Is It Ever Ok To Return A Party Bag?

Party Bags: A Mum's Minefield

Is It Ever Ok To Return A Party Bag?

Birthday parties can be stressful at the best of times and party bags are a particular minefield these days, aren’t they?

First there’s the pressure to make your own party bags (thanks, Pinterest) rather than buy them, and then there’s the question of whether you should fill them with cheap silly stuff that kids will love but that you know will probably make the parents curse you.

Like I said: minefield.

But how would you feel if a parent RETURNED a party bag you’d given their child on the basis that it was TOO generous?

The Sun reports:

A mum was left "livid" and "fuming" when her daughter's friend RETURNED her party bag, with a note from her mum shaming the contents, leaving the birthday girl feeling "really embarrassed”.

It seems the mum allowed her daughter to invite four friends over to watch a film and eat pizza to celebrate her 11th birthday, and, because it was such an inexpensive party, she decided to splurge a little on the party bags.

At a cost of £12.50 per party bag, she filled them with pens, a personalised notepad, a nail varnish set, a book, a pair of novelty socks, sweets and a slice of birthday cake.

But one mum insisted that her child return the party bag on the basis that it was too extravagant so she couldn’t let her child accept it.

What the ever-loving-mercy?

In my book, returning a party bag, under any circumstances, is just plain rude. Who knows what was going on in the mum’s mind to make her feel justified in doing so – we all make less than brilliant decisions from time to time, and she might have been over-reacting in a way that she later regretted.

But even if I didn't feel comfortable allowing my child to accept an expensive party bag, I don't think I'd go so far as to relay this to the parent of the birthday kid. What's the point?

My lads were once given toy guns instead of party bags and it was an awkward moment – for reasons too lengthy to go in to, we didn't allow them to play with guns at that stage. But I kept my feelings on the issue to myself and appreciated the generosity, which totally delighted my kids. I might have mislaid those guns at a later date, but I wouldn't have dreamt of returning them – that would surely only have made the other parents feel weird, and created tension.

Life's too short to return a party bag, is my view. But what's yours? Leave us a comment below or come and join the conversation on our social media channels. And don't forget to take part in our poll...


  • Vicki M.

    no deflated balloon in there! :joy:

  • Chelsey T.

    She’s probably one of them mums that stands in playground with a sour face whinging about how much so and so’s birthday cost and how ridiculous it is to spend so much on a ... year old’s party. Then tries to go bigger and bolder, jealousy thing. She probably returned it because she knows she can’t top it ! Party bag sounds fab.

    • Kate M.

      She didn't have to do it all through her kid though either, just puts that poor girl in an awful and awkward position!

  • Gina F.

    I did that with the party bags for my daughters last birthday. I told her she can have more friends to sleep over or epic party bags each and she chose epic party bags for the 4 of them and it was her 13th. This mum just sounds mean and very very rude

  • Gillian H.

    You know my son is 7 this month. He won’t be having a party as he has no “friends”. The 5 class friends he does have live at least 30 miles away from him. But they all have autism some with sensory issues so play areas are out of the question. So not to make him feel left out I make 6 gift bags up for his friends in his class to take home each with a birthday cup cake. He will also be taking a further 20 party bags and cup cakes to the school he attends in the holiday for respite. These children have disabilities too.. He’s never had a party and he’s 7 years old. That’s upsetting. This mother should have thought about the birthday girls situation and accepted the party bag with thanks that her daughter received one because my son has never...

  • Kate M.

    I can understand why the mum spent a bit more on the party bags at a cheap and easy party for only 4 or 5 kids. If the mother of the girl who got the bag had a problem, she should have spoken to the other mum directly. She put her daughter in a really awkward position and a note jusy comes across as rude and balshy. She also made a comment about the party mum "trying too hard" that got passed on by her daughter and has only soured things further. People need to watch their gossip in front of their kids! A simple phone called could have cleared it up and explained why those party bags had so much in. Not sure what offended her or hurt her pride but it should be a conversation beteeen adults!

  • Colette W.

    :joy: can no one ever be just grateful anymore? They always have to do something like this to make a point? Xx

  • Tracey J.

    Well now...I was fully expecting to read that the party bags had a Rolex in them or some such bling....returning these bags was just plain rude...and a little mean...:rolling_eyes:

  • Carol C.

    Would do the same. Sometimes the party bags are more exciting than the party. Remember when I was young couldnt wait for the party bag

  • Emma S.

    I would never return a party bag it's rude to. Would you return because you only got a slice of cake ans a balloon and maybe thats too stingy. Eveyone has different budgets and expectations so just go with it and be greatful.

    However, I do check the party bags my boys get and they don't always get it all at once mainly the sweets and chocolate. I Have to switch out for dairy free for 1 boy anyway so perfect excuse.

  • Claire H.

    Just accept graciously and if you are not happy pass the contents to the nearest charity shop! No need to be rude.

  • Keeley G.

    £12.50 per party bag when you only have 4 or 5 friends at a party isn't too much money and the personalised items seemed like a really nice touch. I'd be really thankful if my daughter recieved a party bag like this and make her write a thank you note.

  • Heather M.

    Plain rude of the mum to return the party bag& what a shame for the child:frowning2:however each to their own.

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