Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Parental Ingenuity

A personalized CD of mixed children’s songs, a package of
sidewalk chalk with a personalized label, a size-appropriate T-shirt with an iron-on transfer of Elmo; these are
all party favors that my children have received in the past couple of
years. This once simple party accessory
has evolved into a full-fledged contest of parental ingenuity. It is no longer acceptable to fill cheap
plastic bags with candy, kazoos and rubber balls. Party favors are a status
symbol and they are less about how expensive they are and more about
originality and creativity.

My friend, Jacquelyn, held a party for her son’s third
birthday today and experienced a little stress as a result of party favor
planning. The goal of the party host
(in most cases, the child’s Mom) is to provide the favor that will make the
best impression on the parents. The
more, “what a great idea!” and “where did you ever come up with that?” you
hear, the better. Jacquelyn managed to
set the bar pretty high with her plastic buckets of sidewalk chalk complete
with a personalized label that featured a picture of her son and said, “Thank
you for coming to my party.” It was a
great idea and one that garnished a great deal of praise. As an added bonus, it was relatively inexpensive.

My daughter’s birthday is less than two months away.  I have yet to book a venue and I'm already contemplating clever party favors.  If you have any ideas that would beat the
personalized sidewalk chalk, please email them to me privately. The party favor contest is one that I must


  1. Party favors, BAH!!! I refuse to do them. When did it become the norm for the guest at a party to receive a goody bag with cheap plastic age inappropriate toys?
    Although one year I did do beach balls instead of balloons and had enough for every kid to take one home. That was party favor enough!

  2. Good for you for refusing to succumb to the pressure to distribute party favors, Emily. I'm not quite that strong. Not only do I have to provide them, mine have to be better than everyone elses.

  3. A real monkey is always a crowd pleaser, the kids would love it, and the parents will NEVER FORGET YOU!!! also, they probably won't come to any more parties, problem solved for eternity! ;( bah, humbug indeed!! ;(

  4. I'm thinking a baggy of charcoal.

  5. Remind me to skip your birthday parties Uncle Carni!