How can I personalize a birthday celebration?

When you’re out of birthday ideas, you can’t go wrong with human memory, and the birthday should really be all about the birthday child in question, shouldn’t it? Using photos, build a timeline on the wall showing your loved one throughout the ages. Friends and other members of the family probably have enough to make plucking one for each year tricky, so ask them to help you choose! Keep the memories alive by taking party photos, then add them to a photo book with those snapshots. If you’re using physical photos, make a copy before hanging them up, just in case some get damaged over the course of the party.

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You can hang a poster on the wall and provide markers and pens for guests to write down a reason they love the person, either a blank sheet or something like this. While you’re at it, set out a jar and let them drop small cards into it, each one bearing a memory they have of the MVP. These can either be read aloud during the party to try to guess who wrote it, or saved for when they’re feeling down.

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Five retirement party planning ideas

A colleague’s retirement can be a sentimental time. After all, it is the closing of one chapter and the embarking of another.

When planning your colleague’s retirement party, you’ll want to make sure it is fun and memorable. You should also focus on the happy, productive times they’ve had during their career. Consider the following tips to ensure the party is a success.

1. Unconventional Venues

Sometimes it’s easier to keep the venue in the office, but at other times you may want to bring the party elsewhere, such as to a restaurant or relaxing venue. Be flexible when determining the date, and make sure it’s at a time and place when all guests and colleagues can attend. If your guests might appreciate an unconventional setting for the retirement part, just make sure it’s something the retiree will enjoy. How about an art gallery space if they love art, or rent out an entire movie theater room for the evening, for your guests, or–if you can pull it off–an airport hangar if they are avid travelers.

2. Toast and Speeches

To honor the retiree, you can ask a few people to share memories and heartfelt thanks through a short, genuine speech. You could also play a PowerPoint video to showcase milestones and events throughout the years. Anyone from former bosses to family members would be suitable for giving a speech at the retirement party. Just remember to give the guests adequate time to plan their speeches prior to the event. If you know anyone who is a member of Toastmasters Club, an international public speakers and communicators club, it could be a wonderful, professional addition. Check this site, Retirement Quotes, for sample speech templates you can use for creating your own speeches.

3. Retirement Memory Books

Plan this one in advance: Ask everyone to contribute a retirement wish or share a story about the retiree. This retirement memory book is like a huge group scrapbook to be treasured forever. Set up the online collection page, give your guests the link so they can share their pictures and messages, and have it printed and mailed to you to gift at the retirement party as the ultimate group gift.

4. Themed Playlist

Quite a few songs will work for the “retirement” and “relaxation” theme of your event. If your guests are game for ad-lib performances, you could even make karaoke a lively part of the entertainment. Some of the songs you might choose are:

  • “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
  • “Hit the Road, Jack” by Ray Charles
  • “When I am 64” by the Beatles
  • “Young at Heart” by Doris Day and Frank Sinatra
  • “Vacation” by the GoGos
  • “V A C A T I O N” by Connie Francis
  • “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Peter, Paul and Mary

Of course, you could also prepare a playlist of your celebrant’s favorite songs. To make things easier, here are a couple of retirement song playlists from Spotify and 8tracks.

5. Fun Dress-Up Party

Another twist on fun parties is asking guests to come dressed in something that reminds them of the retiree or celebrant. Maybe people will come as the celebrant’s favorite actor, or what they wanted to be when they grew up (airplane pilot), or themes based on their favorite travels (think summer in Italy!). The options here are endless. Pinterest has plenty of visuals for costume ideas, if your guests need help with originality and creativity.

There are many ways to send off that special colleague into retirement. With a little advance planning and creativity, you can make it a retirement party that he/she will never forget!

The ultimate guide to birthday memory books for that 40th, 50th, or 60th birthday

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for a loved one’s 40th birthday gift, a collaborative memory book could be the answer. Personal, heartfelt and unique, this unique gift celebrates a person’s life through the eyes of friends and family.

If you want to bestow the gift of love and admiration with a birthday memory book for this milestone, here are a few tips to get you started.

What Is a Birthday Memory Book?

A memory book is a type of scrapbook, filled with messages, stories, drawings and photos that celebrate a specific memory or a life more generally. They usually have themes, one of which is the celebration of an important birthday. A 40th birthday is a major milestone in any person’s life, so it’s only right that it is celebrated with a special gift that will last a lifetime. Obviously a 50th birthday or 60th birthday works as well!

Exactly what goes into a birthday memory book is entirely up to you. You can use photos in chronological order or arrange them in a way that creates a particular narrative. You can ask for friends and family to compose their own messages of well wishes. There’s even the option of adding real items, such as tickets, flowers and other mementos.

Why It’s Worth Making a Birthday Memory Book

Let’s face it: Anyone can buy a gift from a store. At this person’s age, it’s likely that the birthday honoree doesn’t need more stuff. However, it takes a deep understanding of a person to create something so intimate. A birthday memory book is something that speaks to what someone has meant in the lives of many.

Well thought-out messages let someone know just how much they’re loved by friends and family. Not only does it provide a venue for others to share their appreciation for a person, but it’s an album that can be shared across generations. The best memory books remain touching and relevant throughout the course of a lifetime.

#1 – A Traditional Scrapbook-Style Memory Book

If you have a love for arts and crafts, or if you have physical mementos you’d like to add to your book, the traditional option is probably the best for you.

Choose a Theme

The first step towards the creation of a beautiful 40th birthday scrapbook involves deciding on whether you want a theme. While this is not necessary to create an amazing collection, you’ll want to decide this upfront since it’ll be hard to change your mind later. A theme can center on a decorating style for your book (e.g., a favorite sports team or movie genre) or it can center on content (e.g., favorite memories people have about the person or funny advice for being “over the hill”).

Gather Content from Others

The best memory books include many friends, family or coworkers from multiple stages of life. You’ll want to reach out to people early to give them time to contribute. Email everyone with specific guidelines on what they should contribute (e.g., pictures, messages) and a deadline to get back to you. Send email reminders as the deadline approaches to give a gentle nudge.

Gather Memorabilia and Decorating Materials

Open that closet and search for old photos, ticket stubs, old greeting cards and drawings. Quotations and poems that speak to the person’s life also make great additions. Parents and siblings might have pictures as an embarrassingly fun blast from the past.

Unless you have them already, shop for decorating materials at your local craft store (e.g., Michaels or Hobby Lobby). You’ll need a suitable book as your “canvas”. We recommend buying albums where it’s easy to insert or remove extra pages, as it’ll be hard to predict exactly how many pages you’ll need until the end. Other scrapbooking items you’ll need include glue or tape, stickers, pens and pencils, colored paper, glitter and embellishments. Here is a great list of basic scrapbooking supplies.

Assemble and Decorate

Set aside a large space work with and begin by laying out all the content from friends and family. Arrange, decorate and assemble each page one by one. Here’s where your crafty talents come to life. As the organizer of your project, make sure you add your own note at the beginning or end of the book!

#2 – A Photo Book

A photo book is a good option if you aren’t as crafty or if much of your content is in the form of digital photos.

Choose Your Software

You can use basic word processing software to create a reasonably good digital photo memory book. However, we recommend websites (e.g., Shutterfly, Picaboo or Snapfish) , or scrapbooking applications (e.g., MyMemories or Artisan) specifically designed to help assemble photo books.

Invite Friends and Family to Contribute

Similar to traditional birthday scrapbooks, email friends and family asking them to contribute content. If people have physical contributions to your project, have them scanned into a digital file so you can upload it with the rest of the content. Alternatively, you can attach a keepsake pocket at the end of your printed book and include physical items there.

Assemble and Design

Upload the emailed content from contributors to your chosen website. Arrange the content to your liking and decorate the pages online using design templates. Most websites also offer digital embellishments and other options to customize your album.

Print, Ship and Wrap

Once you’re happy with the design and layout of your photo book, most websites can print and ship the physical version of the book to you within 2-3 weeks. Once the photo book arrives in the mail, it’s ready to be wrapped and presented!

#3 – A Memory Book w/ Messages and Stories

If you don’t have time to design a book or to organize content from a large group of people, a Newlywords birthday memory book of messages and stories (along with pictures) might be the best option for you.

Start a Collection Page

Create a webpage to make it easy to gather content from everyone. You can specify what type of content you’d like and a deadline. There are also various templates you can choose to make it easier for contributors to submit something.

Ask for Contributions

Email the collection page URL to friends and family, or invite folks directly through the website (similar to how Evite works) so that contributors receive automated reminders before the deadline.

Review, Print and Ship

Edit and approve submitted contributions. Unlike digital scrapbooks, Newlywords uses a clean and modern design for all its pages, so organizers don’t spend time decorating. Once you finalize your book, choose from receive a PDF version or having a physical book printed and shipped to you.

No matter what method you use to create your birthday memory book, it’ll be a treasure trove of love, wishes and memories that memorialize this birthday milestone. Whether it’s a 40th birthday, a 50th birthday, or a 60th birthday, it’ll be the gift of a lifetime!

Rent a castle for that destination birthday party

In another life, you might have been a noble or a knight, and you might have gotten to spend your nights in a fancy castle or estate somewhere in Europe. But since your birthday loved one is probably not sleeping in one presently, it’s safe to say that throwing a birthday party inside a castle will be the memory of a lifetime.

Of course, you can’t just text the Queen and ask her if you can have a sleepover at her place, but Loyd & Townsend Rose has you covered. They have castles you can rent! With castles in England, Ireland, and Scotland, LTR works with the private owners of the castles to rent their homes to you for a week or weekend, including some extracurriculars, such as falconry and archery at the Althorp House or a full Scottish sport array at Forter Castle in Perthshire, Scotland.

Not every castle is created equal, and some work better for smaller groups than larger ones. If you do take LTR up on their offer, mention if it’s for a milestone occasion like a  40th, 50th, or 60th birthday – they might help you plan the party.

Sugar & sweet retro birthday party ideas

Nobody likes to be reminded they’re getting older, whether they are turning 40, 50, or 60. So take your loved one back to the past instead with a gift of childhood candies they may not even remember. Retro candies can be bought in a variety of places, like Old Time Candy which sorts your favorites by the decades. For a little extra fun, put these on one table and do another with their current favorites, and mark them “Favorites Then” and “Favorites Now.”

If they’re still attached to their old candies, mix them together and label the table with “These are a few of my favorite things” instead. There’s a whole collection of signs for sale here that can be bought as-is, though some come with options to be personalized for the birthday boy or girl.

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If your loved one cares more for home-baked goods, however, their birthday party can be a recipe sharing fantasy. Tell the guests to bring in their favorite and add it to a collaborative birthday memory book of recipes. If you manage to pull it off in secret, that’s even better, because then you can wrap and present it to the recipient as the last gift of the day!

Ten tips for planning a milestone birthday party

So, your friend or family member has a big birthday coming up — one of those milestone birthdays that ushers in a new decade and maybe even a new attitude. Milestone birthdays call for a little extra celebration; they’re often a time to reflect, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a time to party. Here are 10 tips for planning a milestone birthday party the guest of honor won’t soon forget (even if they’re over the hill now).

1. Mix Up a Signature Drink

Most milestone birthdays are after age 21, so your guest of honor will be able to throw back a signature cocktail. For a big 30th birthday, a drink celebrating the Roaring ’20s is a clever addition to the menu. Turning 50? Blend together something using 50-proof alcohol.

2. Invite Special Guests

Since life milestones often inspire gratitude and the chance to look back on past decades’ accomplishments, your guest list deserves special attention. Invite people from different stages of the guest of honor’s life. High school friends, college friends and colleagues from their former job are just a few people who might be welcome!

3. Organize a Birthday Memory Book

What’s better than a game of “This Is Your Life”? Instead of trotting people out from behind a curtain, have loved ones work together to assemble a meaningful group scrapbook. Birthday memory books filled with photos, funny stories and sentimental memories from a large group of friends and family will be cherished forever.

4. Put Your Appreciation in Writing

A milestone birthday is the perfect time to shower your loved one with affection. Put up a poster board, and let guests list things they appreciate about the birthday king or queen. Better yet, create a poster that is milestone themed. If you’re celebrating a 50th birthday for your friend Jane, create a “50 Things We Love About Jane” poster.

5. Create a Custom Playlist

Can you remember which songs were popular 40, 50 or 60 years ago? Time to refresh your memory by putting together an epic playlist for the party. You can pass out CDs of the playlist as party favors or create and share a Spotify playlist if your guests are streaming savvy.

6. Personalize the Stemware

A 30th or 75th birthday (or any milestone age, really) is the perfect time to splurge on some personalized glassware. Or, if you prefer, plastic cups. Get the name of the birthday celebrant printed on the side, along with the number of the milestone birthday, to personalize the soiree.

7. Put Their Name in the Headlines

Hey, your loved one is turning 40 — he deserves some recognition! Print up a faux newspaper with his name and birthday as the headline. You can fill the rest of the front page news with details about his life’s accomplishments thus far, or what was happening back on the day they were born.

8. Bottle Something Special

What’s that? Personalized wine glasses or drinking cups aren’t elaborate enough for your birthday party? You can also order wine bottles with a personalized sticker to commemorate your loved one’s big milestone.

9. Bring Photo Props

Everyone will be snapping away with their iPhone or Galaxy, so you may as well give them some fun ways to capture their experience at the party! Silly themed props such as mustaches, giant glasses and cutouts of the milestone year (like a big 5-0) give guests a way to unwind and take photos with the guest of honor.

10. Create a Hashtag

Want to send your party viral? Give guests a unique hashtag — such as #JulieTurns30 — and encourage your guests to use it when posting to social media. Want to go all out? Create a special Snapchat filter to use on all photos posted on the social platform from your milestone party.

What are party and gift ideas to celebrate my parents’ anniversary?

Is it planning time and you need some fantastic anniversary party ideas to get started? Whether you’re searching for the perfect anniversary gift for your parents or another special couple in your life, we’ve collected the best ideas out there this year to make the happy day one that everyone will remember for a very long time..
Here is a list of the Top Five and we think they’re real winners:

d111. A collaborative appreciation list from loved ones using the number of years married. For example: 40 years = “40 Things We Love About You” If this gift is designed to celebrate parents anniversary, you may choose to involve each of their children and grandchildren to create the perfect list based on each person’s special relationship with them. AncesTree offer a ready-to-go poster that they will ship to you. Alternatively, Custom Printables NY will design a board you can print yourself.

d332. Create personalized wine bottles for the special occasion. Depending on the budget for your anniversary party, you may choose to order one unique bottle for the special couple, or several to display and share among guests. There are several companies out there like Etching Expressions that offer a wide variety of options when it comes to anniversary party ideas. You can stay as simple as the anniversary year with the couple’s names, or get a bit more romantically detailed by adding their wedding photo.

d223. The Perfect Playlist. Fill the evening with celebratory tunes that are meaningful to the special couple. Ideas include songs from their wedding day and the decade surrounding it. If you’re close enough to the couple to be throwing them a party, you are undoubtedly aware of their musical preferences. If you end up running a little short on lyrical inspiration, try looking looking through any music they have in the house to add to your playlist. At the end of the celebratory occasion, present them with a CD or other preferred method of sharing the compiled music for future enjoyment and happy memories. Companies like Evermine create custom CD labels as a more creative gift option.

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4. Create a decorative board breaking down the years your special couple has been married into months, days, hours and minutes spent together in matrimony. To add an even more sentimental element to this as an anniversary gift for parents, include the names of each of their children and grandchildren. Be sure to get a family photo around the board when everyone comes together to celebrate. Pinterest is full of brilliant ideas for how to make your time appreciative anniversary board.

5. Create a collaborative anniversary memory book filled with messages, stories and photos of everyone special in the lives of the couple. A site like Newlywords makes it a breeze to collect everyone’s contribution to the project. Distance doesn’t pose a problem when you can share a website that allows everyone to add photos and sentiments from anywhere. Don’t worry, you can still review and edit to make sure that this anniversary memory book for the happy couple is the perfect group album that you had in mind.

Whether your happy event is designed to celebrate your parents’ anniversary or anyone else special in your life, guarantee success with good planning and unique anniversary ideas like these!