Kids love a birthday party – the lollies, the cake, the games and of course when it’s all over, the party bag, so they can continue the sugar high when they get home! But what happens when every child gets a party bag at the end of the celebrations, but yours misses out?

A disappointed mum says she’s still stewing over a recent sticky situation, which resulted in her son being the only one not getting a party bag. But before making a judgement, you need to know the backstory.

“A kid came to half of my son’s party – he couldn’t make the activity so came for the pizza at a pizza restaurant. I obviously paid for all the pizzas,” she explained on Mumsnet. “This kid brought no present, just a ‘card’ on a piece of paper he’d drawn on. He got a party bag at my son’s party.

“I felt like it was a little rude to come to a party with no present – but whatever, kids have enough crap so they don’t need more – but this was a party where only five children were invited so it stuck out. I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.”

“This morning, my son went to that kid’s party, which was an activity, no food. About eight kids. At the end, there were ‘no party bags left’ when it came to my son (he’s quite shy and not terribly pushy so would have waited until the end). My son obviously gave a present.”

”The family isn’t poor”

The mum then asks if she’s unreasonable to think that not giving a party bag is cheeky on behalf of the other parents.

“This family isn’t poor or having any money troubles. In fact, I’d call them well off. I know this for certain. Only mentioning in case people say they can’t afford a present or a party bag. Anyway happy to be told that I’m being petty and annoying and should mentally shut up about it. I haven’t said anything to anyone and won’t but inside am thinking it’s rude. My son isn’t especially bothered anymore but was sad at the time to be the only kid with no party bag.”

Do you think this mum is understandably upset? Or should she just let it go? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Its good to teach your child you don’t give just to get something in return
    Maybe the parent got side tracked or one of the other kids got a bit cheeky and got more then their share
    Try not to take it to heart as
    it’s probably more upsetting to you than your child
    Children forget more on to the next thing quite quickly


  • I’d just let it go. People may assume the family has money but inside behind the walls they may be in debt. They are just kids, if it was something happening more often then I’d speak up.


  • It’s unfair, if it’s really bothering you just send the parents a message and say “hey xxx had a great time at the party but sadly he missed out on the party bags and is really disappointed, just wondering if there was one left” or something like that.


  • I think this is a bit disappointing for your son.
    I know when my kids have a party I always have extra bags ready in case I have got my numbers wrong, kids who said they couldn’t make it suddenly turn up (has happened before) or siblings come too.


  • This is unfair!
    If the child was invited there should be a bag!
    I always have extra incase for younger siblings etc


  • It is unfair. and completely normal to be feeling upset on behalf of your child. Fortunately your son doesn’t mind. He is the one who really missed out. Maybe try and get a different perspective. It doesn’t sound like it was malicious or done on purpose.


  • I always expect that there will be kids that just show up to my kids parties without rsvping & have extra party bags just in case. I do end up with extra bags at the end & end up giving them to siblings that also attended. On the odd chance that if I have run out, I would sincerely apologies & either put something together or the next time I saw said child, I’d have a party bag made up for them.
    When my kids are invited to a party, I always have a gift. If we are unable to attend, I still have a gift for the birthday child.
    I do however remember one time my eldest was not able to attend a friend of his birthday party, we were a little strapped for cash but we still gave the child a present. We got no thank you & the mother of child even bad mouthed us because we hadn’t bought her child something expensive. Yet she turned up to my child’s party who’s birthday was before her child’s empty handed, didn’t rsvp, brought her 3 other children, broke my kids new toys, left a dirty nappy in my kids room, peed all over the toilet floor & ate so much of the food provided.


  • Its hard on the kids, they are the ones who get hurt and upset by the choices and at times selfishness of adults


  • If you RSVP’d in time your son should not have missed out on a bag. Having said that, I wonder if I have ever been on the “no party page given” end of the conversation. I went all out with my younger two’s party bags, spending at least $20 if not more on each. Never a problem with my son who chose to have the main part of the party at home. My daughter, however had her first school birthday party at a local venue. Quite a few extra children turned up and while their parents paid for their activities, many of them helped themselves to the food & cake I supplied which was fine as I tend to overcater.I was left feeling like a pariah though when I had several of the extras asking for party bags. I had catered only for those invited and it felt awful to tell these children I had no extra’s but at the end of the day, their parents should have prevented them asking since they weren’t invited guests. I shouldn’t have been made to feel guilty for not providing for uninvited guests


  • I would be annoyed for my kids for sure


  • Personally I always make sure there’s enough to go around. I feel the mum was right in this instance, her poor child must have felt like he’d been left out or that they didn’t like him.


  • I get it! On the rare occasions my kids can’t attend a party I said yes to I still give the gift. It’s not their child’s fault that mine got sick (only reason we bail on a party).
    However, when I hosted a party for my girl last year one of her friends parents texted to say they were running late. By the time I texted a reply, they said “sorry no longer coming”. Instead of a party bag, I gave out tiaras ($15 each, not the $2 plastic type). When my girl was at school next she gave her friend the tiara as it was purchased for her and we didn’t need it in the house. My girl didn’t even get a birthday card.
    So it is easy to feel jilted! I could have kept it as a spare in case one of my girls broke theirs or as an actual birthday gift (with something else) for this child. But it’s not the first time it’s happened. In the pasts I’ve had RSVPs saying “if I can make it we will be there” and then when they can’t make it as their other thing has gone too late no gift is given, even though we had given their child a gift when we couldn’t attend their party… what makes it worse is when it’s a paid event and if they just say no, you can invite someone else (with enough time, not last minute)


  • My opinion, there should be enough party bags for all kids invited. I personally would even make party bags for the kids invited who said they couldn’t go or didnt bother to rsvp, things change and those kids could turn up anyway. No child should miss out at a party. There should be enough party bags, drinks, cake, food etc for everyone attending. In saying that, it is a party bag and it isn’t worth making a thing out of. I would imagine the last thing you want to happen is your child stops getting invites because they bring/cause drama. If you think the mother did it deliberately don’t have them at your next party and don’t go to their next party. Not fair on the kids but it also isn’t fair on the kids if it is tense, awkward, hostile with the parents.


  • Its a little rude to not have enough party bags for all kids that attend. Unfair that some miss out. Dont think this is petty especially if your child misses out and is upset

    Also think its petty to recieve a party bag just because you give a gift or criticise someone for not giving a gift. You may think someone is well off but actually not really know what is happening behind closed doors


  • Let it go. Not worth thinking about.


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