A party favor is a token of appreciation that is given to departing guests in appreciation for the participation and attendance. Traditionally, favors were presented at wedding festivities and formal occasions, but nowadays the practice has spread, encompassing any number of occasions from casual gatherings to formal awards dinners. When planning a retirement party, do not forget to include a few favors in the budget. They can be anything from simple, inexpensive souvenirs to elaborate goodie bags filled with trinkets. As long as they represent the spirit of the celebration, they will be sincerely appreciated.
If you're planning a party that looks like it might last all night, prepare morning snack bags ahead of time. Choose paper bags that coordinate with the overall scheme of the party and stuff each colorful sack with a jumbo muffin, a bottle of cappuccino, a piece of fruit and an antibacterial towelette. For parties that are intended to end earlier in the evening, you might consider handing each guest a small box of chocolates as they depart or a package of homemade cookies to snack on as they head for home. Alternatively, you could have a number of commemorative coffee mugs made for the event. Fill each mug with a small bag of gourmet coffee, a few bags of tea, a packet of cocoa mix and a chocolate-covered spoon.
Incorporate the party favors into the decorations. For example, use small potted plants or fresh-cut flowers as centerpieces and distribute them among the party guests as they head out the door. Table clocks can be used in a similar manner and fit well with the overall idea of a retirement party. If you have time, you can create a number of personalized picture frames featuring the guest of honor and any of the expected guests in funny, candid shots. As each guest departs, invite them to take their photo and frame with them as a keepsake.
If you chose a theme for your retirement party, such as Casino Night or Retirement Beach Bash, the party favors can easily be incorporated into the general game plan. For example, casino night favors could include decks of playing cards, poker chips, dice, or lucky charms such as four leaf clover or rabbit foot key chains. Beach Bash mementos could consist of any number of island or beach items, such as sunglasses, miniature tubes of sunblock, flip flops, margarita glasses, pina colada drink mix, insulated drink holders, snorkeling gear, and a selection of fake shells and starfish all packed inside plastic sand buckets. Retirement parties without a specific theme could make use of drugstore products geared toward the elderly, such as denture cream, vitamins for seniors, and hair regrowth treatments.
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