausted but they wanted to be there ! And almost 4 years later they remember that, dragees they have eaten and forgotten … lol

    Me too makes me feel like a good excuse to consume more
    A thanks card, take the time to take his phone to call the person, send a sms … for me it’s priceless, it’s so important to spend time for those you love!

  15. It’s surprise me too. Because in France, when we are going to a birthday party, it’s we who bring a gift for the child, and I’ve never seen the hosts give gifts or something like that for the guests.
    Sometimes for a wedding or a christening, the hosts can offer something like a bag with some candy, but it is much rarer to a birthday party.
    And people who come at a birthday party, they come for celebrated the birthday of child, not for have a gifts.
    So you are right, I don’t see either the purpose of this favor bags.

  16. The main reason I do party gifts/favors/goodies/whatever ( they’re called so many different things now lol) is because I enjoy it. I think I get it from my mom because we have both always been big “givers” I guess you could say. We always gave each other gits for most of the holidays. Although I can’t really do that anymore due to lack of funds. I’m certainly not saying that anyone who doesn’t give party favors is wrong. I have no problem with that at all. Besides, if I’m not the one throwing the party, I should have no comment on what is entailed at the event. I think if people expect that from a party or event, then their just being rude and ungrateful. Part of the problem though now is that a lot of people seem to think it’s something that’s needed and should be expected and that’s just not cool. Just for me personally, I like doing it. It makes me happy. One more thing, I do like the book mark idea. I too am a big advocate for reading.

    • Totally get what you are saying and if you enjoy it give goodies. I love decorating and finding good food. People usually comment on how good the food is at my parties. I have no interest in giving favors so if I did they probably wouldn’t be very good lol

  17. We don’t call them favor bags. We call them treat bags or goody bags. It’s just a thing you do at little ones birthday parties. At weddings, little bubbles or mint sachets, are common.

  18. My family views favors like how Camilla’s mom does – and I should probably add that we personally knew the people who made all of our “goody/sweets” favors – so it was a way to not only provide good favors – sometimes at a discount for us,(Cleveland must be similar to NYC in that it’s expected) but also helped them out in terms of business. Like, perfect example: my cousin owns a handmade gourmet chocolate shoppe, so we got to help out family and she helped us out too.

    • Ohhhh good idea Vicki I know tons of people with their own businesses so I can do that in the future. This year I had no idea how many people were coming because I didn’t do RSVPs and wanted it to be just a glorified playgroup so Amelia wasn’t overwhelmed. So even if I did favors I would have had no idea how many to buy.

  19. Treat bags at a birthday party for older kids lets the kids have something to play with while the birthday kid plays with their new stuff, it’s crazy but I’ve learned it helps with no whinning over toys. Amelia’s to little now for that to be a good idea, plus a waste of money. Wedding favors to me has always meant candy on a small sack of some kind, I just usually eat them while we are sitting there. Once I went to a wedding and each place setting had a cute little wrapped box, I thought “how cute!” opened it up and thought
    “how ugly this little ceramic box is, what a huge waste of money!” I guess it’s all just what your used to.

    • True, I guess I could see it for older kids. Right now all the small toys just freak me out because I know Amelia would just put it in her mouth. I went to a wedding were they had cheese graters with the couples name on it for favors. I laughed but then forgot it on the table and thought what a waste of money! So at my wedding I didn’t do favors and spent more money on other things like booze lol

  20. On favor bags I have the same opinion you do, I just don’t see the point. On the pics? I love how you both combine, and that picture of Freckles? cute!! Princess A looks so glam in that animal print, and it’s pink inside 😀

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