The Collaborative Cookbook: Inspiring Creativity and Community During COVID-19

For generations, cooking has brought families, friends, and communities together. The kitchen has long been considered the heart of the home, the place where everyone gathers to enjoy the combination of good company, and good food.

As we continue to live in the uncertainty of COVID-19, social distancing means forgoing family dinners, gatherings, and even brunch out with friends—all of which revolve around food. Because of this, many have turned to home cooking to while away the hours, with the hashtag “coronaviruscooking” taking social media by storm.

But one thing our COVID-19 season is missing is the people with whom we love to share our meals. As we spend more time experimenting and expanding our recipe collections, we also want to be able to share our #coronaviruscooking with others.

At Newlywords, we believe in the power of collaboration and community—and a good home-cooked meal. This is why we decided to bring all of those elements together into one, heartwarming collaborative cookbook, where you—and others—can share the recipes you love the most.

What is a Collaborative Cookbook?

Building a cookbook is often a solo task, one that requires long hours experimenting with recipes, professional photoshoots, and plenty of editing. The collaborative cookbook, however, is something else entirely.

Much like the community cookbooks of old—those made for the Ladies’ Aid Society or local high school fundraisers—collaborative cookbooks include recipes from across the community, brought together into a single book.

In many cases, these cookbooks revolve around a specific theme or group. People make cookbooks to share recipes among their school groups, religious gatherings, or even give their recipes as gifts. Every participant shares a recipe or two, and one person combines the recipes to make a complete cookbook.

How to Build a Cookbook with Your Community

At Newlywords, we’ve simplified the process of making a collaborative cookbook. You can easily invite friends or family to contribute recipes, photos, and ideas via our online platform. You can then rearrange the contributions to make a cohesive cookbook that combines everyone’s favorite recipes. Cookbooks can either be shared via PDF, to add to your digital collection, or printed, for those who love the feel of a cookbook in their hands. Friends, family, and co-workers can once more come “together” around food in the form of the collaborative cookbook.

Our Favorite Ways to Share Great Recipes

In the midst of COVID-19, while we may not be able to share our cooking, we can certainly share our recipes. These are some of our favorite ways that customers are using collaboration and cooking to stay connected.

Recipes for the Class of 2020

With nationwide school closures, the class of 2020 is the first ever to end their school year at home and even experience virtual graduation ceremonies. But don’t worry, the cooks and the bakers won’t let this crazy moment slip by without some home-cooked cheer.

Parents, classmates, and even teachers can work together to create a memory that will last a lifetime: a cookbook full of recipes from the class of 2020.

Collaborative Wedding and Shower Gifts

For many engaged couples, the coronavirus pandemic meant canceled plans and postponed ceremonies. For others, however, their weddings simply morphed into something unique: virtual ceremonies, or small, private affairs. Baby showers have also changed dramatically as people jump on video conferencing platforms to celebrate the mom-to-be.

One way loved ones are coming together to help celebrate the newlyweds or new parents is by building collaborative cookbooks. By inviting guests and family members to contribute, they are able to create a beautiful gift that speaks of community, love, and a shared appreciation for great food.

Birthday Party Favor

Looking for creative ways to thank your friends for jumping on Zoom or Houseparty to celebrate your birthday? We think the collaborative cookbook is one of the most memorable ways to say thank you.

You can easily email your guest list from the Newlywords platform and invite them to submit their favorite recipe. You can even give them a theme, like “favorite desserts” or “best birthday party snacks.” Once everyone has submitted a recipe, easily edit and combine the submissions to create a PDF of everyone’s favorite foods. Send it off as a birthday party favor, and even print a hard copy to add to your own collection.

Neighborhood Togetherness

Many of us are feeling the lack of community and connectedness that was previously part of our everyday lives. In order to combat isolation, people are finding creative ways to come together through cooking!

Some eager cooks are using this time to build community by collaborating with neighbors and sharing fun, new recipes. Take it a step further and combine those recipes into a single cookbook that can be passed down as a memory of this season—and some of the sweet and savory delights that came out of it.

The Co-worker Collective

If working from home has you missing your co-workers, the collaborative cookbook is a fun and easy way to bring everyone together on a project unrelated to work. While some are opting for virtual happy hour to stay connected, combining your favorite COVID-19 recipes is a great way to connect and build a lasting memory.

Your office collaborative cookbook also makes a great retirement gift for co-workers that are retiring in the midst of social distancing measures. While a big party may be out of the question, you and your team can give a lasting gift in the form of shared recipes.

Remembering the Season

One of our favorite ways to use the collaborative cookbook is as a time capsule to remember this unique season we are in. With family members unable to visit one another, they can instead turn to the shared expression of cooking.

Grandmothers, uncles, brothers, moms, and daughters can all contribute toward a cookbook that captures the recipes that brought the most joy during this difficult time. Not only will the collaborative cookbook be a fun memory to share as a family or among friends, but it also makes a great gift for those who may be too young to remember this season when life returns to a new normal.

Birthday Celebration & Gift Ideas During COVID-19

Celebrating milestones brings people together. Birthday parties are an especially important tradition, giving family and friends an opportunity to shower affection on loved ones and remind them how much they are valued and cherished.

While staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has limited in-person events and celebrations, that doesn’t mean the party is over. There are a million little ways to make someone feel celebrated in the midst of social distancing. And technology is on our side. Between high quality video conferencing tools, the internet, and an abundance of creativity, here are just a few of the creative ways to celebrate birthdays while still observing social distancing recommendations.

Ideas for Virtual Birthday Parties

For many, the go-to solution for socially distanced birthday celebrations is video conferencing tools. With plenty of options out there, it is easier than ever before to get your family and friends online to celebrate together from afar. We recommend exploring tools like SkypeFacebook MessengerGoogle HangoutsFaceTimeZoomWhatsAppHouseparty, and Squad to find the platform that best meets your needs.

Once you have your platform of choice, it’s time to start planning a fun and entertaining virtual birthday party! These are just a few of our favorite ideas…

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Give a Toast

Toasting the guest of honor is a well-loved tradition that dates back to ancient civilization. Even though your birthday celebration is now digital, putting together a meaningful toast creates an opportunity to share a brief memory, along with well wishes for the future.

We recommend preparing your guests by sending a quick note inviting them to speak during the virtual celebration—and preparing them to have a toast-worthy drink in hand. Have guests take a trip down memory lane and share a story or memory about the guest of honor. Stories and toasts can be funny, touching, or downright silly. The goal is to show how the guest of honor has made a difference in the lives of friends and family.

You can even share some resources to help them write their toasts. A few great options include:

Another great option is to ask every guest to share a picture of them with the guest of honor to go along with their toast. And don’t forget to have fun! Your virtual birthday celebration is about sharing moments, laughter, and sweet memories.

MacBook Pro

Share Advice and Life Experience

Whether you’re turning nine or ninety, everyone loves a little sage advice or humorous wisdom. Ask participants to come prepared to share the best and most important advice they have received over the years, or the most important (or ridiculous) tips and tricks they have learned through experience.

What birthday guest wouldn’t be delighted to gain some insight from Confucius, Gandhi, your little brother, or Great Grandpa? Need a little inspiration? Check out this funny advice from kids for a good laugh. Advice might range from super-serious to overly silly, but no matter what, it’s sure to be entertaining.

And don’t forget to appoint a scribe to take notes! Turn the advice into a fun, digital party favor that gets sent to all the guests after the party.

assorted-color dice on green surface

Get Competitive

What birthday party would be complete without a little friendly competition? Games are a staple at most birthday parties, even the virtual kind. Bingo, Charades, and Pictionary all work on video chat, with Pictionary and Charades being the fan favorites.

Charades, for example, doesn’t require any special tools or supplies. Simply adapt the rules to your virtual forum. There are even sites where you can generate your charades phrases automatically.

Bingo lovers are also in luck! Online tools such as the Bingo Card Generator allow you to download and share Bingo cards with all of your guests. Other sites, such as Online Bingo and Lets Play Bingo automatically generate the calls.

If you want to take the competitive spirit to the next level, host a dance contest, scavenger hunt, or drawing challenge. Enjoy a (virtual) room full of laughs as your guests take on the competition of your choice.

Plan to have your guest of honor serve as the judge, and prizes can be awarded in a wide variety of categories, including:

  • Most Creative Performance
  • Most Courageous Performance
  • Least Likely to Be Forgotten
  • Most Entertaining
  • Most Likely to End Up in Show Business

For more great ideas for competitions and games, check out websites like IcebreakerIdeas.comHobbyLark.com, and ListSurge.com.

red yarn

Teach Something New

If you have a guest with a particular skill or hobby, consider hosting a “how-to” event at your virtual birthday party. While in-person parties sometimes offer cupcake decorating or pottery painting, your virtual party can still be a great opportunity to teach your guests a new skill or craft.

Prepare your guests by sending a list of necessary supplies at least a week prior to the party. Depending on your guest of honor’s favorite hobby or art medium, choose something that is fun and easy to teach online. Some virtual birthday parties have centered around a group painting experience, while others involved knitting, container gardening, or even making your own hand sanitizer.

woman lying on bed while eating puff corn

Pick a Theme

Themed birthday parties never seem to go out of style, no matter your age. Some of the most beloved themes, from “Under the Sea” to the “Roaring 20’s” are still very much applicable to your virtual birthday party.

Keep the theme alive by sharing it in advance and inviting your guests to arrive on screen in costume. To help them manage proper social distancing—and to make things more entertaining—require guests to only make costumes from items available to them at home.

Other ways to utilize your theme include having fun with virtual backgrounds. Video platforms like Zoom offer a variety of backgrounds to create the right mood for your guests and to match their themed costumes.

You can even watch a movie together—one that fits the theme, of course—starting and pausing everyone’s screen simultaneously. Netflix subscribers have this option through Netflix Party (only the host needs an account), and there is Kast for larger groups.

Gift Ideas that Can Be Sent by Mail or Online 

While in-person birthday parties are out due to social distancing, that doesn’t mean we have to do away with gift-giving as well! Giving gifts can be challenging in the time of coronavirus, but there are still plenty of ways to spread the love. Many e-commerce businesses are experiencing long delays, but the good news is you don’t have to rely on retailers to get thoughtful birthday gifts to your loved ones. These are some great, social distance approved gift options that come straight from the heart, ensuring your friends and family will treasure them for years to come.

Create a Birthday Party-in-a-Box 

Balloons and confetti are fun whether you are celebrating virtually or in-person, so package up all of the traditional party fixings and send them off to your loved one. In addition to balloons and confetti, include a birthday sash or crown, streamers, and a party favor. Don’t forget the most important part: a sweet treat that you made yourself or selected with care during your weekly run to the store.

You can upgrade your party-in-a-box by adding some do-it-yourself decor that reflects the recipient’s interests. These are just a few ideas:

Of course, if you are short on time, supplies, or creative energy, there is nothing wrong with asking the professionals to step in. You can create and send a party-in-a-box from your favorite party supply store. Party City is open for online orders, as are Michael’s and Oriental Trading.

person using laptop computer holding card

Send an E-Gift Card 

Online gift cards can be delivered instantly, which makes them a perfect choice for socially distant birthday celebrations. Now is a great time to send something fun that the recipient wouldn’t normally buy for him or herself. Consider their hobbies and opt for something that might encourage them during this time of social distancing. Send a gift card to their favorite local art supply store, bookstore, or restaurant (if they have to-go options available).

You can also look further afield for some fun gift card options from online retailers. Grab a card from Williams Sonoma for the cooking hobbyist, or perhaps a subscription to Wine.com for the wine lover who is looking to expand his or her palate.

The Best Meal Delivery Services for 2020, Ranked & Reviewed | SPY

Gift a Subscription Service 

For those experiencing more time at home, there are some advantages to social distancing. Long-neglected projects are finally getting completed (we hope), movie buffs are rewatching old favorites, and many people are improving their cooking and baking skills.

One way to make this birthday extra special is by gifting a subscription service that adds some variety and spice to quarantine living. For the movie lover who hasn’t quite transitioned to the streaming lifestyle, consider gifting a streaming service such as NetflixHulu, or Disney+.

Other subscription services that make great gifts include online learning platforms, tools for the artist in your life (such as ScribeDelivery or SketchBox) or even high-quality meal kit services, especially for the aspiring chef. With meal kits, the recipient can choose from a variety of menus before boxes are shipped, and each package includes everything needed to put a delicious meal together.

50th Birthday Memory Book Sample

Create a Collaborative Memory Book

Whether you are celebrating a milestone birthday, or you simply want to mark this profoundly unique season, nothing captures all of life’s beautiful moments quite like a memory book. Birthdays are a celebration of life—and a celebration of a lifetime’s worth of experiences, relationships, and achievements. Now is the perfect time to bring those moments together in a memorable way.

Gather pictures, thoughts, advice, and memories from all of your closest friends and family to create a one-of-a-kind collaborative memory book. To make things even easier, you can use a comprehensive service like Newlywords.

This platform is specifically designed to reduce the stress of collecting, sorting, and arranging memorabilia from family and friends. Instead, you send an email invitation to each participant and they upload their pictures and thoughts directly to the Newlywords site and our easy-to-use templates. You don’t have to chase them down, sort through their photos, or send email reminders. Once all the contributions are submitted, you can rearrange them to your liking. The end result is a beautiful digital or printed memory book that the birthday recipient will treasure for years to come.

Record a Video Montage 

If virtual birthday parties aren’t your style (we get it, Zoom calls can be exhausting) another great way to spread the birthday cheer is with a video montage. Ask friends and family to record a short video for the birthday guy or gal and send it your way to create compile one celebratory video. Encourage participants to keep it simple. They can record a video easily using their laptop, tablet, or smartphone and email or text it directly to you.

To make things even easier, consider using a service like VidHug. Similar to Newlywords, you send invitations to participants directly from the site, and they receive instructions for submitting their special birthday message. Once all contributions are received you can easily compile the montage through the VidHug platform.

Build a Group Puzzle 

If you’ve never experienced the joy of a group puzzle, now is definitely your chance. Group puzzles are a great way to celebrate a birthday and make a person feel loved and connected in a time of social distancing.

There are a few ways to create your group puzzle, but by far the easiest option is to print a puzzle pdf from the folks at Oh Happy Day. Send one page of the document to each participant. They write a message on the back and send it along to the birthday recipient. The birthday guy or gal assembles all of the puzzle pieces into a final poster-sized image that is filled with the messages of loved ones.

Whether you choose to mail a gift, send a memory book, or celebrate a virtual birthday party—or all of the above—social distancing doesn’t have to put a damper on your celebration. In a time when being physically together simply isn’t possible, with a little creativity and the help of technology, you can still make every birthday memorable!

Did we miss a great idea? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Retirement Celebration & Gift Ideas During COVID-19

For many, retirement is the end of a lifelong career—the achievement of service and dedication to one or many companies across the years. Others experience retirement as the beginning of a new era, a chance to pursue old passions or new dreams. Regardless, retirement is an accomplishment worth celebrating among co-workers, friends, and family. But in the midst of our current reality—a global coronavirus pandemic, nationwide shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing measures—how do you genuinely and enthusiastically celebrate your co-worker or loved one? If nothing else, 2020 is presenting us with opportunities to get creative in our approach to celebrations and gift-giving. This is the case with birthday parties, graduations, and especially retirement. Don’t put the celebrations on hold quite yet! Instead, it’s time to celebrate retirement with creativity and style.

Host a Virtual Retirement Surprise Party

It’s time to host one final work Zoom call. Whether your workplace is spread across the country, globe, or all in the same city, Zoom is not just your tool for work meetings, but also virtual hangouts and party celebrations. Work with your retiree’s spouse or family to organize a surprise party via Zoom. Convince your co-worker that there is one more thing to discuss before they officially retire, and surprise them by showing up with party hats and retirement decorations on every screen.

To make it a true party, organize some games that can be played via video call. Play retirement themed Pictionary, making some of the categories related to office jokes that the retiree will appreciate. Or create a new version of Drink Talk Learn where everyone gets three minutes to share their favorite funny story about the retiree. At the end, everyone has to vote on their favorite. Create some retirement-themed awards for the winners.

Don’t forget to share your favorite sentimental stories about the retiree as well. This is a great opportunity to congratulate them on past successes and achievements, highlighting their personal impact on the company. Take a moment to recall some of the projects they helped complete, and some of the ways the company has changed over the years, emphasizing your co-worker’s role throughout those transitions.

And definitely don’t forget the cake and champagne. Make sure your retiree’s family or spouse surprises them with a retirement cake and champagne during the call so everyone can sing, cheer, and celebrate together. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a toast and cake while your co-workers virtually celebrate your retirement.

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Put Your Mug on a Mug

We can all use a good laugh right about now. What better way to bring cheer to your retiring co-worker than to give them a reminder of what—or who, rather—they will be missing in the office? Customize coffee mugs (we love options available at Newlywords, but we’re not biased) with a photo of each co-worker. That’s right, stick your mug on a mug and shower your retiree with a gift that will make them laugh each morning. You may not be able to throw a retirement party at this time, but you can make your co-worker feel special, and guarantee they will never forget your face.

Gravity Forms Swag

Shower Them with Office Swag

If coffee mugs with faces on them aren’t your style, check out swag.com to get ideas for other fun (and entertainingly useless) brand-related gifts you can give. The goal is to never let them forget the workplace. Put together a collection of branded tote bags, shirts with funny work quotes, photos of colleagues, and far more pens than they could ever use. Have a virtual brainstorm session with your team to come up with funny sayings or your retiree’s favorite quotes. This is an opportunity for a little lighthearted retirement and office humor. Retirement should be fun, right?

What is VidHug? - VidHug | Help

Film a Video Montage

Video montages are a great way to collect the thoughts, photos, and encouragement of friends and family all in one place. Tools like VidHug make it even easier to organize and create an incredible video montage that includes everyone from co-workers to grandkids. VidHug allows you to send an invitation to anyone on your list. They record a video clip of themselves on any device and the VidHug team compiles a movie to present at your virtual retirement party. This is a great option for teams that are scattered around the country and for those who may not be able to make it to a virtual retirement party. Make sure everyone on your team gets a chance to share their words of support and encouragement for the retiree. And for those who have a tech-savvy team member, have fun creating a unique video with your entire staff offering up words of wisdom.

Travel Gift Pack

Get Them Travel-Ready

Retirement often presents opportunities to travel and visit family, new places, and simply explore the globe. If your co-worker has travel plans that have been put on hold because of COVID-19, you can still celebrate their retirement with travel-related gifts and inspiration. Get them travel ready with travel books for their first planned destination. Or better yet, consider putting together your own book of travel advice and thoughts. Have everyone from work share their best piece of advice or one of their favorite travel mishaps. Turn it into a collection with photos of each co-worker alongside their thoughts and travel tips.

How to sell books on Amazon: stack of books and a yellow mug in front of a wall

Say Happy Retirement With a Good Book

Does your loved one or co-worker love books? Help them start retirement with a collection of new books to add to their reading list. Have everyone at the office—as well as family and friends—each send a book with a personal note to celebrate their retirement date. If you aren’t sure what books your co-worker would love, make a list of all your favorite books from the past few years. Send one that speaks to their new season, their hobbies, or simply something fun that they can read in the garden this summer. Still not sure about the perfect book? Check out Amazon’s favorite books of the month or have everyone from work pick a different genre so the retiree is surprised with a smattering of new reading material.

The ‘High School Musical’ Cast Had A Zoom Reunion ‘Coz We Really Are All In This Together

Go Crazy and Assemble a Workplace Musical Number

COVID-19 and current stay-at-home orders have sparked an outpouring of digital innovation. Museums are providing virtual tours, opera houses are live-streaming performances, and the cast of Hamilton even jumped on Zoom to perform for a young fan. We may not all be as musically talented as the cast of Hamilton, but for workplace teams that want to get creative, your office can join the fun by creating a live or recorded retirement performance unlike any other! Invite the retiree onto Zoom (or any other group video chat tool) to experience co-workers performing a favorite musical number, a spoken word poem about the retiree, or any number of fun (and funny) performances. You don’t have to be talented to make everyone laugh and have a good time. Have fun, get creative, and spread the joy of celebrating retirement together, even when you are cities or states apart.

Example Memory Book

Organize a Retirement Memory Book

Photo books and memory books last a lifetime and allow you to share some of the best moments in your retiree’s career. Working together as a team—with both co-workers and family members—collect photos, thoughts, quotes, and memories to create a collection that will be a treasured retirement gift. If collating and organizing photos and emails from people all over the country sounds complicated, stick to incredible digital tools like Newlywords. Instead of managing emails and photos from work friends and family, you can send an invitation to everyone involved using the Newlywords platform. Invitees then add their memories straight to the platform and the Newlywords team helps you create a gorgeous memory book. One of the sweetest and simplest ways to celebrate retirement is with unending cherished memories from across the years.

How to Truly Celebrate Your Graduate and Still Social Distance

For the past several weeks, our lives have been turned upside down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools, businesses, and public services have been temporarily halted in order to work as a nation and community to stop the spread of the virus. Now, with things changing daily, many states are choosing to keep schools closed for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year and students and teachers are switching to online learning. Graduating high school and college seniors (and even those transitioning from other milestones, such as kindergarten) are grappling with the cancellation of graduation ceremonies, parties, and even family events. While social distancing guidelines and statewide stay-at-home orders mean limiting gatherings and staying at least 6 feet away from others, it does not limit our ability to celebrate! Are you ready to boost your graduate’s spirits? We’ve compiled 15 of the top ways to social distance and still celebrate your graduate this spring.

College students at a recent Zoom party.

Organize a Group Video Call

Birthday parties, book clubs, and yes, graduation parties are making their way in the digital world. A longtime staple for corporations and remote workers, video conferencing tools have seen a huge uptick in downloads and users in the past several weeks. Universities, K-12 schools, churches, families, and groups of friends are now using these tools to connect and be together while still maintaining social distancing.

Organize your grad’s celebration with friends and family by inviting them to log on to a video call at a designated time. Surprise your graduate by having participants sing, cheer, swap stories about their time as a student, offer up toasts, and spend time together celebrating this milestone.

Tools We Love: We have had success using popular conferencing sites and apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Houseparty, all of which allow multiple users to be on the same call at one time. Find the tool that works best for you!

VidHug | Surprise Group Video Gifts For Birthdays & More

Create a Video Montage

Who doesn’t love a good video montage? Especially when it includes messages from friends and family across the globe. In lieu of sending party invitations, send an email to friends and family and ask them to submit a short video expressing their love and congratulations to your graduate.

For those who are tech-savvy, or simply love a creative project, you can use video editing tools like iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro to compile each individual video into one movie. Add some music and photos to transition between clips.

Tools We Love: If compiling movies and making montages sounds like a challenge, we’ve got you covered! Try using VidHug to invite, record, and compile your video. Through the platform, you can send an invitation to all your family and friends, they record their video on any device, and the VidHug team compiles your movie so it is ready for graduation day.

Celebrate the Day of the Grad

Every graduate has their favorite things: foods, activities, games, hobbies. Make a plan for graduation day to be designated the “Day of the Grad.” Take the day to celebrate everything your graduate loves. If your grad is currently part of your household, make the day a family event. Start with their favorite breakfast, followed by a movie marathon, video game competitions, backyard board games, and a day full of their favorite snacks. Does your grad love to be outside? Build your own backyard disc golf course, or introduce the family to games like Bocce Ball or Spikeball.

If your graduate is living elsewhere during this stay-at-home season, send them a gift basket of all their favorite things so that they can celebrate in place. Send a combination of fun ingredients for their favorite foods, a favorite movie, book, snacks, or gift cards.

Tools We Love: If time is limited, consider using Amazon to send a care package of your graduate’s favorite things.

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Have a Graduation Block-Party

Whether your graduate lives at home or is living in a different city, state, or across town, they are surrounded by neighbors who would love to help them celebrate. Pick a designated day and time to have neighbors hang signs in their front windows, and even step outside (maintaining appropriate distance, of course) to cheer, shout, bang pots and pans, and create a celebration in honor of your grad.

If you don’t currently live with your student, ask roommates and friends to help spread the word to the neighborhood. Just make sure to get your graduate outside at the right time so that he or she can enjoy the community-wide celebration.

Tools We Love: Purchase a custom photo yard sign here.

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Host a Backyard (or Virtual) Graduation Ceremony

Many graduates have already received their caps and gowns, which they will now never wear in a ceremony. Host your own graduation ceremony (with or without the gown!) and give your grad a chance to be recognized.

Small, backyard ceremonies with family (for those who live together) will provide great photo opportunities. Take snapshots with your grad to add to a future memory book. For virtual or backyard ceremonies, ask your graduate to share some of their favorite moments in school, their favorite achievements, and their plans for the future. Take time to celebrate the things they are proud of accomplishing in this past season and dream about what lies ahead.

Organize a Graduate Card Exchange

Your graduate isn’t the only one feeling the quarantine blues. Work with your grad to organize a class-wide card exchange. Students can make cards to celebrate their classmates, share their favorite photos from the school year, and write down fun memories. So much of our connection these days is digital, but by mailing (or delivering) cards, your graduate and classmates can enjoy the experience of receiving handwritten notes and memories that will last a lifetime.

Tools We Love: Instead of purchasing pre-made cards, create a poster from postcards! Have everyone in the class send a postcard to every student. When all of the postcards have arrived, the back of each card combines to make a fun graduation poster.

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Make a Virtual Yearbook

With the school year ending unexpectedly, seniors are missing a multitude of end-of-the-year celebrations, including prom, sporting events, and signing senior yearbooks. But this year’s seniors aren’t lacking creativity, and some are already going virtual with their senior memories.

How do you create a virtual yearbook? Some seniors are using hashtags on Instagram to create a space for their classmates to stay in touch and share photos from the school year. Another option includes creating a Facebook group specifically for the graduating class of 2020.

Tools We Love: To go above and beyond in gathering memories, thoughts, and photos from an entire graduation class, we love (for obvious reasons) the tools available at Newlywords. Your graduate and their classmates can all collaborate to make a memorable yearbook that gets shared via PDF or printed and shipped to their door.

Film Your Graduate

With parties and celebrations at a standstill, your family and friends are missing an opportunity to hear about your graduate’s future plans. Help them celebrate with you by filming a short video (on your smartphone, tablet, or camera) of your graduate. Share what lies ahead, how they are feeling, and their gratitude for family and friends that still want to celebrate their achievement.

Tools We Love: Create a group message in WhatsApp to send your video. That way friends can respond instantly and share their thoughts and encouragement with your graduate.

17 Ideas for a Memorable College Graduation Party

Sit Down to a Family Dinner

Nothing says “Cheers” quite like a dinner in your honor. Help make your graduate feel celebrated by cooking their favorite meal and hosting a family dinner complete with cake, gifts, and laughter. Is your grad not at home? Order their favorite meal and have it delivered to their door. Then grab your device and have a family video call over dinner as you eat, chat, and celebrate together from a distance.

Dorm Room Necessities - AY Magazine

Give the Gift of a Dorm/Apartment Shopping Spree

Graduation isn’t just the end of a school year, it is also the beginning of a new season. Celebrate your grad’s accomplishments by gifting them with an opportunity to prepare for what’s ahead. One way to take your grad’s mind off of the present is to let them fill their Amazon gift list with fun items for college or their future apartment. Send the list to family and friends and spread the love as dorm/housewarming gifts show up throughout the summer.

Summer Reads - Recommendations from 2018 Quantrell and Graduate ...

Share Your Favorite Books

Marie Kondo may recommend we keep a limited number of books in our possession, but any book lovers would beg to differ. Lift your graduate’s spirits by inviting family and friends to send their favorite book or a book that will provide encouragement, inspiration, or pure entertainment for your graduate. Encourage people to have books shipped from online stores or even give virtual books via Kindle.

Tools We Love: Not sure what book to give? Consider a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, giving your graduate access to thousands of books in every genre.

Masterclass Is Running a Special "Buy One, Give One Free" Deal: It ...

Encourage Lifelong Learning

While your graduate may be done (for now) with their traditional schooling, their graduation is a great opportunity to encourage their hobbies. For students who love working with their hands, give the gift of art supplies or tools they can use to pursue their respective hobby. If your graduate likes learning new skills, gift them online courses that will help them learn something new, fun, and creative. Encourage their aspirations even in the midst of the unknown.

Tools We Love: Whether your graduate loves to write, create music, act, play sports, or cook, we love the options available from MasterClass. Professionals from around the world teach online courses for almost any skill or hobby.

Graduation Party Supplies 2018 Grad Hanging Decorations - - Import ...

Deck the Halls With Graduation Décor

Sometimes a little bit of decorating goes a long way. Imagine your graduate waking up to a house (or room) full of banners, streamers, balloons, and all things graduation. Hang some encouraging quotes from the living room walls or decorate their chair at the dining room table. Just because the house isn’t full of family and friends doesn’t mean it can’t be full of graduation cheer.

UGA Georgia Bulldogs Sticker - Uga X Mascot - 4.25" Die Cut Vinyl ...

Celebrate with Mascots and Merch

Whether your graduate is leaving high school, college, or beyond, help them create fun memories using their school mascot and merchandise. Turn an old high school T-shirt into a fun pillow or pillowcase, or if you’re extra crafty, add it to a quilt. For those graduating or heading to college, grab a hoodie, banner, or other fun products from the school’s online shop. Celebrate where they came from and where they are headed with memorable merchandise.

Tools We Love: Give the gift of a t-shirt quilt without the hassle. Memorystitch lets you choose the size and color of your quilt, you send them the shirts, and they do the rest.

Example Memory Book

Create a Memory Book

Before sending your graduate off on their next adventure, give them a collection of fun photos and memories from their life prior to graduation. Memory books are a great way to remind your grad that they are loved, celebrated, and fully prepared for their next stage of life.

Tools We Love: Traditional memory books and photo books include a collection of photos that you have sourced. At Newlywords, you can invite your entire family or group of friends to participate in making a more complete book of memories. With both PDF or printed books available, you can work behind the scenes with family to collaborate, share, and create a memory book that your graduate will cherish for years to come.

What are retirement gift ideas for someone who loves to travel?

retirement party gift atlas
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!

Collaborate on a bucket list for an unforgettable group gift

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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.

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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!

A uniquely stylish birthday card that can be hung on the wall

big birthday card

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.

How to throw a birthday wine tasting

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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.

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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.

Dress up ideas for that 60th birthday party

Hippie Group Playing Music and Dancing Outside
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.

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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? And most importantly for those considering 60th birthday ideas, remember to recycle everything.

Get 30 guests to bring mini gifts for a 30th birthday

40 Birthday Gifts

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!