“Thanks…but no thanks.” Why Underwear Should Never be a Party Favor

By Traci Sanders

A true story…

When I was little (like 5 to 7 years old little), my mom had me give my friends underwear for their birthday. I kid you not. We would go to the store and pick out “cute” (my mom’s word) underwear in those plastic packages where each pair was layered just so (so there was no mistaking what underwear patterns you were buying). I used to ask/beg my mom, “Why?” I so desperately wanted to buy something else for my friend; but my mom always said “All kids need underwear.”

Sitting in the inevitable birthday circle – right before the cake and ice cream (so no one had left yet), my friend would start opening the pile of gifts. While everyone oohed and aahed… not me, I just stared at the one wrapped by my mom… The countdown had begun… 

And then it came, “Oh, this one’s from Traci.” So, there was always this weird moment when my friend would rip into the package always to be somewhat startled (like the underwear had yelled “SURPRISE!” which, let’s be honest, it might as well have), and not really say anything except some unintelligible gasp echoed by pretty much everyone else in the circle. And then her mom – with her voice raised two octaves – would say something like “Ohhh, thank youuuu.” 

The good news is that the underwear-giving birthdays didn’t continue, but the funny stories did, party after party, after party…

So, enjoy all those birthdays, and the parties that go with them. There are moments in there that you and your mom will laugh about for decades to come, because there is no greater gift than the gift of stories.


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