Reasons why we love celebrating life: baby showers, birthdays, weddings …
With the right attitude of gratitude, every day in one’s life can feel like a birthday celebration: opening one’s eyes to the start of a new day of infinitely fascinating diversity. With each of our senses we can soak up the invaluable gifts that stimulate joy in us: the faces, voices and touch of our loved ones, new experiences in a workday that bring unexpected meaning and confirmation of our sense of purpose, the forever changing, bountiful beauty of nature to remind us of the ongoing miracle of creation …
In the profoundly lovely words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
“Celebration happens when the mind unites with the spirit.”
Small wonder, then, that we seek out special occasions to give utterance to the pure pleasure of being alive. These celebrations are an intrinsic part of our paths in life, and should be available to each of us. Don’t allow anxiety over costs to curtail your celebratory occasions. Consider these simple, inexpensive ways in which you can use your imagination and a little bit of ingenuity to gather loved ones together on any occasion.
Create with colour
Creating a suitably celebratory space is of utmost importance. Both you and your guests want that visually uplifting element to complement the festive feel of the event. And don’t feel you have to reinvent the wheel: some simple trends return year after year because they work.
- Balloons are glorious bubbles of colour that scintillate the senses, andstatement or script balloons lend them an added impetus.
- Making tissue or crepe-paper flowers also always works.
- A new, very popular trend which won’t break the bank either, is decorated staircases.
- Colourful banners on each can carry your party theme or any amount of personalized messages to the celebrant. An added, inexpensive glow from ordinary, naked light bulbs suspended at different heights, can lend the impression of a starlit sky, and here, too, you can create a dazzle of light with coloured ones.
- Ceiling décor is very trendy and a fabulous display can be created with streamers and tissue flowers attached to your balloons.
- Another trend which will never wane, is to employ the inexpensive beauty of Mother Nature: flowers do not have to be costly ones, and an infusion of greenery works decorative wonders. Of course, the level of sophistication you employ concerning either bold colour clamour or subtle, softer shades, will depend on the nature of the celebration and the age of the celebrant.
Invite with atmosphere
As soon as guests arrive, they want to feel they’re part of something special. Go to the equally inexpensive measures mentioned above to decorate your garden trees. Hang garlands, photos, welcoming message banners or bulbs from accommodating branches. Create a flower-decorated arch with craft wire. Or give them the red carpet treatment by using candles to illuminate your confetti-strewn garden path.
Find humorous or touching or occasion-relevant quotes, prettily presented on decorated cardboard, to suspend wherever possible. These can incorporate the attendees as well as the celebrant. It might be an idea to ask each guest to bring one of their own, both to engage them and to ensure a diversity of colours, shapes and sizes.
- Photographs always add a lovely personal touch – use blow-up photos of the person whose party it is, taken with friends who are attending, or during significant, highlight-moments of their lives.
- Write little rhyming verses, or ask guests to bring one, which relate to the event or the celebrant, and insert them as part of the décor on side tables, or even as part of the food and drinks presentation. These can also be printed on the serviettes or the balloons.
- Little miniature flag messages amongst the décor will be just as welcoming.
- Suggesting that guests create a personally designed message page to bring, could result in an impromptu and unique wall gallery to add to the festive feel of the environment and event. Equally you could use the celebrant’s favourite item as a theme and engage guests by requesting they bring a sample of their own.
- Each person could bring a relevant riddle to solve – anything that creates an atmosphere of sharing, a touch of humour, or mutual interest, will inject the celebratory mood you desire.
Using envelopes of different colours or sizes pinned to an adorned board, containing mystery prize information for guests to select, can look good and only intensify everybody’s party pleasure.
Use food as festive feature.
This need hardly be said, as appetizing food presentation is part of our daily lives, but just a reminder here that the offerings do not have to cost you the earth. Unpretentious local fare can look fantastic with the decorative ideas offered above. A trend that appears to be here to stay, because it works, is to use natural props to prettify your table: flowers, ivy garlands and other greenery, tree trunk slices as platters, and rocket or other edible leaves, will always suffice to tempt the eye and taste buds.
Interactive food stations:
Add to the fun while allowing for further decorative touches – offer a DIY taco table as savoury fare or one for decorating one’s own cupcake or donut for dessert. For a more sophisticated touch, a cocktail mixing table offers a wonderful interactive party experience.
And once you’ve tried these tips, sit down and think long and hard about your next reason for an equally uplifting, entirely affordable celebration, for remember:
“Whichever season you’re in, rejoice and celebrate your life, as you might not experience it twice.” – Joan Ambu
Delivers interior décor and design services by empowering unemployed people with skills development initiatives. We believe in investing in the individual, nurturing inherent skills, and uplifting communities. We hold as our mission making the future sustainable by mentoring meaningful change in the wider environment. Our interior design philosophy is to design beautiful spaces that are both functional and timelessly pleasing. We have proved that promoting the values of creative excellence, discipline and commitment can bring forth the beauty within each person and reflect it in both private and public living spaces around them.
For information on Udumo Group, visit: www.udumogroup.co.za