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As we enter the new year and colder often nasty weather we wonder what we as a chapter might do for excitement at our meetings. Well, in surfing through the Queen Mothers Board I found some suggestions to share with you.

Baby Photos  Our February gathering is a roll back in time. All the gals are to bring in baby pictures.
All the pictures will be placed on a table, and redhatters will have to guess who the baby or child is today!
Since it's February, and Valentine's Day, they will all exchange the cute little Valentines, just like way back in elementary school.
Sure sounds like a great day to beat the Winter Blahs.

Box lunch exchange – several ideas below! Bring a box/picnic lunch in a show box that you’ve decorated in red and purple for Valentine’s Day and then auction them off…. Use the money for a 50-50 or a door price or for a charity or save for future chapter gifts or events.

We had everyone fill a shoebox (or bag) with the 10 items listed below. You can pick any 10 items you want to put on your list or even make it less than 10 items. We numbered each of the boxes and put them on a table and then had the ladies draw a number from a bowl. Whatever box matched the number they drew, is the box they got to open. Nobody opened any boxes until all ladies had drawn a number to make sure they didn’t get their own box.
1. Something good to eat
2. A treat for your hands or feet
3. Listen to this
4. A good read
5. Something that glitters or something with feathers
6. Something pretty to wear
7. A useful item
8. A pill, potion or remedy
9. Something funny
10. Something red or purple

You make a box lunch for someone else to is decorated in a theme for judging. ( Sandwich , chips, dessert). Furnish the drinks for the group. Ideas for prizes on the box lunches can be (1) most beautiful,
(2) red hat theme
(3) most unusual, and
(4) what in the heck is that?
When someone arrives their lunch is given a number for judging, and after judging everyone draws a number and that is the lunch you get. We also had numbers on the tables and that is where you eat. Helps to cut down on clicks sitting together. Last year we had hat boxes, planters, scarves on a stick like a hobo, baskets, boxes, etc. We played games, enjoyed our lunch and our friends. This year we are sharing with another club.


"Caribean night"   If you pool resources and book a room at the Cambridge Holiday Inn you can use the hot tub, sauna and pool and then go back to the room to party afterwards. We've done that several times and had a blast. Ask for one of the hospitality rooms directly across from the pool, without beds for more room to party. Bring in your own snacks and it's a pretty cheap outing. Plus you can pretend you've taken a quick vacation. It's especially nice when you can watch snow falling on the skylights and through the many windows while you lounge in the hot tub.

White Elephant  or Dollar Store Bingo  Have everyone bring a white elephant from home or purchase a gift at the dollar store. The items are wrapped. Then play bingo and the winners get whatever wrapped item you chose as the prize for that round.
If you'd like, you can make up your own bingo cards, using red hat terms and perhaps names of your ladies. One site that will allow you to do that is

Games  What about a soup supper / or potluck and game night at a member's home?

PJ party with chick flicks and food (of course). Do facials and make-overs on each other and manicures and pedicures as you watch the movies.

Murder Mystery night.

Safety pin dinner  (see web site or ask for how this is done!)

Mardi Gras can have feather masks, purple beads and a cajun/creole menu theme. I have hostessed two large Mardi Gras fundraisers for our local women's shelters and a little zydeco music and a bead collecting contest for a prize, along with a King Cake covered with purple sugar can turn it into a red hat event. King Cakes traditionally have a coin or baby cooked or hidden into them and the gal who gets the prize gets to become Queen of the Mardi Gras so guess you need to start the event with cake first. Zehrs/Loblaw's in some areas have a room upstairs or a local restaurant would be glad to offer a cooking class/theme lunch on jambalaya, corn bread, king cake, etc. Make sure you have enough jazz CD's or zydeco sounds to keep the festive level up and finish all the chocolate before lent starts.

Cooking Demonstration by a local chef in your home or at the restaurant.

Wine/cheese tasting party  (maybe a local winery would hold this event?)

Have you ever heard the old saying, "Every man's trash is another man's treasure?" Well, we changed that up a bit and made it “Every Red Hatter’s trash is another Red Hatter’s treasure.” At our November luncheon this month we had every lady to bring five items of unwanted stuff from home (and no, you cannot bring your husbands or boyfriends). The first one to yell, "I WANT IT" can get the item.

Here’s how it works. Each lady should bring 5 items from home. You should put your 5 items in a paper sack or bag or wrap them in newspaper so the other ladies can’t tell what you brought in advance. The 5 items you bring should be items in good condition, not white elephant items. All of us have things we don’t use or want anymore, but we hate to just throw them away. It can be anything from books or cd’s to figurines, collectibles or small household items. Pretty much any five items you can fit in a paper sack that is in good condition and you just don’t want or need it anymore. We will go around the room and give each person a turn to swap their five items. When it’s your turn, you will reach into your sack and hold up one item at a time that you brought. The first person to yell “I WANT IT” gets to take the item home. If more than one person wants an item, we will write down a number and whoever is closest will get it. If nobody wants your items, you can take it back home or we’ll have a goodwill box on hand. Nobody should get their feelings hurt if no one wants one of your items. After all, you brought it because you didn’t want it anymore. YOU'LL BE SURPRISED WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOUR TRASH.

SILVER AND GOLD PARTY TO CELEBRATE NEW YEARS 2007  *** Glamourous or Glitzy, Shiny and Sparkley ***
We're dressing in Silver or Gold or you can wear your Red Hat colors with Silver or Gold accents. You need to have at least one sparkly Silver or Gold accent piece on, but you can go head-to-toe if you so desire. I'm taking toilet tissue rolls and covering them in either gold or silver paper and then putting little candies or treats inside and putting a New Years wish inside each one. Then I'm wrapping them up with clear cellaphone. After lunch we will each go around the room and read our New Years wish - some serious and some funny. Inside one roll will be a coin and that purple will win the doorprize which will probably be a bottle of champagne. For place settings I'm using gold or silver paper and making placements and then giving each person some New Years favors to celebrate the New Year.

Red Hatters Birthday Bash I invited a few chapters a total of 60 ladies to celebrate their birthdays by having a gift exchange. Everyone was told to reverse their colors for the party. In their goodie bags were those big wax red lips, birthday bubbles, and kazoos. I had chocolate candy coins on the table with Birthday Balloons That said "Its Your Day" with purple and red balloons. We had 2 spays of Happy Birthday Centerpieces on the table along with the Birthday Hat Balloon weights. And ice cream cake that said the same think. We had a silent auction for a Mink Caplet. That money was added in for the decorations and party favors. We also had a 50/50 drawing with 2 winners. We had a sit down luncheon, choice of Pork or Salmon. Everyone had a good time.

HOBO PARTY  (For those in the south where it’s warm in winter – or for a summer event)
This is best done at an outdoor picnic pavilion. Tell everybody to dress as hobos. Put down old newspaper as tablecloths. If you have access to a outdoor cooker, start a soup base in a stock pot for a hobo stew and ask each person to bring a can of their favorite veggie to dump into the pot. Take a dowel and tie a red bandana to the end to make a napsack. Inside each napsack put the eating utensils, salt and pepper packs and napkins, etc. Give each person a napsack when they arrive. After each lady has dumped her veggie into the stock pot, rinse out the cans and serve the stew in the can they brought. Serve your beverage in old mason jars and serve with corn muffins. One of our ladies also brought banana bread for everyone. For dessert, we made smores over the grill and roasted marshmallows. Then we played outdoor games and gave prizes for the best hobo costumes.

Fashion Show  Host a "Weekenders Party" or have a local store do a fashion show.  A queen in our Queen's Council is hosting one at a local restaurant, keeping it absolutely to the cost of the meal since no real money has to be expended. The store will let four to six chapter ladies model their clothing, and you can place an order, but pick it up at their store. Best of all, the store provides door prizes and raffle items. The restaurant she is using told her they are excited to have a Red Hat event, most of their other restaurants had had them but not this particular one.

We recently held a luncheon. I had purchased hand woven coasters from a nearby craft place. Not very expensive either..I also invited 3 volunteers to come up and not let them know what I was going to do. After all three ladies came up on the dance floor, I pulled out three hoola hoops from behind the bar and had a hoola hoop contest while the kareoke guy played Chubby Checker and the twist..The girls were really good sports and I gave each one a red hat pin for their fun effort...Prior to this, I always like to read something funny and interesting while the girls are still having dessert and coffee. This year it was Andy Rooney's "Why older chicks rule" That was a real hoot.

Gift Auction: I had each member bring a $5.00 gift. It had to be in a kitchen box. Something like cereal, pasta, No card or bows on the outside. They brought them into me, and I put them in a box. When the time came I auctioned off the "cereal box" or what ever kind it was, by reading how good it was for you from the box. It was fun to see what surprise was inside. Beware some ladies chose to outbid others for two and three boxes. I had brought a couple extra dollar items to be sure everyone went home with something no matter what.

"Just Desserts" Birthday Party  We celebrated everyone's birthday and we had just desserts and coffee, tea, etc. Everyone brought a present all wrapped up for a gift exchange - all of the gifts were a tea cup and saucer (not coffee cup) so we all got the same thing. Lots of fun.

Lampshade Party. We did the chicken dance next to our tables so we could go home and say we danced (on - not by) a table with a lampshade on our heads. Fun. Fun.

PJ Brunch We made 'slippers' out of maxi pads. They brought ribbon, glue, small silk flowers for crafts (all I told them) and everyone had a blast! We love to have a pajama breakfast at a local restaurant. The look on the other customers' faces are priceless. Have everyone bring a teddy bear or dolly to share their breakfast with them.

Barbie Doll Party  I just bought a doll similar to a Barbie Doll at a $ store. It is dressed in a purple gown and shawl. Now all I will need to do is add a red hat. Have a Barbie Doll party.


Ask each person to make a list of how many expressions they can come up with that use the work HAT and winner with most wins a prize

HAT in hand
Toss your HAT into the ring
A tip of the HAT
HATS off to you
Talking through your HAT
Mad as a HATTER
Ugly as a HAT full of holes
Wear many HATS
I’ll eat my HAT
Keep it under your HAT
At the drop of a HAT
Does the Pope wear a funny HAT?
HAT in hand
Here’s your HAT, what’s your hurry?
Home is where you hang your HAT
Pass the HAT
Watch me pull a rabbit out of my HAT
His head’s too big for his HAT
HAT trick (ice hockey term)
Cat in the Hat

I'll eat my hat=A display of confidence in a particular outcome.

Talking through one's hat=Talking nonsense, especially on a subject that someone professes to be knowledgeable about but in fact is ignorant of.

Number 8 hat=meaning intelligent person. Anyone wearing a size 8 has a big head.

throw your hat in the door= (taken from a website...don't sue!)Back in the old days, and it would not be a bad idea for some in these days, when a man came back home after being away for a while, he would throw his hat in the door before entering. If it was thrown back out, he knew that he was not welcome. If it stayed in, he was home free.

I haven't got a hat=I wish I could claim credit for the new information on Catch 22. But the original research was by Mr. Briggs. I reposted it from the archives when we had the question come up again. (See link below.) The information that I posted was from a book about book titles. (The Phrase Finder site is the brainchild of Gary Martin. He lets us come here and play.) ESC
: : ... and I'll tip my hat, too
In the words of Owl Jolson:
I'd tip my hat to you, I'd do just that
Take it right off for you, but I haven't got a hat
I'm just a college boy, even at that
I'd tip my hat to you, but I haven't got a hat
I'm really not a sap, it's plain to see
But if I wore a cap, they'd never let me back in the University
I think you're swell, I do, I'm standing pat
I'd tip my hat to you, but I haven't got a hat!
All Hat -- and No Cattle=All talk and no action
TIN HAT="A soldier's name for this protective metal helmet. To 'put the tin hat' on something is to bring it to an abrupt and conclusive end." From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

Hat Trick=Hat Trick The cricket term 'hat trick' appeared first in British print in 1858. It refers to one player scoring three times in a row. In cricket jargon, one bowler takes three wickets with three balls in a row. That player was then permitted to pass around his hat and collect a few modest tributes to his finesse in the form of British pennies. So runs one story. Another says the cricket club bought the hat-tricking player a new hat. But the British sporting term was borrowed and became most popular in North American hockey. A hat trick consists of three goals scored by one player any time in one game, even if other players score goals between the hat-tricker's goals. Today fans often toss their hats onto the ice or into the air to celebrate the achievement.

Keep It Under Your Hat="To keep it under your hat" means to keep it secret, not to tell anyone else. In other words, to keep it inside your head. "Keep it under your hat" is just a sly way of saying keep it in your head, to yourself.

Mad As a Hatter=Most of us associate the phrase "mad as a hatter" with Lewis Carroll's " Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland." While Carroll's story certainly gave the phrase a boost and ensured its continued popularity, "mad hatter syndrome" was an actual medical affliction in Carroll's day and hardly a laughing matter.
Among the chemicals used in hat-making at that time was mercurious nitrate, and prolonged exposure to mercury vapors caused severe neurological damage ranging from uncontrollable muscular twitching (known as "hatter's shakes") to dementia. The phrase "mad as a hatter" was well-known by 1837, almost 30 years before Carroll's " Alice " was published

Some ideas from the RHS QMB:

One of the things that my group previously did was take over a whole Bed and Breakfast Inn. We rented ALL the rooms. Went in on a Friday afternoon and staked our our "spot". Went to dinner, and then came back and played games, ate chocolate chip cookies, drank a little champagne, maybe did some scrapbooking or crafting. We went to bed late, and had a wonderful breakfast the next morning. NO RINGING PHONES. NO TV. Just us.

How about a  "Swap Meet". By this time each member probably has items that they are tired of or don't fit. Our group had one last year and it was a huge hit!! 
Each person attending brings at least one---preferably more---red or purple items of regalia. The items are displayed on a table. Clothing is hung up on a rack. Each person draws a number to see who will go first in selecting an item. Continue taking turns until everyone has had a turn or until all items are gone!
At our "Swap Meet" we had everything---- from jewelry, clothing, hats, purses to red/purple knick knacks. We also asked each lady to bring a dish to share, so we had a delicious meal, too!

Another idea - . We numbered each item and put a paper lunch bag next to each item with that number on it. Then we sold chances for 25˘ each, and the ladies put the chances in whatever bags that corresponded with items they wanted. We drew a chance out of each bag, and the lady with the same number ticket won that item. If no one took a chance on an item, we auctioned it off. It was a lot of fun that way. If people had items they wanted to sell, we put them on a separate table or clothing rack with prices and the owners' names on them.

This was a Hoot for my Chapter!
I found a local nice non smoking cafe that served a big breakfast
and went in our PJ's with our hair in rollers or bobby pins and tied with a red scarf or Red hat scarf.
We walked in like it was our kitchen. LOL
We promised a big tip and stayed for two hours!
We all brought a Red or Purple something wrapped that we did not want. I numbered the gifts and we each drew numbers.
Each time one drew, if she got her gift, she drew again.
We had to hold it up for the cafe to see as we unwrapped.
Lots of the customers were waiting to see! LOL We told lots of red hat stories to the cafe. We were the center of attention!
Just what the ladies needed.
Then we preceded to the next place.
I had made appointments for the ladies at the local Cosmetology College. Told the Director what the ladies needed and they went all out. Pampered us till we could not take more! The cost was dutch treat, but was lower than a Spa. LOL I gave the Royal Order. . . All Upper lips are waxed before we leave! Some ladies whined, but they hugged me later.
Just keep an open mind and a giving heart!
Yes, I had to hold my Purple undies up high so the whole cafe could see. Lucky me!

We had a Pizza PJ Party at my daughter's in her pool house.
The ladies were told to come without make up and to bring an outfit too big for them along with a hat and their own mascara.
They all thought we were going to have a night of pampering.
We made a photo of each lady as she arrived.
After we ate, and the tables cleared, each lady was given a bag with her name on it and told not to open it until they received their directions.
Inside it was the little containers (like you get to go salad dressing in) filled with base make-up, blush, sparkle blue and sparkle yellow eye shadow, a test tube of Avon lipstick and a black brow pencil.
I had gotten the cheap stuff on sale at Walmart. I picked pale base for the dark skin ladies and dark base for the light skin ladies. The colors of the lipstick were colors most ladies would not wear. They had their own mascara.
The ladies were told to put everything in the bag on their face. The main catch was, it was to be done without a mirror.
Once they finished their makeup, they were to put on the clothes they brought.
When they were dressed, we did an after photo.
My granddaughter helped my daughter choose the lady that did the best.
We had so much fun!
I did have make-up remover for them to use when we finished.

While we were eating we drew a name of one of the ladies present from a bowl and was told not to let anyone know who's name we had. After we got our name, we were told to look at all of the ladies present and especially at the lady who's name was on the paper we had drawn. We were to remember what this lady was wearing, the kind of hat she had on and anything that would identify this lady.
After we ate, we were given a plain sheet of paper and were told to use the crayons, markers and colored pencils to draw a picture of the lady who's name we had drawn from the bowl the best we could.
When everyone finished, the pictures were taken and then shown to us one at a time. The pictures were numbered and we had to guess who each picture was. If each lady guessed who she was and was able to guess who drew her, they both won a prize. A prize was also given to the lady that guessed the most correct.
It was so funny to see how others see us. Some drew stick ladies and we had some really good artist in our Chapter.

Valentine Dinner.
All of the ladies had been asked to please wear a hat at this event and not a bow or headband and dress-up fancy for this dinner. The room was full of beautiful shades of purple, lavender, red and pink. Every lady present in our Chapter had on a beautiful hat.
We had 20 Chapter members present, 1 visitor (that is a potential member), 2 hatters from Spartanburg and 5 young ladies (maybe future hatters) that have help us with our Chapter.
As our meal was being served, we shared some info about our '1st Loves' and our '1st Kisses'. We found out some interesting things about our ladies. The '1st Kisses' brought back memories of Drive-in Movies, kisses on school buses, kisses while laying on the hood of a car, goodnight kisses at the door and a kiss while on a ferris wheel.
After our meal, announcements were being made when a little old gray haired lady on a walker entered our room yelling, "I'm looking for American Idol, I want to try out for Idol, I want to meet Simon". This lady was told she was in the wrong room. We told her this was a RHS dinner. The lady said, "I'll sing for you anyway". Her name was "Mozella" and she sung a song about getting old and needing aspirins and Depends. It wasn't long until everyone realized this was our member Mandy Hopkins. She did a great job as Mozella and had us all laughing. Thank you, Mandy.
While Mandy changed her clothes, we all tried to remember some happy and sad love songs. We were given a sheet of paper with VALENTINE printed down the side and we had to think of as many love songs as we could that began with each letter. It's hard to think of love songs that began with 'V' and 'E'. We were timed too. Heather Whitten thought of 11 songs and Jane Dyar thought of 8.
It was now time for our speaker, Tica Tallent. She is a personal shopper at Belk's. She shared some funny stories about some unnamed customers she has had in the past. She also gave us tips on how to rid our closets of things we don't use. Tica ended with music and all the ladies standing and clapping to the music.

For our game we were given an index card and told to make a sentence, question or statement using our name and all the words in the sentence we made had to begin with the letter of our name. Examples below.
Donna doesn't do dishes.
Anne ate apples.
Sue smiles sometimes.
This was fun to hear what the ladies came up with. A prize was given to the lady with the most


When I go goodwill shopping with a group of friends this is our list that we bargain hunt for.

red basket
purple flower
red dress
red candle
purple ear rings
red yarn
purple tote bag
something red that some one made for red hatting
purple scarf
A purple or red outfit

We gave awards for the best item in each category. An overall team award for the most items also. A friend's group does it by taking digital pictures of the items that prove they are in the place they are suppoded to be and the first one to get back with all the pictures wins---unless you do want to purchase all of these things.

How 'bout a scavenger hunt in a large mall? A list could include:
bag from a specific store
credit card application from a specific store
picture taken with a security guard
answer riddle type questions about stores or the mall ex:
eye spy with my little eye ---answer Lens Crafters
how much does a certain item cost
where is ________located

A mall with 2 or 3 levels would be good because 2 or 3 teams can be formed - one team for each level.

I planned a scavenger hunt for my group last April. It was a great success. My ideas are a bit different than what I've read so far. I divided everyone up into teams of 4-5 ladies. We started at my house at 9:00 a.m. when I gave everybody the list of things to do or collect. Each team sat together for a few minutes to plan their strategy and then they all headed out. We met for lunch at a local resaurant at noontime. After lunch everyone headed back out to finish up for the 3:00 p.m. deadline. Everyone (except me, it's not fair taking part in the scavenger hunt when you are the one who wrote the list!) came back to my house and we tallied the scores. The ladies were all excited and exhausted. I had cold drinks and snacks prepared for the teams.

When making the lists I kept the scavenging area limited to our town and a couple of surrounding towns if necessary. I listed things they had to collect and they got points depending on how rare or how difficult the items would be to find. Things like: a Ouija board, a funnel, a used dryer sheet, a Flintstone vitamin, a fuse, a ping pong paddle, a matchbook from somebody's wedding, a bottle of Chanel #5, a Ken doll, a skate key, etc. I tried to keep in mind items most people would have in their homes. They had to "do" things like complete a crossword puzzle and a sudoku puzzle. They had to write an original Limerick. The last catagory was taking pictures. One person on each team had to bring a digital camera and they had to take photos of the team in particular situations. For instance, they had to go into a restaurant and sing, they had to find someone with a handlebar mustache and take a picture with him, they had to take a picture with a policeman in full uniform, etc. Those pictures are hysterical! The teams also earned points for the pictures and for doing the puzzles.

Surprised not to see the "purse scavenger" hunt, but think you can find it in party planning, once was there. Anyway, there was a list of things and the gals had to produce said item from their purses.
And wouldn't you know it, we did it when we had each brought a guest and a guest won! It's a good time though and provided some laughs. Some of the items were mints, gum, mending kit, perks card, etc. Various points are awarded with prizes going to high pointers


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