The thing about retirement is now the retiree has all the free time in the world. And now that they’ve worked so hard and gotten so far, it’s obviously time for them to get to see the world. So invest in an atlas and bring to the party as a gift. Have coworkers, colleagues, friends and family sign it, marking pages with locations they would like to recommend the retiree visit now that they’re no longer obligated to go to work.
You might be thinking a globe would work better, but it’s harder to pack a globe in luggage. If they’re really travel-inclined, they might already be planning a trip themselves, but why not give them more ideas?
Alternatively, you could ask everyone to contribute their post-retirement travel suggestions in a hard-bound retirement memory book. Coworkers would share their travel suggestions and accompanying pictures by contributing online before the retirement party. Afterwards, you reveal this compilation of personalized travel tips as a group gift at the party!
You’ve heard of bucket lists, but if you’ve worked with buckets long, you’ve figured out that they’re a little difficult to store neatly. So, whether you’re planning a birthday, anniversary or retirement party, consider a wish box! A personalized wooden box, like those bought here, is relatively easy to get your hands on, and moderately easy to make yourself. You can buy bucket list cards over here for guests to fill out and drop in the box for later storage.
If everyone fills out an idea or two, that should keep the honoree(s) busy for quite a while. But more importantly, it’s easy to tuck a box away in a cabinet or in your luggage than it is a box. Make it waterproof and it will even survive a disastrous fishing trip, or a slightly too wild cruise.
If you want to gift something even more neatly bound, organize a collaborative memory book. Unlike a wish box, folks contribute wishes online before the party so that they have more time to think of what to write. This also works well if some people are unable to attend your event!
Whether you are planning a birthday, anniversary or retirement party, you probably expect to see some folks bring traditional greeting cards sealed in paper envelopes. Usually they are cards from folks who found the time to prepare one in advance. Sometimes it’s an actual giant birthday card someone finds at a local convenience or party store. But hanging a giant birthday card on the wall is a little cumbersome and might look tacky. Why not hang a photograph instead?
Buy a frame with an extra-large border and center your chosen photograph in it. Provide some pens and encourage the guests to sign a note for the man or woman of the hour. In addition to proving they attended and reminding people of that in the future, the birthday child will be able to see it hanging on their wall or sitting on their table and remember friends and family.
Alternatively, go further and organize a birthday memory book filled with pictures, stories and messages from everyone. It won’t hang on the wall, but it’s a great addition to the coffee table that will get picked up over and over again.
You may have difficulty picking a birthday party idea. Sometimes, it’s just not a simple thing to do. But it could be! See, just like your birthday guest of honor, there are other things that only get better with age, and one of the most common ones is wine. So why not set up a wine tasting? A couple bottles of wine, a little bit of cheese or chocolate, custom glasses. You could probably get all of it for under a hundred dollars if you’re buying disposables, or a few hundred if you’re buying glass.
But of course, you could give it a spin, too. Instead of setting up the wine tasting yourself, encourage the guests to bring their favorites as gifts that can be enjoyed in the years to come. You could even go a bit further to test everyone’s palette with a blind wine tasting party. It’ll be a bottle of fond memories and great tastes.
Sixty is a unique age, just as the decade was. A gallon of gas in 1960 was only a quarter, but you can’t buy much with just a quarter these days. Still! Pulling out the bold colors for someone’s 60th and making this the theme isn’t a terrible plan. With the population split between tie-dye clothes with hemp jewelry and sharp suits with A-line dresses, there’s a whole host of colors and clothes for guests to pick from.
Some of the easiest for modern-day wardrobes might be the Hippie style, since the men can throw on bold colored shirts and bluejeans and the ladies likely have a summer dress somewhere. Throw on some bangles and a bandana, sketch a peace sign on the cake, and no one will be any wiser. If you do that, why not go all out? Recycle everything.
Maybe you’re looking for 30th birthday ideas that don’t involve a lot of money. A lot of people give out as many gifts as the recipient is turning old, usually little dollar store trinkets. And while that’s an option, that’s also a lot of wrapping paper. Save yourself a little time by having the party guests bring one of the 30, or something that shares their age, like a movie, game, or music.
A lot of gifts can be personalized, and there’s a lot of 30th year related gifts over here. From Star Wars to Vintage, tee-shirts that celebrate and coffee cups that lie about your age, it shouldn’t wont be hard to find something cheap but thoughtful that you probably wont get in trouble for buying for them. And if everyone brings a gift, you can be excused for only getting one too.
But maybe just gifting them is a little stale. If everyone is into it, turn the gifts into prizes for a scavenger hunt or open a few every hour at forty past, to keep anticipation going all day. If you do a scavenger hunt, don’t forget where they went!
Ultimately, there’s no changing that someone very near and dear to you is starting a new decade of their life, and big elaborate parties aren’t for everyone. You know your best friend better than anyone else in the world, so you know if that’s something they’ll enjoy. But if it isn’t, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to make it special.
Take them out for breakfast or dinner at their favorite place to eat, help them catch up on housework they may not have had time for, and if you’re planning far enough ahead, write them a bundle of “Read Me When…” letters for them to open when they’re sad or when they’re happen or feeling lost, or just whenever. You can buy pre-made bundles here that you just need to fill in, or you can make your own at home.
Since it’s their 40th, 40 letters would be ideal, but that might be unmanageable. Though if you can’t manage letters, a bundle of $1 lotto tickets or scratch-offs could also do wonders and would make an interesting investment should they be winners. A useful distraction when cooking breakfast.