Monday, December 6, 2010

Treat bags for 26? Are you kidding me?

My son's birthday is this week, and he wants to bring treats to school. So treats we will bring, of course. But there's just a wee dilemma. No edible treats are allowed.

Yep, that's right. No cupcakes. No cookies. Nothing yummy, tasty or fattening. Instead, the kids are allowed to hand out treat bags at the end of the day. You know,little goodie bags filled with tiny doo-dads like pencils, stickers and glo-sticks.

It's a nice idea. But with 26 kids in the class, filling those bags is a a feat that could thwart even the most clever cheapskate. And I've never claimed to be particularly clever.

Nevertheless, I headed off to the closest party palace superstore with high hopes - only to find that little party bags of yo-yos, pinball games and harmonicas came in packs of 8 or 10 and were priced from $2.99 on up. Sure, there were giant party bags for $10, but they were gender-specific, and I'll admit, I'm overly picky. I want fun - cheap fun. A bouncy ball is fun. A "superstar" sticker is not. It's the principle of the thing. I have a lot of principles. I just don't have a lot of cash.

Tired and overwhelmed by overpriced party supplies, I bought four bags of overpriced plastic harmonicas. Although my son was delighted and can now play a somewhat horrid harmonic Jingle Bells, it about blew my budget. But an emergency trip to the dollar store saved me. I managed to find just enough stuff to do the trick. Next year, though, I think we'll just regift treats from the Halloween party. Now that would have been clever.

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