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Getting Started …

Graduation is a VERY busy time of year.  There are tons of things going on and there never seems to be enough time to plan anything.  The key is to start planning early, when it’s not so busy.  If your graduation party will be in May or June then a good time to start is in January or February, right after the holiday season.  Use this usually slow time to think about important decisions like where you want to have your party, how big you would like it to be, potential dates, time of day, and maybe even a “theme”.

Get a small notebook and make notes!  Note what you like and what you don’t like, what you’ve ruled out and why.  You can even start noting the type of food you’d like to serve and who you would like to invite.  Your decisions may change several times but at some point in time it will all come together.  If you have a hard time remembering all the details (like me!) then having all your graduation party thoughts in a small notebook will make your life a lot easier and a lot less stressful. 

January/February is also a good time to start looking for ideas.  If you’ve already had a graduation or attended some then you probably have lots of good ideas already.  But if this is your first time or if you are looking for something new then talk to other parents and other grads or surf the web using search terms like “graduation party planning” or “graduation themes”.

One great place to get ideas from is the guest of honor … the grad!  Sometimes parents think they need to do everything themselves.  But it’s quite possible that the grad has been talking to friends and has some good ideas already.  If so, then this may make planning a whole lot easier.  If not, suggest that they do. 

Afterall, who are you doing this for?  Hopefully your main goal is to celebrate this major milestone in your son or daughter’s life.  Since graduation is a monumental experience for your graduate, make them the center of attention – the Guest of Honor!  If you lose sight of this as you plan for their party, you may find yourself screaming “you never appreciate the things I do for you!

Let your graduate make choices right up front.  Begin by asking them:

“What kind of graduation party do you have in mind?”

“Should we invite just our close relatives and a few friends, or do you want a huge party?”

“Would you like to have a joint party with a friend or neighbor?”

“Do you have any ideas for a theme?”

“Where would you like to have the party?”

“What kind of food would you like to serve?”

“Would you like to select some photos, awards and other high school or college items to display?”

As you progress with your party plans, be sure to keep them involved in the decision making process.  Let them help select or make the invitation and the invitation list.  Help them schedule their time for attending other graduation parties and school events. 

Whatever you do, always remember … this is their graduation.  Help them celebrate!

2 comments to Getting Started …

  • Marcia Kent

    What should I do if my son doesn’t want to have a party?

  • graduationparty

    My friend’s son didn’t want a party at first either, but after he started hearing about all his friends’ parties, then he changed his mind. It put a lot of stress on my friend to plan something last minute but she kept it simple.

    I know some kids don’t want any type of party at all. But I would do something. Just bringing the graduate’s family and close friends together for a celebration of his or her accomplishments can do wonders for a person’s self-confidence.

    So lobby for a party if your graduate seems ambivalent.

    But if he or she really doesn’t want to celebrate with a party let yourself off the hook and plan a special dinner. Do not take on planning a big party if your graduate is not interested.

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