Big parties don't always have to mean big expenses. Planning a memorable milestone 60th-birthday party on the cheap can be done -- with a little help from your friends and family. Celebrate with your loved one in a manner that doesn't cost a fortune yet is enjoyable for all. For best results, start planning early for an unforgettable bargain birthday bash.
A Family Affair
When everyone contributes, great parties can happen without spending a lot of money. Get everyone involved as you plan for your loved one's 60th celebration. Recruit volunteers to prepare food, help with decorations and plan activities for the party. Prepare the favorite dish of the guest of honor and plan a birthday dinner around it. Homemade dinner parties are much more inexpensive than hiring caterers or reserving a restaurant. Simple foods like casseroles or generous portions of spaghetti with mom or grandma's special sauce will satisfy the whole family.
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The Personal Touch
Homemade invitations are inexpensive and much more meaningful than premade commercial ones. You want your guests to know that this is a special birthday and that their attendance will mean a lot to everyone. Homemade cards may not look as polished as fancy printed invitations, but they are much more personal and will save money.
Get some inexpensive card stock and write the invitations by hand. Decorate the invites with old photographs or other personal touches. You can also use one of the many free online greeting card makers to create your own one-of-a kind birthday party announcements. Make an effort to contact distant relatives who have not been in touch for awhile and ask that they attend. Their presence will be present enough for the guest of honor, and for the whole family.
Invite old friends and ask them to contribute homemade gifts rather than expensive toys or gadgets. On reaching the age of 60, a person generally cherishes memories and friendships more than things. A sentimental present like a scrapbook with photographs and mementos has more value to the guest of honor than the latest electronic gadget. "Memory gifts" do not have to be from one person alone; you can ask for contributions of photographs and souvenirs from long-time friends and associates and create a collective paper or video notebook.
Entertaining birthday activities don't have to cost a thing. Plan party games like "Precious Moments." To play, write down memorable events that happened to the guest of honor and leave out the names of the participants. Read the descriptions out loud and have everyone guess who was there. This will encourage people to elaborate on the stories and share other moments from the past. Alternatively, take old photographs featuring the honoree and friends in their younger years. Mix the photos up and draw them out of a hat. Have the people in the pictures talk about what was happening that day.