November 19, 2012
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Bar mitzvah ideas

The gift of giving

for The Brooklyn Paper

Guests at a party have different gift–giving styles.

There’s the cousin who never calls but shows his affection in the shape of a glossy, gift-wrapped box. You have the coworker who will wait until the day of, make a last minute run to Duane Reade, and purchase a $50 gift card to Chili’s. And then, of course, there’s the bubbie who busted out the big bucks for a “ fancy, does-it-all iThingy that these whippersnappers have to have nowadays.”

Yet, regardless of a person’s present providing preference, the fact that each guest showed up to partake in the honor that a bar or bat mitzvah bestows is a gift itself. So, show your guests a little gratitude by giving them a parting-gift. But what? A keychain? A laser-pointer? A laser-pointer on a keychain? Or a fancy, does-it-all iThingy?

We asked Gary Pincus, owner of 100 Percent Fun, the official event planning and party rental company of the New York Mets and Islanders what he suggests:

• Candy wall, buffet, or bar

Guests can pluck and pop a few pieces in their pucker during the party and, before leaving, can grab a bag for the road. Check out our tips on saving money on candy here!

• Popcorn

We’re not trying to butter you up, but self-serve popcorn machines have an extra-large bag of party benefits. Set up a station filled with a variety of spices — from sweet paprika to garlic powder — and let guests’ imaginations run wild. The aromatic treat will fill the air with a feel-good scent of melted goodness and old-fashion machines give any party a lovely, vintage-feel. And, just like the candy, guests can grab a small, snack-sized sack on their way out.

• Flipbooks

Flipbooks are an instant, customizable gift. Done in a photo booth, guests can take multiple silly and candid shots of themselves. The small books, which package a series of photos, are produced quickly and give guests an immediate stack of moving memories. Many booths also have the option of keeping a copy of each guest’s flipbook so you can have a multitude of memories in motion.

• Virtual Graffiti Wall

Graffiti may sound messy, but a virtual graffiti wall is a hi-tech, paint-free way of providing your guests with a colorful recollection. Children and parents write or paint on the wall and frame a small portion for printing. The framed, printed artwork can be taken home, and like the flipbook, you can also keep a copy of each guest’s creation.

iPhone Covers

It’s safe to say over half of your guests have access to an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, so creating theme-related covers for their gadgets (or “iThingies”) is an innovative idea. Pincus’ clients have stamped the child’s name onto the cover along with the date and logo of the party. Others have created stations for guests to personalize their own covers.

• Virtual Guest Book Photos

The traditional ink and paper guestbook is no longer the norm because it’s now all done electronically. Save a tree and have your guests stand in front of a decorated wall and take a photo. The final product can be saved into a virtual guestbook and printed before the night is over for the guest to take home.

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