Putting the Good back in Goodie Bags

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2009 the US exported $69,576 million worth of goods and services to China. The US imported $296,402 million worth of goods and services from China. What accounts for this -$226,806 million trade imbalance? Could it be mountains of little pieces of plastic junk found in childrens' birthday party goodie bags? And what is a well mannered mother to do?

 First, every so often when the undiscerning offspring are out of the house she can race around with a paper bag gathering up all the flimsy, tacky, possibly toxic plastic pieces she can find and throw them away. Best practices suggest, hiding these useless trinkets out of reach for a couple of weeks just to make sure they are not missed, then throwing them away in a black opaque trash bag where they will not be “noticed” or “rescued.”

 Second, the well mannered modern mother should try to lead by example. When the next birthday in her family rolls around she might want to help her children take a quality over quantity approach. Some of the most successful non ‘China Curse' party favors we know of include: home made cookies or play dough tied up with ribbon, an easily exchangeable paperback book, small Lego kit, fabric swatch with needle and thread, a small card game, and seeds, bulbs, or a small plant for the garden. Not only will this approach help de-clutter the modern mothers’ life, reduce her carbon print and landfill usage, but it may have a far-reaching positive effect on the US trade balance with China.


Anonymous said...

What great ideas! I have been morally opposed to goodie bags for several years. Since when is it required to provide a good time and a gift to attendees? Instead, I opt to make a contribution in each child's name to an organization that helps kids.

Anonymous said...

We don't have this problem, because we don't have traditional birthday parties for our children. We just invite their friends to join us serving food in a soup kitchen (the 4 year olds) or reading books to orphans (the 7 year olds). Before we were so evolved, we always told guests to please bring a canned good to donate to the food bank rather than a gift. Since they didn't bring a gift, they didn't expect a goodie bag.

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