Photo courtesy L to R: Gabby Kanu; Arik Korbas; Tom Czech and Elisabeth Novak
Have you ever thought of hosting a construction site-themed Christmas party (complete with toy trucks and a garland of tools)? Ski slope with equipment?
These are just some of the unexpected ways our audience celebrated the holidays and the winter season.
Last month, we asked people to tell us about their most spectacular themed party and the strategies that made it a success. As you plan your own gatherings and festivities over the next few weeks, consider these ideas to impress your guests and kick things up a notch.
What’s the big point? Think of a clear party theme ahead of time, but remember to leave room for fun and spontaneity.
Here are six unconventional party ideas submitted by our audience.
1. Combining two unrelated themes
My husband and I have hosted many themed Christmas parties over the years. One year the theme was “Build a Happy Holiday”. Garlands were decorated with miniature construction vehicles and tools, plastic toy dumps Snacks were served in the backseat of her truck and tables covered with brown paper turned into a construction site. The menu consisted of homemade desserts, cheese and fruit platters, and lots of dried fruit and nuts strategically piled around the ‘site’. –Jim Kendall, Harrisburg, PA
2. Find a random reason to celebrate
Say goodbye to winter: We will hold a Christmas tree burning party with the theme of “F-You Winter”. To celebrate the end of a long Midwestern winter, we save our own trees and light them on fire. We usually do this in March when it’s warm enough to party outdoors. That is very fun! —Kara Burke
Celebrate your new suit: My wife and I had an amazing themed party this Labor Day weekend. Seersucker branch. The impetus for the party was to purchase a custom seersucker suit this summer just because her wife had always wanted one. It was a pity she didn’t have a good chance to wear a great new suit, so she said she might have to throw a debut party.She liked the idea and made her seersucker A brunch was born. — Kate L., Chicago
3. Make a vision board
I have a Halloween party every year. This year my theme was “Vampire Nights”. People dressed up as Victorian vampires and famous vampires from movies. There were specialty bright red drinks, vampire movie trivia, and a costume contest. First place went to a bottle of red wine in a vampire cloak.
My advanced tip is to create a vision board. It keeps you on track and helps you stay true to your theme. I wanted people to know what was going on the minute they walked through the door. — Gaby Kanu
4. Watch your timing
During the Tokyo Games, my wife and I threw an Olympic-themed party.
The most important aspect of any sports-themed party is the timing of the sporting event.But the Olympics are complicated [because there are so many games].
First, I obtained a copy of the Master Schedule from the International Olympic Committee website.We picked Saturdays with the most interesting events and converted start times [of the games] to my local timezone. The first event was track and field at 6pm, so we asked everyone to come around 5pm We aimed to finish dinner before the US played beach volleyball qualifiers at 8pm Gold medal at 9pm A swimming race was held Some people were awake to watch the badminton game at 2am, many went to sleep and got up at 7am to watch the 100m final before leaving.
There are 3 TVs in the living room and 1 TV in the dining room. It was incredible to see so many exciting live sports happening at once. –Tom Czech and Elizabeth Novak, Chicago
5. Grow up or go home
offered by Arik Colbath
My most popular theme party is the annual 80’s Ski Weekend in Killington, Virginia. Every spring, over 100 people gather on the slopes in their best retro gear and rock out at night to his 80s covers to his band. There is a group photo that captures all the colors of DayGlo, giving out awards with titles like “The Golden Legwarmers Award for Excellence” and “Big Hair and Big Air”.
I have only one rule. For the weekend, it’s about dressing up like the time. Whether at breakfast or on the slopes, live, breathe, [embody the theme] the whole weekend. It was an incredible time and our guests keep coming back year after year. –Aric Corvus
6. Give people space to do their own thing
We had a party with the theme of “Jorts and Reports”.The concept is simple: wear a jolt [jean shorts] Present a PowerPoint on a topic of your choice. Despite just a few days’ notice, we’ve had a lot of participation from friends on topics ranging from comical to niche to somewhat nonchalant. Someone gave a presentation about the best parking lots around Denver.why it’s a wonderful life Awful movies and unreliable animals.
A good theme is like a rug in your room. It should bring the event together, but not be the dominant focus. For us, the most important thing at our party was spending time with our friends. There was also space to do things. –Sean Yun, Denver
Thanks to everyone who shared their themed party tips on Life Kit.
Editor: Beck Harlan.listen to life kit Apple podcasts When Spotifyor sign up Newsletter.