There are many things we’ve come to expect from White House correspondents’ dinner weekend — town car gridlock, selfies of journalists all dolled up, pointless Instagrams of pretty hors d’oeuvres. . . and the People-Time party swag bag.
But it seems to have gone on a diet in 2015. The goodies-stuffed knapsack handed out to guests at the hard-to-crash reception at the St. Regis now weighs a trim 8.4 pounds.
Yet extrapolating from our own Internet research, there’s still more than $550 worth of swag stuffed in the easy-to-carry LeSportsac backpack. “I need an afternoon to go through it,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray, who had yet to explore all of his. The one item that caught his eye: The SoulCycle free pass and gift certificate. Someone save that man a bike!
Over-sized gift bags are common at fancy parties in New York or L.A., but less so in Washington, and their annual appearance here always seems to signal the overall excess of the White House correspondents’ weekend. Wondering how the magazines can afford such a swank bag? Don’t worry, they generally don’t cost the party host money: Marketers typically donate the goods, in hopes that the wealthy/influential/famous guests will get hooked on their brands or, even better, be photographed with them.
(Like most media organizations, The Washington Post has ethics limitations on the dollar amount of gifts its staffers can accept. The company runs an annual holiday bazaar to sell or auction the various swag that makes its way to the newsroom, with proceeds donated to local charities.)
Here’s a list of everything inside:
Health and beauty
Colgate-Palmolive toothbrush and whitening pen
Designer Skin faux natural sunless
Emi-Jay Inc. hair ties
hello Products supermint toothpaste
philosophy all-day skin moisturizer
SoulCycle — $100 gift certificate
ZIRH Men’s Skincare mild face wash
Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm
eyn phone case with storage
ResQwalk app plush dog toy
For the feet
Bombas Bee Better Sock
Toyota foot massage kit: wooden massager, foot lotion, salts
Food and drink
Kusmi Tea Rose green tea
LeBon Garcon Caramels
Snappers by Edward Marc Brands
Sally King Benedict print
Built Uptown lunch tote
LeSportsac Voyager backpack
Recent issues of Time and People (of course!)
Read more Reliable Source coverage of the White House correspondents’ dinner: