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Dear Miss Mary,

We’re throwing a retirement party for two of our favorite co-workers. They have been mentors to so many of us that saying goodbye is bittersweet.

Obviously, we want them to enjoy their families and hobbies after so many years, but we’re going to miss them like crazy. How can I make sure the event is not a downer?


Nikkie & Team


Dear Team Nikkie,

Goodbyes are hard, aren’t they? The only thing I can think to say, is that at least you made the most of the time you had with them. From your description, it sounds like these two are leaving behind a grateful company and a legacy of inspired, supportive teammates. How could anything about THAT be sad?


As for your party, I know just the thing… Miss Mary’s fresh squeezed mixes to the rescue – both the Paloma Mix and the Margarita Mix. Not only can you mix them with darn near anything (vodka? gin? tequila?), but they are light and delicious. For those not into alcoholic beverages, try adding a zero-proof option like these from the brand Ritual or just add some sparkling sodas for extra refreshment. The Summery colors of my newest mixes pair well with sunny dispositions and smiling send-offs. 


You could create a DIY taco bar with pot luck contributions and bright, colorful decor to match the Margarita and Paloma mixes. A crockpot or two of meat is an economical and scalable way to feed a lot of people. Then, assign the tortillas, toppings (cheese, salsa, avocado, onions and other veggies, slaw or lettuce), and sides (Mexican corn salad, Texas caviar, chips & salsa, crudite or green salad) and tada – you’ve got a party! 


Last, create a memory book for each of your colleagues – it doesn’t have to be long or expensive. You can DIY a scrapbook of pictures, quotes, messages, items from their years (think work badge or similar), and have guests sign it at the party. Or, you could use one of the printing companies like Shutterfly to bind a book of photos and pre-written messages. Whichever way you go, it will be the sentimental highlight of the retirement party.

What do you think? Will that work for you?