Debbie wrote a great post here giving some alternatives for party bags that won't bust your budget. She also admitted that she's not a fan of these little bags of fun.
I, on the other hand, am still a big kid at heart and make no bones about the fact that I love a good party bag.
And surely this is the point: children's birthday parties are for children -- and children love party bags.
So what if the adults don't like them? Who's the party for, adults or children? I'm not a huge fan of bouncy castles or cheesy Wotsits either, but this doesn't mean I'll stop my son from enjoying both at his birthday party.
Not every party bag has to contain a bucketload of plastic tat on its way to landfill, or enough sweets to give your dentist the tremors. Growing in my garden is a daffodil that came as a bulb in a party bag a few years ago.
The most successful going home gift we ever distributed consisted of a book with a chocolate bar taped to the front - surely that's most people's idea of a good time? A multipack of books like this from The Book People works out at about 80p each, so it's hardly an expensive option.
The other good thing about party bags is that they are a neat and easy way to get your guests out of the door when it's time to go. Who doesn't want to send their party guests home with a smile on their face?
And my children have always enjoyed putting together party bags for their friends to enjoy. It shows them that a birthday party is a communal celebration, and encourages them to spread the love. If you're going to have a party, have a party, bags of tat 'n all.