We don't go over the top on Retirement Parties. The retiree decides if s/he wants a company-wide party or a department party, and we go from there. It's always at lunch time, or breakfast if it's a night shifter... so we (the retiree & I) select what kind of food and I go from there. Sometimes I order pizza, or subs, or I use the local Hy-Vee grocery store* and get the party catered. All have been popular choices.
But no matter what the food is, we always have to figure out drinks. For the smaller parties, I buy pop (or soda, or pop, or coke, depending on what part of the country you're from...) in 2-liter bottles. The problem has always been that there is a bottle-neck at the drinks. It takes time to pour those drinks. And the 2-liters are never cold...
So at the last party, this spring, I was putting ice in the cups and pouring pop when people were arriving for the party. I felt very behind, like I didn't have enough done by the time the party started. So yesterday I invented...
the Party Cup Box!
I took a paper ream box - luckily one was almost empty - and put cups in the bottom, filled the cups with ice about 1/3 full, put more cups in, the ice, one more layer of cups, and filled with ice one last time.
I used the smaller 12 ounce cups we have at work, and was able to get 45 cups into that box, and it used one bag of ice (but I don't know how big the bag was...). I covered the cups with the plastic shopping bag, just in case the lid of the box was dirty, and put the lid on. There was room in the ice freezer, and I popped the box right in there. Ice stayed frozen, and it bought me a good 15 minutes before the party started, so I was able to get the pop poured before the employees arrived.
This worked out so great for me; I'll definitely be doing it again at future parties where I know I have freezer space to put the Party Cup Box. Anything to make Party Day easier, amiright?
*Fun Fact: Hy-Vee catered our wedding. We had a taco bar, 3 Chinese entree choices, ham, and fish. Yum! And it cost us about $8 per person. Best choice for taste, best choice for price!