The Goddess Speaks
Goody bags remind mom of childhood
I have a second-grader -- and a goody-bag fetish. Hmm, that kind of sounded like something you'd hear at an AA meeting, except I would label this a GBF meeting.
On a recent trip to a Hallmark store, I had my son pick out his Valentine's cards. I managed to talk him out of the superheroes box he wanted, then reasoned with him against the cars box, then he decided to get the baseball box instead of the Snoopy box I was rooting for.
In taking one for the team, I put down the cute retro Snoopy cards (which reminded me of my own childhood) and told myself, this is his decision -- get over it!
Then the teacher sent home notices about a Valentine's Day party, with an open invitation to bring any kind of treats -- my free pass to goody-bag highway!
Since he was in kindergarten, I've been sending goody bags to my son's classes for almost every holiday. I truly enjoy picking out the bags, finding treats to fill them, deciding which labels to attach and then seeing them filled and sitting pretty, waiting for their departure.
It's gotten to the point that my son takes no interest in helping with the process anymore. I guess this means I have managed to overkill the goody bags. Let's do the math: 2.5 years x 8 kids x 5 holidays a year = 100 goody bags to date.
Did I mention I also give goody bags for his birthday and his baseball team parties? Wow, no wonder my kid never wants to help with them anymore.
The funny thing is, goody bags are never my intention. I always shop with the idea of finding something sufficient for each child (a bigger "small" gift or candy), within the budget, but I never seem to find that perfect item.
Or ... is this just my subconscious excuse for why I must do the goody bags yet again? When did this happen to me, why can't I escape it? Actually I love it. The real question is, Why?
When I was growing up, my mom had a favorite gift-basket store, the Giving Tree. It was the cutest little country store, filled -- no, overfilled -- with a million things you could gather to make a zillion different gift baskets. The owner, a sweet older lady, would help each customer pick just the perfect items. Then you'd pick the basket and ribbon, and she'd wrap it in plastic and make a big gorgeous bow for the top and slap on a big gold sticker and your gift card.
Much like a chick flick, this was a chick store, and I never truly appreciated it until it closed. Each basket purchased from that store was extra-special. It's the same with my goody bags -- I try to make each batch more special than the last. After all, my son has just four more years of elementary school; I hope I can satisfy my goody-bag fetish by then!
Tanya Kogler is an executive assistant at the Star-Bulletin.
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