Party bags, loot bags, goodie bags, favours.
There’s lots of names for the gift/cake combo encased in a little plastic or paper bag, sorted into boys and girls bags most of us hand out at the end of a party these days.
It may seem that they have always been there, and they’ve been built into the party planning process forever. But they’ve certainly evolved a lot since the days of a half-deflated balloon on a stick and slice of cake wrapped in (and stuck to) a napkin that used to be handed to guests at theend of a party when I was small. And although I’m not in the first flush, I don’t remember, to my kid’s disappointment and astonishment, what life was like in Victorian times.
So, where and when did we start providing our guests with an extra little gift for attending a party? The whole idea of party bags, or favours, may well have evolved from the tradition of offering wedding guests small gifts or ‘favours’ as a thank you for their attendance at a wedding celebration, and also as a memento of the day itself. It certainly extends back to the thirteenth century, when ‘confetti’ was introduced http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_favor. Although then confetti wasn’t the paper or foil shapes thrown at the bride and groom, but was sugar coated almonds, which remain popular as wedding favours today.
It is thought that the tradition of the modern day party bag may have emerged from North America, although their precise history seems a bit lost in the mists of time. There may be a tenuous link between the gifts offered at the end of a party and a native American and Canadian tradition called ‘Potlatch’ in which families would throw huge celebrations and give away their wealth to enhance their standing in the local community. It’s no bad thing our loot bags have changed somewhat since this tradition was disbanded!
Guests and stars attending the big international award ceremonies such as the Oscars and the Brit’s have been known to receive goodie bags with contents valuing tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe these gifts have played a part in the rise in popularity of the goodie bag for kid’s parties, although it’s a good job kid’s expectations are somewhat lower than that of the guests who grace red carpets around the world….
People often have mixed feelings about party bags, probably stemming from feeling under pressure to provide something extra, after having thrown a party for your child’s friends. Of course there is no obligation to offer goodie bags, and increasing competitiveness over the contents is not a great thing to encourage either. But they don’t have to be a big deal, time consuming, or wildly expensive. Party Things 2 Go offer a fantastic range of great value, often themed filled party bags. The contents of each bag are carefully selected to suit the party theme, thus guaranteeing your guests will go home happy, whilst saving you time putting them together, and remaining within your party budget. So, party bags, goodie bags, loot bags, or favours, with our help, they can put a smile of any child’s face!
Until next time… Charlotte x