Everyone loves a bit of attention when birthdays come around, especially the invited guests. Birthday party favors, if they are well thought out and creative, can make your visitors feel special. If you are giving and your guests are receiving just for the heck of it, what's the point anyway?
Many people dislike giving goody bags as they feel they encourage a commercial mentality, in which case I feel, why encourage the populist mentality either and celebrate your birthday at all? C'mon, unless you are dirt poor or neck-deep in debt, you can be generous and big-hearted for at least one day of the year.
If you aren't a kid or young at heart, dig your ancient memories for those long ago days when you enjoyed receiving completely silly things that you really had no possible use for. You can come up with as many party favor ideas as possible, just as you can with birthday party ideas and birthday party themes.
For the adults, you can get movie DVDs of Peter Pan, music CDs, books and playing cards.
You can also have a 'treasure chest' at the end, so in case someone is unlucky and doesn't find anything, they don't feel left out. The gifts can include diamond-shaped paperweights, custom birthday cookies, crystal candle holders, candies, custom-made lavender sachets, colorful bandannas, and so on.
Enthusiastic gardeners or not, everyone might appreciate tiny porcelain watering cans, wheel-barrows, garden pails, and garden pots. Miniature silk plants, flowers, and butterflies also make great gifts.
Spend some time planning these party favors so that you don't leave any stone unturned, and make a lasting impression on your guests' mind.