Jason and I got married two years ago, and not long into our marriage, he found out I had never seen The Office. He was so disappointed in me and made it his mission to watch the entire series with me. So, we binge-watched when we had the chance, and I grew to love The Office almost as much as Jason.
Fast forward to the end of June of this year, 2018, and the idea to throw Jason a surprise party with The Office as the theme came to my mind. I knew I had to do it. Since Jason was turning 24, it wasn’t the traditional time to throw a surprise party. Typically, someone might wait until 25, or even 30. But I was so excited that I just couldn’t wait!
Jason and I had just bought a house and I knew my parents’ rent house (which we were living in) would be going up on the market sometime in July, so I didn’t want to host the party at our house. Plus, I wasn’t sure how I could pull that off with Jason in the house. So, I asked my mom if they wouldn’t mind hosting it at their house. Of course, she said yes and was very excited to help. Both my dad and my sister would be out of town the weekend of Jason’s birthday, so it would just be the two of us. So, I planned the party for Saturday, July 21st, the day before his birthday, and invited 70 or so of our closest friends, Jason’s family and his co-workers. I encouraged everyone to wear professional attire and/or dress up as their favorite character.
I immediately began “pinteresting” ideas for the party.
I knew I had to find an “IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY.” Banner. Thankfully, during my Pinterest adventures, I came across a blog where this wonderful person put free printables from a party they did, and there was a free banner printable! I easily printed this from our printer and taped it together, rather than spending $15 on one from Amazon.
I purchased duct tape, white paper crepe streamers and black, brown and grey balloons from Amazon as the main decorations.
I made sure and print out some of the best memes from The Office to post around the house and printed out memes to go with the themed snacks we would be serving.
There were many, many snack ideas. I even had some snacks that I ended up crossing off the list last minute because I just had so many. I ended up choosing to get a cake made at Market Street that was as plain as could be and just said “IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY.” In light brown icing. The actual cake was half vanilla and half red velvet (Jason’s favorite).
I purchased M&M’s to go in Kevin’s Jar of M&M’s, cheese balls from Michael’s time owning his own paper company, Angela’s Double Fudge Brownies, Dunder Muffins (mini blueberry muffins), pretzels (Free Pretzel Day), snack-size Kit Kat bars and last but not least, a stapler in lime Jell-O (Jason’s favorite flavor of Jell-O). For beverages, we had water, Mexican Lemonade, and Virgin Orange Vod-Juice-Ka. We also had a separate Break Room, which was just the coffee bar. I purchased decaf coffee pods for the Keurig and laid out disposable coffee cups, creamer and sugar.
I couldn’t figure out a great way to make the memes stand by the snack they “belonged” to without having to purchase thicker paper. But one day, I was at the Dollar General looking for a stapler (to put in Jell-O, obviously), and I came across a pack of Manilla Folders for $1. I had the idea to put the memes on a folder and stand them by the snack they were referencing, and it worked!
I used pencils, pens, calculators, paper clips and copy paper that my mom and I both already had as decorations for the table of snacks. My mom had some copy paper boxes that we used as other decorations and I bought a letter board at Target for $14.99 to put one of Michael Scott’s quotes on (I had been wanting one of these boards anyway).
One of the things I am most proud of is the “Serenity by Jan” candles that were at the party. This was a very last minute idea that I had while at Dollar General (where all of my grand ideas come from, apparently). I bought two candles for $1 each and printed off the Serenity by Jan logo and taped it on the candles. They were a hit!
I purchased black paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic forks from Amazon for around $35 and had extra duct tape available near the cups with a sharpie so everyone could write their names on the duct tape and then place it on their cup.
I had purchased a card from Etsy to put out near the cake and had also purchased a “World’s Best Boss” coffee mug from Amazon for Jason to use as his drinking cup during the night.
I also planned for us to play Office Olympics, with winners receiving Dundie’s (small trophies I purchased from Amazon for about $10-12) instead of yogurt lids. The first game we played was “Modified” Flonkerton. We didn’t have any copy paper boxes filled with copy paper, so I borrowed a few copy paper boxes from a friend and from my mom and had two players each put their feet directly in the boxes (each player got two boxes-one for each foot). We played outside where I had laid two of my mom’s “laying out” cushions in the yard as an obstacle course. Each player started on opposite sides and was expected to make a full figure-eight through the obstacle course. The fastest person won and moved on to the next round. We had three rounds total, and the winner got a Dundie. This was probably the most fun to watch!
The second game we played was Waste Basket-ball. I bought two round trash cans from Dollar General ($3 each) and grabbed 20 pages of spiral notebook paper. I crumpled the pieces of paper into balls and each player got 10 balls. We found the best way to play this was to see who could get the most balls into the basket, so each player got 10 tries. The winner moved on to the next round, with three rounds total and the winner received a Dundie.
The third and last game we played was one that I titled Cup-O-Joe, because there wasn’t a name for it in The Office when they played it. We had two players who each got a coffee cup full of water. We had them use the same obstacle course as those who played Modified Flonkerton, but they had to make two figure-eights as fast as they could. The winner was whoever had the most water in their cup at the end (the birthday boy was the judge), and they got to move on to the next round, with three rounds total and the winner received a Dundie.
Jason got to give a Dundie to the person who he thought was “best-dressed”, and the other Dundie’s were available to anyone who wanted to approach Jason and give him a Dundie for being a good friend, etc.
I spent two and half days at my parents decorating and preparing for the party. Jason thought I was hanging out with my mom, as she had just come back from a week-long cruise. We do spend a lot of time together, so he didn’t think anything of it. The day of the party, I actually had a baby shower that I attended that morning, and then went straight to Wal-Mart to pick up the snacks I had pre-ordered (thank you Wal-Mart Grocery pick-up!) and then to Market Street to get ice and the cake. I spent the rest of the day finishing the decorating, deciding where all of the snacks would go and putting on the finishing touches.
Jason isn’t much of a celebrator. So when I had been asking him what he wanted to do for his birthday, it was always “I don’t know”, or “I don’t care”. Eventually, he decided we could go out to eat on Saturday night to this favorite restaurant, Triple J’s, which wasn’t going to be open on his birthday, and then we could just do nothing and “relax” (his favorite) on his actual birthday. So, we decided to go eat early, around 5:30 PM, and then head to my parent’s house, where my mom was making him a dessert. I told him that some friends had invited us to come hang out at their house that night so we would have to leave my parents by 8 or so, and he agreed. He had literally no idea.
We went to eat and had a great meal. Unfortunately, we were done by 6:30 (I tried really hard to drag it out), and I had told everyone to arrive between 6:45-7 PM and we would be there around 7:15 PM. So I told Jason I had to go to the bathroom, with a look in my eyes that he knew we would need to go home. When you have Cystic Fibrosis, going to the bathroom in your own bathroom is a BIG deal and Jason knows it. So I sat on the toilet lid for a good fifteen minutes and then we headed to my parent’s house.
We had pre-planned for my mom to call me on our way over and tell us to park in the driveway (which is behind the house), so that Jason wouldn’t see the MANY cars in front of the house. So we did. I taped a meme of Dwight and Jim hanging party decorations on the outside of the garage door for him to see before we went inside. He saw and turned and looked at me and said, “What did you do?”. Then he heard people inside and as he opened the door he said to me, “Did you throw a surprise party??”.
Y’all. He was SO surprised.
He walked in to everyone yelling “Surprise!” and everyone telling him Happy Birthday.
I had made him, my mom and myself a t-shirt last minute-I purchased $2 white t-shirts from Hobby Lobby and transfer paper from Office Depot for about $21 and transferred the Dunder Mifflin logo onto Jason’s shirt, “Assistant to the Regional Manager” on my shirt, and “World’s Best Boss” onto my mom’s shirt. Jason loved it.
We started with cake and opened up the snack table. The rest of the night we played Office Olympics and hung out with our friends and family. It was a blast and I loved celebrating my sweet and deserving husband! If anyone wants me to plan their next party, I think this may be my long-lost calling. I’m all about the details!
Special thank you to my mom, who not only hosted the party, but cleaned and helped put out snacks/drinks while I was away at dinner with Jason. Also, thank you so much to everyone who came and celebrated Jason. We were honored to have everyone there!