Grandparents can be a wealth of information, but often times we can be so involved in the day-to-day of the present, that we forget about celebrating their pasts. This year, instead of hosting a simple gathering with cake and ice cream to mark the occasion of your loved one’s birthday or a milestone wedding anniversary, consider hosting a Life Celebration Party.
A Life Celebration Party is a great way to capture and relive your grandparent’s best memories. Guests will love to hear stories from the past, and are sure to be amazed at the things they never knew about the guest of honor’s life journey.
(A life celebration party is also a great way to celebrate Grandparent’s day!)
How to Make it a Life Celebration Party
Before the party, sit down with the guest of honor and interview them to get a full look at their life. You may even want to take a recorder so that you don’t miss any unique quotes, and so that the guest of honor will feel more comfortable speaking candidly instead of pausing so that you to write things down.
Take a list of unique questions and try to get the person to open up about his or her favorite memories from childhood, the teen years and adulthood.
What were his or her greatest challenges at those stages? What do they consider their biggest accomplishments? What did they spend their summers doing? How did they get engaged? How did they feel in that moment?
These are details that sometimes get lost in the shuffle, or are overshadowed by grandeur experiences like a wedding or graduation—but they help to fill in the blanks of a person’s life story. (Tip: Ask to look through old photo albums, this always seems to get a person talking as it gives them a starting point.)
A Sweet Life Celebration Keepsake
When you send out your party invitation, ask the guests to also consider writing down a memory, whether funny or sweet, about the guest of honor—include a special personalized lettersheet on which they can write upon and glue photos.
Accept the lettersheets at the beginning of the event as you greet each guest, and later arrange the lettersheets into a keepsake for the guest of honor.
You can also request that a few of the more eloquent guests share their stories or anecdotes aloud throughout the evening as entertainment, and encourage other guests to jump in, if they feel led.
Share Your Guest-of-Honor's Life Story
Once all the guests arrive and have had a chance to mingle a bit, give a short speech (accompanied by a photo slide show) detailing the life of the guest of honor.
Keep it light and fun, certain to include milestone events like birth, graduations, special awards, marriages and children—but also use the unique content you collected from your interview session, and share some of the happy stories with the other guests.
For example, was grandmother a really spectacular swimmer in her younger days? Did she meet grandpa while he was serving in the war? Try and make your guest of honor’s life story come to life as much as possible by sharing interesting details that others may never have known.
At the event’s completion, be sure to present the memory book to the guest of honor to read through—it is sure to bring him/her lots of joy to read through the memories of friends and family members, and it is also sure to become a prized possession that is handed down from generation to generation.