5 Tips for a Fun and Stress-Free (almost) Graduation Open House

As graduates all over the region get ready to celebrate the end of their high school years, moms and dads (Okay, let’s get serious, usually mostly moms) are stressing out about how to send them off.

Years ago, graduation open houses meant a few relatives eating chips and dip and cake off a card table in the garage.

Now they’re serious business sometimes costing thousands of dollars and hours obsessing about when to have it, what to serve and who to invite.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

Professional organizer Melissa Schmalenberger tells Tracy about “5 Tips for a Fun and Stress Free Open House.”

1. Figure out what you do best and do it: So you don’t cook? You don’t scrapbook? Don’t worry about it. Have the food catered. You can even get someone to make picture boards or scrapbooks for you. If you don’t want to spend the money, find a creative friend. Just ask. Many people are willing to help. It might be their way of giving to the graduate without writing a check.

2. Take your graduate’s interests into account:
It’s easy to do what you want to do, but remember to think about what the graduate likes and doesn’t like. What are his/her interests? Serve their favorite foods, or hang up their dance costumes and soccer uniforms from the time they were 3. If your graduate isn’t very social, who says you have to have a party. Opt for a quiet dinner with family. If they have a sweet tooth, choose a dessert open house.

3. Don’t feel like it has to be at your house:
Sure, most people have their parties at home, because it’s cheap. But if you need to get the carpets cleaned or paint for your guests is it really cheaper than going somewhere else? Not to mention, the time spent away from work cooking, and cleaning to prep your house. Go to a restaurant, park or hotel. You can have a great party, then walk away and let someone else cleanup.

4. Special touches make the party:
Special touches can mean more than expensive gestures. Get M and M’s with their names on them, Use their trumpet case as a greeting card holder, have guests sign a favorite book instead guest book.

5. Don’t overdo it on food or drinks:
You might be inviting 100 people, but don’t plan on food for 100. Most of the time, your guests will have other parties to attend. They might just nibble at each of them or choose not to eat at all. Plan accordingly. Also, don’t serve alcohol and only 2-3 kinds of pop.

For more information on grad open houses go to: http://mssimplicity.areavoices.com/2012/04/17/graduation-party-planning-tips/