Party Favors and Thank You Notes: A Parenting Dilemma
Birthday parties are kind of a big deal in my world. In part because they’re a fun way to celebrate your own child but I honestly like to plan a good shindig for the elementary crowd.
I know, I know. It’s freakin’ weird.
My daughter’s most recent birthday party was probably the least planned event that we’ve had for either of our children. And you know what? We all survived. And it was fun! Homemade cake (gasp!), a 30-clue scavenger hunt that my husband conjured up AFTER the party had started, and good ‘ol backyard play time. It was simple and the kids in attendance seemed to have a great time. You know why?
Because they’re kids.
My own personal hang-ups have made me slow to warm-up to the idea of a completely simple party. I mean the first time I sent an electronic invitation versus a paper one…WHOA IS ME. Like I said, it’s my own personal hang-up.
Part of birthday party minutiae that I refuse to forfeit, however, is party favors and thank you notes. Okay, honestly, the party favors could be given up but it would most likely take a U.N.-esque meeting of mom minds to vote across the board to make party favors contraband. I find it fun to come up with a creative (and sometimes useful) favor or two for party guests. You know, who doesn’t love a fun pillow case at a slumber party or a plastic putter and personalized tee at a putt-putt party?? Oh. You don’t?
GUILTY as charged.
Thank you notes are an entirely different
party animal. While the practice of giving party favors can fuel the fire of consumption, thank you notes are a great way to get our children to pause, reflect, and express gratitude. Being mindful and thankful is something that I would hope my children learn and practice every day. With that being said, I can acknowledge that getting my kids to write/sign thank you notes can make water torture look like a trip to the spa. The practice in and of itself can will get uncomfortable, but I would like to think it encourages the appreciation aspect of gift receiving when the hurried, fast-paced ritual of tearing open gifts surely does not.
My children are 5 and 7 so my oldest is really the one that I expect at this point to write her notes. But that also means that my daughter might only have the attention span to complete a couple messages at a time. Basically, there’s no room for Emily Post’s guidelines ‘round here. You WILL get a thank you note, but WHEN you get one could be anyone’s guess.
Living in the Pinterest age, there are few excuses as to why thank you notes cannot be created and sent. As I mentioned before, my seven-year-old is the one expected to write thank you messages, and generally ones of the traditional kind. The task requires a lot more patience for my five-year-old so we have to get creative to work around his abilities. If you’re of a thank you note mindset, I’ve linked to a couple of simple ideas below that can get the job done for your smaller ones.
Via Toad’s Treasures