How about little net bags with 80 shiny new pennies in each with a "tag" about 1 shiny penny for each shiny year of life!
You could get memorabilia from ebay. Like magazines or music from the era she was born, late 1920s or 30s, and use them for decorations on tabletops or the party invitation. For my dad's 70th, I designed a fake newspaper headline and used a picture from his childhood to make the party invitation.
You could also use Google to find out interesting info about our country during that time; how much gas cost, milk cost, houses cost, what was the # song, etc., and type up that info in a festive way to use as centerpieces on the table (kinda like drink menus at restaurants. Put the info in clear plastic upright frames.) Or print them out and put them at each place setting just laying flat.
You could put the year she was born at the top and then all kinds of fun facts underneath. It would get people talking and her reminiscing about the old days! Have fun!
-Lee in FL
How about taking a photo of your mom, making some business cards with her photo, some little message on them, maybe the date, and a thank you for celebrating with us type thing. You can print them on the computer, I do my boss's business cards all the time! You could do them for less than $10. You could even have a variety of different picts of your mom! You could "fancy" them up by using a paper punch and tying a piece of ribbon or curling ribbon on each.
Hope you have a great celebration!
When my parents had their big birthdays, we created candy-bar wrappers with photos of the birthday-person and a thank you sentiment printed. There are companies that will do it for you, http://www.customcandybars.com/
http://www.sweet-reflections.com/ca ... nid=7d78bbd3cf4e491ddac1b0773833d481
and some computer programs you can find that will help you create your own labels. It's not too hard to do.
I'll share an idea that I have received which can be adapted for most occasions. Prepare small gift boxes or bags (from 99 cent or $ stores) or prepare your own using clear or colored plastic wrap tied with ribbon (which will be less expensive). You can order personalized labels to stick on the bottom of Hershey's Kisses with the name, date, balloons, etc. to commerate the day (search the internet as prices vary). Use these and other small candies like jelly beans. You can also print out a small card from your computer with a message such as "thank you for helping us celebrate Grandmother's birthday" and include the date along with her birthdate and maybe a picture of balloons, etc. on the card.
I like the idea of little plants, too - think of "evergreen" as a theme. I just replanted the shoots of a jade tree in my yard - Does anyone have anything like that around - succulents are very easy to replant. Or perhaps your 99 cent store has small plants - ours does...
When my Mum celebrated her 80th, I baked gingerbreadmen and gingerbreadladies using commercial metal cookie cutters and decorated them in suits with ties or overalls and skirts and tops or dresses using various colours and styles. Each cookie I individual placed in a celephane bag, heat sealed closed and labelled with the relevative's name on the top. They were a huge hit, as Mum had 10 children there were lots of decendants, and everyone got to take themselves home, plus the guests were delighted to see our family tree phyisically placed on a table for viewing. They didn't have to ask who belonged to whom. If your 80th recipient doesn't have many decendants just become repetitious.
How about little potted plants? Sounds strange I know, but you could grow them from seed if you have time, and you can decorate cheap plastic pots with colour coordinated paper and ribbon.
It's something they will keep for a long time, depending on the type of plant, plus it will give the table lots of colour!
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