At long last, the day is finally here. No more punching a time clock or dealing with irascible bosses and exasperating co-workers. Your relative or friend is officially retiring from the working world. That's cause for fun and celebration. Here are some ideas for planning a special party for her she will always remember fondly.
Find out what her favorite sports, hobbies and interests are and what her future plans are regarding those pursuits. If she is planning on starting her own business, plan your party theme along those lines. If she's an avid traveler, find out if there is a particular destination she especially loves. For example, if it's Hawaii, Mexico or Italy, decorate the party venue accordingly and serve ethnic food and drinks.
Make sure that any "gag" gifts don't insult her or make her feel she's not useful anymore. Keep the mood lighthearted, festive and fun. Have the guests bring gift baskets with special items related to her particular interests, desires and future plans to make it meaningful and personal. With no more work obligations, the retiree has more time to pamper herself. Spa gift certificates, or spa getaway packages are wonderful. Airline tickets, hotel gift certificates or a cruise package to a destination she wants to go to are also great. If she loves a particular sport or hobby, (i.e., golf or tennis), new clothing, shoes, rackets, golf outings, and the like will also make great gifts.
Make a video of her co-workers sharing funny or harrowing stories about incidents at work, how she helped or mentored them, and what they especially love and appreciate about her. Also, have them contribute any photographs they have from the workplace, past and present, and give guests disposable cameras to take pictures at the party. Put all the pictures in an album, scrapbook or collage to present to the retiree. If they have any special items from the workplace, have them bring them and display them at the party.