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Best Kids Party Favor Ever

Elissa Mostransky

I took the kids to a birthday party yesterday afternoon and the favor the mom handed out at the end gave me the chills. Here’s why:

After two hours of chasing my kids (and my sister’s two boys who I was also escorting) through a maze of bounce houses, I was frazzled to say the least. I texted Nick and told him to chill some wine—stat. But when I caught a glimpse of the favors being handed out I was immediately filled with good mom vibes and I couldn’t help smiling (despite the fact that Alex was slapping my leg because I'd told him he couldn’t have a second cupcake). The favor was a little bag of packaged dried cinnamon apples with a ribbon and a note attached that read:

In lieu of a favor, Kellan and Jason are making a donation from their piggy banks ($1.00 for each guest at their party) to a charity of their choice.  Kellan is donating his money to Huntington Hospital as a thank you for helping to make his head feel better when he needed stitches.  He said he “hopes the money will make other kids feel better.”  Jason is donating his money to the Huntington YMCA as a thank you for helping him learn how to swim.  He couldn’t really give a clear reason, but he loves to go to the Y!

Please enjoy this sweet snack as a thank you for helping us make a difference and being here to celebrate our birthdays with us!

Love, Kellan & Jason

How sweet is that? It seriously gave me the chills. And I thought, Wow, what a great idea! Much better than a sack full of candy, if you ask me. To be honest, I rarely even give favors at my kids’ parties anymore. When it comes down to pulling together the last few details (I tend to throw over-the-top bashes), favors seem like an easy cut to make. And I don’t think kids or parents expect them anymore. Do they? I personally love not getting favors at parties because it’s one less fight I have to have with my kids in the car on the way home (“Are you kidding me, Alex?! You just ate two pieces of cake--no, you cannot having another lollipop” has come out of my mouth many times.)

The favor we got last night was about creating an opportunity to teach the kids a very important lesson. Both the birthday boys and the other kids whose parents will hopefully explain the meaning behind the gesture. I had planned to do just that on the ride home but in order to keep the peace, I lead back-to-back, super-intense rounds of the car game, the color game and the “guess what temperature it will be when we get home?” game). The party was thrown by a family friend—our mothers met when they were in Lamaze class while pregnant with our older siblings, that’s how long we’ve known each other. She’s a teacher and a great mom so I know that her intention was to give the kids a taste for charity (as opposed to a taste for candy, which is not her thing). She said her older son, who turned four, really got into it and thought hard about where he wanted his money to go. She asked him who he felt helped him a lot when he was three and he came up with the hospital on his own. And today she’s taking the boys—and their dollar bills—to deliver the gifts. I think that is so freaking cute. And I definitely want to steal the idea. I am always looking for ways to teach my kids about charity and helping others and this is a perfect way to do it.

My friend was a little self conscious about the favor, wondering if people might think it was weird. I guess she felt like it could be seen as preachy or too much or like she was trying to out-mom the moms who give sacks of candy. I told her I thought it was awesome. It truly did make me cry. And I can’t imagine anyone having a negative reaction to this. Which is why I’m asking all of you: What would you think? Have you ever seen something like this? Would you ever do it? What’s the best/worst party favor your kids have ever gotten?