Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Too Much Stuff…Lootbags and Keychains

on September 19, 2014

We are programmed to believe it is proper social etiquette to provide a thank you gift in certain situations, and maybe sometimes it is appropriate.  Someone puts you up for a couple of nights in their home, maybe a bottle of wine or a house plant is in order.  Or maybe not.  Maybe a heartfelt, hand written thank you note really would be enough.

Pretty much any parent that I speak to bemoans the fact that their child has too many toys, too much stuff, and doesn’t appreciate what they have.  But the giving of loot bags at kids’ birthday parties is such a habit that we can hardly imagine not handing one out.  Bear with me folks, for loot bags are a bit of a pet peeve of mine at the moment.  The loot provided is definitely not needed, is often some sort of cheap toy from the dollar store.  It gets played with once or twice and then broken or forgotten.

I struggled with the issue of loot bags in August when we celebrated my son’s 9th birthday.  What to get that was relatively inexpensive, but not plastic?  I finally settled on t-shirts and fabric paint, and the kids painted them at the party.  I felt quite pleased with myself at the time, but really, looking back, the kids would have been fine without this craft/loot.  Truth be told, I doubt that even one of those kids has worn the t-shirt they made more than once, if at all.  Dollar stores, toys stores and big box family shopping type stores have whole sections devoted to the loot bag.  The aisles are full of cheap, cheerful, colourful toys and gizmos guaranteed to delight small kids.  The guest gifts are often accompanied by some sort of candy (that’s a whole other issue, isn’t it?) and, more often than not, the bag that holds all the loot is plastic.  I wish we parents could all get together and decide that loot bags are not obligatory!   Kids who have been doing the birthday party circuit for a few years now might feel ripped off at first, but they’ll get over it, right?   And if we start with the toddler crowd, and NEVER INTRODUCE THEM TO THIS LOOT BAG HABIT, we can wipe out loot bags within five to eight years, I figure.  What do you say, folks?  Are you ready to revolt against the loot bag?  Are you with me?

Even an organization dedicated to environmental stewardship, The Canadian Wildlife Federation, cannot resist the urge to give a thank you gift to it’s supporters. My father makes a yearly donation to them, and in return he receives a magazine (not sure how many issues, but it’s probably quarterly). The magazine would be enough (or too much!), but they also send a little key chain as a thank you.  My dad doesn’t need a key chain, and I’m sure that no one is making a donation in order to get a key chain.  Even if someone were to actually need a key chain and were to use it, I doubt that it’s use would in any way increase public awareness of a particular endangered species. My dad and I had quite a chat about this the other day when I was visiting. He had the trinket waiting for me on the kitchen table, and wanted to know if I needed a key chain.  I didn’t.  Had I not taken it with me, this little piece of plastic with a photo of two of  Canada’s most precious animals, would probably be sitting in his kitchen “junk drawer” by now.  Instead,  it is going to adorn my son’s backpack, where I guess it will stay until it breaks and falls off.  I can only hope that by the time someone finds it on the ground and puts it in their junk drawer, we will have collectively wised up and done something to break this addiction to things.

IMG01347-20140919-1846

Does your home have a junk drawer?  Have a look in it right now and count the empty key chains in there.  How many?  Or look in your kid’s room and count the plastic do-dads that have come from birthday parties.  How many?  How many are still played with?

Something to think about, something to talk about, something to change?

Peace.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Too Much Stuff…Lootbags and Keychains

  1. Christine says:

    I agree! With Finn’s 7th birthday approaching I am ending the loot bag cycle in our house.

    • jen says:

      I’m with you on the loot bag revolt! Have always hated them and struggled with creative ways to avoid it. This year for daughter’s 8th for the craft kids made fairy gardens – with 99% of the pieces (plastic dinosaurs, marbles, etc) having come from the Salvation Army. I felt better about it being a second-go-round for many plastic pieces but had wished afterwards that I’d gotten the bowls for the gardens from there too. I’d been worried kids would fight if they didn’t all match 🙂 Anyways, challenge on for me too… next year 100 % secondhand or none at all! Thanks Cindy for raising awareness around this!

    • cjwild2014 says:

      the revolution has begun…NO MORE LOOTBAGS! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

loveletteringproject.com/

What do you love about your city?

Mama Librarian

Thoughts from a brainy, bookish mama

Old Owl Hoots

Crown Hill Park in Jefferson Co Colorado

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World

Brooklyn Doodle

Napkin Doodles around Brooklyn neighborhoods

Writer, editor, etc.

I make sure that your work is world class.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Aiming to be Green

Appreciating and protecting the Earth for future generations....

Bob and Emily

Live, laugh, love......and enjoy every minute

A Little Bit Of Happiness

I share stories about happiness, the same kind most people overlook

Kevin Paterson

Author And Music Blogger

Travel Moments

Adventure, Luxury and Beyond

%d bloggers like this: