Although a farewell party can be an emotionally painful event, it can also create fond memories for the celebrated individual and his friends. Games can add levity and laughter, providing opportunities for friends and colleagues to bond one last time before a loved-one departs. Use games that personalize the event, and keep the party's focus on the guest of honor.
Allow party guests to make "bets" about the guest of honor, such as how much weight she'll gain after 20 years have passed, how many drunken-while-intoxicated arrests she'll suffer in the foreign country she's departing to, etc.; record the guests' observations in a book. Compile a list of 10 such forecasts and allow everyone to place a bet during the course of the party. At the end of the party, read the odds aloud. You can also let the guest of honor to take the book with her as a memento.
Hunt and Pack
Fill crates or suitcases with old clothes, books and other typical items packed for a trip. Hide a gag prize in each of the crates. Pair guests into teams, designating them as "customs officials." Have everyone search for the prizes by picking through the crates. When the game has concluded, toss the clothes and other travel items, such as toothbrushes and shampoo bottles, around the room. Set several suitcases in the middle of the room, and use a stopwatch to conduct a timed race. Challenge the guests to see who can pack their suitcases the fastest. You can videotape both games and play the short movies at the end of the party.
Passport Photo Booth
Set up a photo booth in the corner of the room. Curtain it off so people can have their pictures taken without feeling as if they're being watched. Conduct a "best" and "worst" passport photo competition. Encourage guests to assume their grumpiest, most evil expressions as well as their brightest and most beautiful faces while in the booth. Have guests pin their passport photos up on "Best" and "Worst" bulletin boards. Take a vote at the end of the party and declare the winners.
Pass the Memory Parcel
Instruct party guests to write memories or anecdotes about their departing friend on sheets of colored paper. Wrap a gift for the guest of honor using these sheets of paper, with each paper layer bearing one story. Have the guests sit in a circle and pass the parcel, reading the anecdotes as they each unwrap a layer. Make sure the final sheet of paper is black, so guests know it's time to pass the parcel to the person leaving. Have the guest of honor unwrap his going away present.
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