If you’re lucky, working with a few colleagues to organize a surprise retirement party will be a breeze. But if you’re in a flaky office, enlist some outside help. Instead of calling directly, ask your son or daughter to do it.
If you want to throw a small, informal party at home, keep it easy, with a potluck feast or a big pot of chili. If you’re expecting a larger crowd, hire a caterer and order cake, too.
When it comes to sending actual gifts, here are some ideas for keepsakes:
Interesting Books and CDs: Show off your expansive musical skills by bringing out the old accordion. Or use your packing skills to give your co-workers some books and CDs they’ll actually use and enjoy.
A Musical Instrument: No matter how much of a novice, you know someone who will appreciate an even worse piano player or a ukulele that will never be strummed again.
Beautiful Stationary: Keep it simple. A pack of blank cards can become priceless later on.
A Personalized Travel Mug: A simple mug with your co-worker’s name on it will always be appreciated.