Office Events: Five Alternative Christmas Party Themes

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“What I do not like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” –Phyliis Diller

 

Office Christmas parties are somewhat of a hit or miss office event. Some of your employees might live for them, but there is an occasional slew of colleagues who would just grit their teeth, smile and bear through it all—in hopes of landing a better position in your office. However, love them or hate them, Christmas/Holiday parties—regardless of what your stance on religion is, is an excellent avenue for cultivating your inter-work relationships and fostering friendships. In this regard, it is in your best interest to maintain the holiday tradition of throwing an office bash every December.

Unfortunately, holding annual Christmas parties means you might be running out of original ideas for themes. After all, you can only hold so many ugly Christmas sweater themed parties before the idea gets old, worn and tacky.

Fortunately, despite holding a themed party yearly, there is no shortage when it comes to novel theme ideas. So, for your office Christmas party this December, try something a little less common and a bit more unique and fun with the ideas below:

1.) Sweets giving soiree

If you and your colleagues have a particularly sweet tooth, you might enjoy celebrating the holidays with sweetmeats and chocolates instead of the traditional Christmas desserts. As it is the of giving, why not engage in a sweet-gift exchange party instead? Fill your dessert buffet tables with sweet delights such as marshmallows, chocolate fountains, candy, icings and other saccharine delights.

2.) Holiday Movie Marathon

In lieu of donning on Christmas ensembles, encourage your colleagues and employees to dress up as their favorite holiday movie character—bonus points for originality and a touch of humor. If your workers love to dress up, they will especially love this theme, and it gives you more reason to anticipate the all-day holiday movie marathons you will inevitably be enjoying at home.

3.) Masquerade Ball

If you wish to throw a corporate party that is marked by elegance and punctuated by hints of lush sophistication and chic undertones, then treat your colleagues and yourself to a masquerade ball. Dress up to the nines and encourage your employees to do the same. There is a very likely chance that your colleagues and co-workers only ever get the chance to doll themselves up on formal events such as weddings. As a result, dressing up for a masquerade ball would be a welcome change to tedious functions–plus donning a mask is a unique twist. Throw this party in style and send out invitations indicating that it is a black-tie event. And do not forget: Ask everyone to don on masks.

4.) Nightmare Before Christmas Party

Colleagues with a proclivity for the Halloween festivities and employees who love Jack Skellington would enjoy this Christmas party theme. If you wish to give your party a bit of a gothic touch, this is an excellent alternative to common Christmas themes. Moreover, even if you are hosting a somewhat dark and morbid rendition of what should have been a traditional Christmas bash, you are still keeping in spirit with the holiday festivities as the Nightmare before Christmas is a well-known Christmas movie. While it might be a little too late for Halloween and some may think that the skulls, white tinsel, and skeletons would look a little out of place, you can always give them a little touch-me-up to give them a Christmas upgrade. By dressing those bones in traditional Santa suits and incorporating red and green hues, you have the best of both holidays: Halloween and Christmas.

5.) Santa’s Workshop

Give your colleagues and co-workers an insider’s view of the happenings in Santa’s office by transforming your corporate quarters into his workshop! Get someone to dress up as Santa and create a decorating team that can turn your office from a business hub to Santa’s headquarters. Ensure that the decorations include workstations, and the each would have a designated activity which your employees can enjoy.

 

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Get Hitched without Breaking the Bank

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When thinking of weddings, we immediately think of the damages. It will cost us the venue, guest list, gowns and suits, invites, food among other things. Then, there’s the theme to think about. A whimsical wedding at Blue Gardens, Quezon … Continue reading

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This is a simple checklist to keep your head in the game. Preparing ahead of time is key to pulling off anything. Don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure no details are missed on during the big day. Continue reading

Four Things You Can Consider to Have a Budget Friendly Debut

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“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” -Albert Einstein

 

Turning eighteen is one of the most important milestones a girl experiences in her life. For some, it can be considered as the pivotal event that signifies the transition of a girl from a simple maiden into a woman. As a result, many girls would see their eighteenth birthday soiree or debut as a grand event they want to execute flawlessly. With this in mind, they could spend weeks to months meticulously planning every detail to make sure that everything goes perfectly. However, more often than not, budget constraints would set them back from having that dream debut they have always wanted. This should not be a cause for concern however as there are innumerable ways to make sure that you can still have an elegant debut sans the exorbitant expense—the key is to think out of the box and stay within your budget.

From selecting a budget friendly debut package to doing some things on your own, here are a few ways you can stay on budget while still having the debut of your dreams:

 

1.) Opt for an outdoor venue instead of an air-conditioned one

More often than not, an outdoor venue would cost you much cheaper to rent for the night than an air-conditioned one. This is because an air-conditioned venue would require you to pay for the electricity needed to power the air-conditioning systems as opposed to having the natural breeze of an outdoor venue which you can rent at a lower rate. You can save a lot if you book a venue that is mostly outdoor and just has an open tent or pavilion for the tables. Furthermore, this will give your party an enchanting touch of having the natural drapery of the night skies.

2.) DIY menu

You can break the mold by opting to have a tea party or midday brunch theme for your debut instead of the traditional dinner time party. Considering that the time of your party does not necessitate a full meal for your guests, you can easily style your menu to fit the time of the day—one which you can easily do yourself. All that is left for you to do is to find caterers who would accommodate such a request. Alternatively, if you have a lot of spare time on your hands and have a slew of people to help you out, then, by all means, cook for your party. In doing so, not only are you treating your guests to a homemade meal, but you are saving a lot as well.

3.) Make your own décor

Party décor by itself is not too pricey. But for major parties that would need a lot of decorations, the expense can easily accumulate to a hefty sum. To cut some costs, you can always opt to make your own décor. If you have a particularly artistic eye and skill, you can easily execute this—especially since you already know what you want to see in your party. Additionally, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your vision come to life which is one of the reasons why you should consider this alternative as well. If you are having trouble with décor ideas, you can easily find inspiration online in websites such as Pinterest or several groups in social media that specialize in debut events.

4.) Get creative with the invites

Another way to minimize costs is to get creative with the invites. Besides, if you needlessly spend for party invitations, it would only go to waste seeing as guests are more likely to just glance at them and forget about them by the time your party is over. Instead, get creative and play around with your invites. If you want to go green, you can digitally make your invitations by creating a video and tagging all of your guests in it. Alternatively, if you want to take the traditional route, consider what your theme is and incorporate that into your invitations.

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Caterers 101: Four Things Your Caterer Wishes You Knew

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“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” –Alan D. Wolfelt

We might think their jobs are easy enough and straightforward, but the truth is, a caterer’s job is quite complex. Whether they may be providing the canapes for your daughter’s eighteenth soiree or providing all the courses to your elegant wedding, catering for an event is not as simple as creating a menu and cooking whatever is selected for the menu. The truth is being in your caterer’s shoes can be quite an overwhelming and daunting experience. In fact, there is a myriad of things your caterer would want you to know, so that the next time you are thinking of hiring one, you would have a better understanding of what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Additionally, it would not hurt to know a few of some insider caterer’s secrets that might be helpful in aiding you make better decisions for the catering of the party you would be hosting next. So, before you start scouring for potential catering services in Bacoor, Cavite or elsewhere, here are some of the things you might want to know:

1.) Guests will drink more than usual

Guests tend to indulge themselves more at parties by drinking in excess and far more than used to. More often than not, this is because celebratory libations are free and of course, parties have an aura of euphoria to it which would prompt guests to drink. As this is the case, estimating the amount of alcohol needed for a particular event can present a challenge, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that as your guests tend to imbibe more drinks than usual, so if you want them to indulge their drinking desires, buy more than necessary, or you can alternatively avail of cheaper packages.

2.) There is no need to create a menu around special diets

Some of your guests might be vegan, and there might be a few who might be allergic to gluten, this does not mean however that you have to bend over your back and design an entire menu to suit those preferences. Your caterer can always provide a dish or two for the guests who have particular or strict diets. Remember, you are feeding every single one of your guests—not only a fraction of them with specific diets.

3.) The kitchen at your site matters

One of the major snags a caterer would hit when it comes to catering for an event is a small kitchen—or worse the lack of one. Even if the food for your party is prepared off-site, a kitchen would still be ideal in order to reheat the food or keep it warm. In any case, having your caterers operate in a site sans a kitchen would result in creamy food being congealed and food losing its crisp. While this is not the case all the time (as you can always plan your menu with food that does not necessarily need to be kept warm), having a kitchen on the site would still be a good contingency plan.

4.) Pinterest is not always realistic

Some brides-to-be would come up to their caterers and ask them to imitate a particular food or cake they found off Pinterest and expect their caterers to mimic every detail. While Pinterest is a good website to inspire ideas for an event, not everything on the website is necessarily realistic. Apart from relying on the skills of your caterer, you also have your own budget to keep in mind. More often than not, the praise-worthy posts you have seen on Pinterest were probably created by food stylists who have employed innumerable inedible things (from shaving cream to glue) just to make food look the way it was advertised.

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Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

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“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

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Five Ways to Throw a Successful Kiddie Birthday Bash

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Throwing a birthday party for a kid is widely different than throwing a bash for an adult. In some cases, it may be even more stressful and time-consuming. Whereas teenagers and adults would be fairly satisfied with food and drinks, kids, on the other hand, are another story. There are so many aspects to consider such as how to entertain your young guests and keep them entertained. After all, kids do not possess the same attention span as adults do and could easily get bored after a while. However, fear not, children are fairly easy to please after all. So, if you are planning a birthday party or are hosting a kiddie birthday party anytime soon, here are some tried and tested tips to make it a successful bash:

1.) Have a theme in mind

Generally, in planning a kid’s birthday party, it is best to have a theme in mind so that you can base the rest of the party from that theme. This is so you that the rest of the party’s aspects such as the decorations, the entertainment, and the giveaways would have congruence. One such example is to have a ranch style party that you can hold in a local barn with a petting zoo. There are so many caterers that would offer you fun ranch party packages that are affordable as well as fun and entertaining for the kids.

2.) Consider the Food Issue

Most kids would be picky eaters and are unlikely to eat something they are unfamiliar with. In order to have a good workaround to this issue, look for a neutral menu that you are certain kids would love. An example would be a menu that consists of hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, pizza, and stews. These are all inexpensive to make and kids will love it. Additionally, make sure to have colorful utensils as kids are attracted to color and as much as possible, these should be plastic so that should accidents happen, you would not have much to clean up nor replace.

3.) Get creative

To curb costs, opt to do the decorations and the souvenirs yourself most especially if you have a creative streak. It might be time-consuming but the money you will save from making this than buying them ready-made would be very much worth it. Apart from the money you can potentially save, kiddie party decors are pretty straightforward and are not all that hard to make. You would only need small inexpensive packets of construction paper, craft foam, a pair of scissors and some tape or glue which you can then transform into banners and paper chains of any color combinations you want.

4.) Decide whether you want to use your home

An integral aspect of planning a kid’s birthday party is the venue. This is because if your home does not have an area where kids can freely roam around and would have a lot of fragile objects, you are putting those items at a risk when the kids would run amok or when they play. True enough, home parties can save you a great deal of money as you can leverage how much you would spend on food and decorations, but if you do not want to put that much effort in and you would not want to run the risk of broken house items, then choose a venue.

5.) Decide if you want to have the parents stay

Most parents would leave their kids at the party venue and would go on about their day until it is ready to pick them up. Other parents, however, would want to stay and keep a close watch on their kids. To make sure there is no miscommunication, indicate it on the invitation if the parents are invited to stay or not.

 

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