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Planning Your Graduation Celebration

Celebrate your graduate with pomp and circumstance!

If you are reading this post, you are likely the parent of a soon-to-be-graduate. Congratulations! You have survived some of the most difficult years of parenthood.

No doubt you have worried yourself to distraction regarding your graduate's grades, driving and social activities. For years you have sacrificed peace of mind, sleep, money and time.

But the good news is that you are still here and sane enough to plan a graduation party. So as you plan that graduation party, keep yourself in mind. It is definitely your party too!

Make it personal: Discuss the menu with your graduate. One way to personalize the event is to serve some of their favorite foods.


Theme: I suggest serving food that makes your graduation party unique so you aren’t serving the same food your guests have had at every other party. Picking a theme for the party, such as a Caribbean party, luau or a Mexican fiesta, and serving food that follows your theme, can make for a very fun event.


Simple: Keep the party menu easy so you won't worry about the food. This means: Do not set yourself up to fry chicken for 50 people. Do not bake five dozen homemade rolls the day before the party. Only bake your own graduation cake if you LOVE baking and have little else to do. An easy main dish for a party crowd is a sliced ham or turkey breast. Make these popular, party standards special with gourmet mustard and cranberry relishes served on the side. Your guests can enjoy the meats sliced or on fresh rolls baked in someone else's kitchen. An impressive round of gourmet cheese can serve as a meat alternative and as a sandwich addition. Young children who fuss about meat on their plates typically love nibbling on cheese.


Here are some other graduation party menu suggestions:

  • Lasagna and/or other pasta dishes
  • Barbecued, shredded turkey, shredded roast beef or pulled pork sandwiches served on buns
  • Roast beef sandwiches served on buns
  • Hot or cold turkey sandwiches served on buns
  • Hot or cold ham sandwiches served on buns
  • Meat and cheese platters served with bread or buns
  • Dessert buffet
  • Barbecue
  • Brunch


To these items, you can add your favorite green and cold salads, cut-up fruit, a vegetable tray, potato or other chips, etc. Any finger food works well, since guests are more interested in talking and socializing. Above all, provide an atmosphere for that is comfortable for plenty of conversation and reminiscing.

Once you have determined your graduation party menu, you are well on your way to the best graduation party ever!

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