Birthday Party Checklist for Receiving and Giving Gifts
The birthday party checklist is an easy way to keep track of all essentials in organizing and executing the perfect party. An easily overlooked aspect for birthday parties is the presents; receiving them is never a problem, but choosing a designated birthday present spot is often forgotten. Consider having a table near the door or the snacks where everyone can put their birthday gifts, cards, flowers, or anything else they may have brought. If it’s a potluck party, consider having a buffet type table next to this where they can put their food (and alcohol). You should also determine whether you’re going to open the presents during the party or after everyone has left. There are pros and cons with both situations: if you decide to open your gifts in front of all of your guests, then some guests may feel awkward if another has brought a higher priced gift than they have. On the other hand, they can also see your reaction to their gift (this could be a good or bad thing). If, however, you decide to open their present at home, then you’ll need to remember who sent you what and which address to mark your birthday thank you notes to.
Although it would be nice to send a thank you note a few days after your birthday either way, a nice touch to show your appreciation would be to give out a few party favors for your guests. You don’t need to reveal this until later on in the evening, but if the location has limited spacing then consider setting up a table near the exit with birthday party favors in small gift bags. Alternately, you could attach the thank you note to each gift bag to make it more personal (and to save yourself time after the party). As for what to hand out as party favors: be creative! Do you enjoy brewing your own wine? Purchase small wine bottles in bulk and give out samples of your homemade wine. Or for quick crowd-pleasers, make large batches of almond bark or truffles and put them in small goodie bags. Another option is to buy party favors in bulk online (there are a lot of options here, like candles or custom-made wine stoppers) and distribute those—in some cases, this can save you an exorbitant amount of money.
Don’t Miss a Thing with a Birthday Party Checklist
If you don’t want to spend a lot of extra money on party favors or thank you notes, then you could call up each guest a few days to a week after the party to thank them for attending and for their gift. This way, you could also follow up with your guests and see what they liked and didn’t like about the party, or if they had any other strong opinions. Another way of getting similar feedback is to set up an anonymous opinion box, either online or at the party, or a guestbook, and ask them to leave their critique there so you can work on it for future parties.
If you did leave disposable cameras so that your guests can take birthday photos, or if they’ve uploaded them online, then an excellent and personal thank you note would be to print photos taken of the guest and write your birthday thank you notes on the back of them! This could be hand-delivered, sent by mail, or even sent by email—naturally in the last case, you wouldn’t write on the photo, but rather a message in the email along with the images.
Birthday parties almost always leave a huge mess, both internally and externally; as in you might have a headache from the stress (or the booze) and you will have dirty dishes and at least a couple spillages. It’ll be safest to stock up on aspirin from Costco for yourself and the guests you may invite to your home and also be sure to have bottles of water (or pitchers) available throughout the festivities to keep hydrated. If you’re hosting the party at home, then you may want to remove valuable or fragile items because they may get knocked around or spilled on. And if you don’t have kind relatives or friends who have spare time the next day, then you might want to consider hiring cleaners. To have minimal cleaning, though, make sure to have napkins available around the venue, to cover all of the surfaces with table cloths, and to use disposable plates, utensils, and cups rather than silverware and china. Bring a Swiffer Sweeper or another similar product for easy cleaning the next day, and a box or bag to toss all of the decorations into (and your gifts, of course). And finally, if you do hire cleaners, bartenders, or caterers, then don’t forget to tip! If you start early on your birthday party checklist, then everything else will fall into place rather smoothly.
written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd