OTHER Helps with this theme:

Cards you can purchase
Cards you can make (cute)
Paper purses you can decorate
Here is a purse card from Jenny Smith: Purse Card
Purse Game 1
Purse Theme
Your Purse'onal Journey - (song)

Our evening was a big success last night! Well worth the work we went to. Two Sundays before the meeting, we had a poster advertising that showed three large pink and black purses pieced together scrapbook style and had all the info about the meeting. One Sunday before, each sister and each graduating Laurel was handed a "purse"onal invitation to a birthday for the Relief Society and YOU! We told them there would be dinner, fun, decorations, games, prizes, a tribute to relief society, & of course CAKE! They were all instructed to be sure to bring their purse.

Sisters were asked to host twelve tables representing each month of the year and to decorate either for a birthday party, or a holiday of that month, or the season of the year. The tables were so cute and imaginative. The serving tables were decorated with pink and black purses - real ones belonging to my daughters - with pink crinkled grass and pink and black helium balloons tied to the handles.

Everyone signed in on purse shaped papers and deposited them into another pink purse to be entered in the on-time drawing. We cut off the entries for that at exactly 6:30, when only 15 people were there. They picked up a "Find Someone Who . . " sheet and were supposed to begin immediately to get autographs from someone who fit each of the categories. There was lots of talking/mingling/signing of names and it was tricky to get the sisters herded to their tables so we could start the meeting. We finally did at about 6:45. After the opening song and prayer, our President gave a short message using a print of the painting "Pioneers Arriving" by Minerva Teichert, that was also used by Sister Hughes in her talk "Blessing Our Families through Our Covenants" at the General Relief Society Meeting in October of 2002. Our President focused on the fact that at different stages of our lives, we carry different bags - back pack, fashionable little shoulder bags, diaper bag, big "mom" purse, etc. She did a great job.

Then our teacher gave a lesson briefly outlining the history of Relief Society. I felt like people were thinking, "Let's get on with the party," as she went on for about 20 minutes. Oh, well! Our Humanitarian specialist called the sister's attention to a display of available humanitarian projects.

Then it was turned over to me as the party director. We had the on time drawing for a prize of a pedicure kit that included slippers. I had one group line up at the buffet tables to serve themselves, and another group was told to come weigh-in . . . their purses. They were all laughing. I told the first group they would have to weigh AFTER dinner. Every woman's nightmare!

Prizes were awarded for the heaviest (7.5 pounds) and lightest (0.5 pounds) purses. Sisters continued eating and working on their "Find Someone Who . . " game. The Relief Society presidency each made triple batches of potato cheese soup, sisters signed up to bring potluck salads, and homemade rolls. All very tasty!

Following dinner, we went over the different categories of the "Find Someone Who . . " game and had all the sisters who fit each answer stand up. It was fun to see all the people who speak a foreign language, play the flute, etc. We all learned a few new things about each other.

I turned the time over to my friend who I had asked to run the Purse game. We tweaked the game a little by planting some random items in the Laurel's purses - not too easy, since their purses are so small - stuff like a tiny rubber chicken, a two dollar bill, a paintbrush, etc. I brought 3 of my school IDs from LOTS of years ago. Knowing that the Laurels would of course have their high school IDs in their purses, they were laughing when I had three and beat them to it! We had a long list of things most people would have in their purses, too. It was hilarious to see the really competitive ones get into it. One was wearing a dress, and she took off her shoes and would SPRINT to the basket every time she had one of the objects. I think they all had a great time. The winner of each item chose from a flower pot full of miniature candy bars.

We awarded a prize to the sister who ended up winning with the most objects. We then sang "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to ME and Relief So-ci-e-ty." Costco cake (I love Costco) was served and while the sisters ate, I read to them an essay entitled "Purse Pursuit" by Marsha Jordan. They laughed. We then had the closing prayer. Everyone stayed to chat and we had so much help cleaning up. I was home before 9:00. HURRAY. I feel like it was a big success and we had over 50 people there, when our average has only been 30-35 each month.