Sunday, March 21, 2010

Novel ideas for organising a coworker’s going-away party

When it’s time to saw goodbye to a coworker, often nobody’s sure what to do or what to get.  They’re probably not your best buddy, but you’ve spent a lot of time with them and you want to show that you care and that you respect them in a friendly kind of way, too.  Often someone will arrange a going-away party, and everyone trundles along not knowing quite what to expect.

Here are some ideas for the person who arranges the party.  Why not get some personalised chocolates printed up with a funny photo of the coworker who is leaving?  No doubt there will be a moment that got photographed; even one of those “photos taken for the staff newsletter column” might be hilarious if paired with the right caption.  These could be handed out at the party, to get everyone to loosen up and have a giggle and a bite of chocolate to eat because let’s face it, we all feel awkward sometimes with coworkers outside of the regular work setting.

Another idea is to get personalised balloons printed and hung up, or even just get balloons and do fun things with them like play the game where you see how many balloons you can stuff under a table with the whole group standing on it.  Trust me, it sounds silly, but it can be great fun - it tends to get everyone laughing because inevitably, some of the balloons pop and the table will tip, causing everyone on it to crack up as they try to scramble off it in laughter!  you can also play the game with the balloons where you take turns drawing a face of someone in the group on a balloon, and the person who guesses who it is who’s being drawn first, gets a little prize.

Don’t forget that after the fun and games is after it is a considerate and nice gesture to give a big card to the leaver of the group, and it’s all part of the fun to have the card written up on the night while everyone’s at the party - it’s almost a game in itself to try and hide the card from the recipient while you all take turns signing it with a little message or a joke each.  It’s a good chance to let the leaving coworker know that you always liked their hairstyle, their smile, their sense of humour, their shoes, their patience, etc.  Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated and sometimes when it’s hard to say something to someone’s face, it’s easier to write it down, so encourage others to take this opportunity.  Even if you really couldn’t stand working with that person, surely there’s something nice about them that you can mention in your short farewell note.  Think what you’d like to receive yourself if you were leaving, and try not to put remarks in the card that will sting, no matter how witty they might be - a sting is a sting.

Anyway enough morals for today, because this was mostly about a few novel ideas for your coworker’s going-away party.  So - personalised chocolates and balloons - goofy but simple and time-tested - they’re my ideas for you today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Announcing the birth of your newborn baby with personalised chocolates

When you have a baby, your world changes.  Whether it's your first baby or your fifth one, for you, the whole world has changed again into something new, and new doors open that you didn't even know existed before.  That's all very philosophical isn't it?  The point I am getting to is that when you have a new baby you generally want to tell the whole world.  Or if not the whole world, then at least your family and friends.  Especially with your first baby, this a huge new step - you are becoming a family and the mother and father are also born at the moment of the first baby's birth.  So you are celebrating, and you are most likely going to be sending out announcement cards, invitations perhaps to a baby welcoming party or a christening.

Instead of just sending out cards, which is what everyone does, why not think about getting some personalised cards made up with personalised chocolates on them?  Everyone loves a miniature chocolate, it's a nice gesture which isn't corny but still adds a touch of fun and personality to your baby announcement cards.

You could consider getting them made up with your new baby's name and birth date, and maybe his or her birthweight as this seems to be the common thing done... alternatively you could use the personalised chocolates to carry a message from one of your older children (if you have any) saying something to the effect of, "James is proud to introduce his new baby sister Lucy," and most personalised chocolate services are able to print photos as well as messages on their wrappers, making it something that will be able to be unwrapped and stuck up on fridges or soforth.  If you were holding a christening, naming or welcoming ceremony or a party, you could put the date on the chocolate with the message, "Not to be eaten until 27.08.10... [or whatever your date is] - Lucy May Greene's Christening at St Peter's Church, 10am, see you there!"  If your cards'/chocolate announcements' recipients show self-control and don't scoff the chocolate down straight away, they will be eyeing it every day sitting there on the kitchen bench until your newborn's Christening service date!  What a way to remind people, he he he.

Here is another thought.  If you prefer to have a photograph on the personalised chocolates wrappers, you could  get a professional photo set taken by a photo service and have that printed onto your chocolate baby-announcements.  This would be a nice way to show off your new family to all your friends and relatives, while making it a fun thing for their kids to receive.

All in all it would be one way to celebrate, in China they give mooncakes to each other as a celebratory gift on the occasions of newborn babies, engagements, weddings, etc... In Australia, NZ, the UK and the US we would probably choose chocolates over mooncakes, so here's a sweet way to do it, tailored specially to your baby or your family making it a unique and fun way to announce the baby's arrival!

Don't forget that mothers like chocolate too, so reserve a few for her, Dads, if it's you who's doing the ordering!  ;)

Personalised Easter chocolates

It's almost that time of year again (hey - where did Christmas go?) and I can already start to smell chocolate in the air.  OK - that might just be because there I have chocolate on the brain, but it might also be because there are Easter chocolates on the shelved in all the stores now, from the local general store to the large department stores.  And whether you celebrate a religious or cultural Easter or not, chances are that you probably will ingest at least one chocolate over this festival that comes around every year!

I'm writing this post today about personalised Easter chocolates, because I think it's a great idea, and until I started learning about personalised chocolate recently, I never would have even thought of it.  Sure, Easter chocolates made by your kid using chocolate in the microwave and poured into last year's chocolate Advent-calendar moulds (hey, I thought nobody else kept those things!) and presented to you on a plate having been popped out the moulds after sitting in the fridge overnight... these choccy's sure are personalised, but you know the kind I am talking about - the kind with a name or a message on them.

Hey, why not get some this year.  There are enough unnamed Easter bunnies and unnamed Easter eggs and even nameless Easter bilbies (if you live in Australia) out there with no... well, names... isn't it better to stop adding to the already-long list?  (Cue: "Awwwww....")

Personalised fair trade Easter chocolate, personalised egg chocolate, personalised egg nests, peronalised bunnies and rabbits, personalised Easter gift boxes, personalised anything chocolate really for Easter is going to show the recipient that you have not only just gone and grabbed gifts from the mall, you have actually put thought into the matter.

Here’s an idea.  When you live further away from someone that you can’t actually give the gift in person, sending something that has been personalised can be a sweet thing to do (especially sweet if it’s chocolate!).  Getting an item personalised really shows that you have gone the extra mile.  I suspect that women will find it even more special than men, and a little girl or boy will find it perfectly delightful - don’t all children love seeing their names written on things they own?  And even better when they can actually eat the item.  It would be entirely possible that instead of being scoffed down, the child eats that egg last because they are so chuffed by it.  So you could write “For Mary, with love from Aunty Louise” and who knows, they might even learn how to spell your name by admiring their coolest Easter egg.  :)

Personalised Easter chocolate would also make ideal personalised corporate chocolate when you use your own logo on or brand or trademark as the text.