Collaborate on a bucket list for an unforgettable group gift

birthday wish box 1

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.

birthday wish box 3
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 stylish birthday card 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


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.

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.


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!

Low-key ideas to celebrate someone over the hill


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. readmewhen.jpg

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.

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.

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.


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.