Creating a theme party tradition in your family

14 Apr
Theme parties allow family members to express themselves. Pictured here: my mom wearing the Donna Reed wig from Mafia Night: An Evening of the Dons (and Donnas)

Theme parties allow family members to express themselves! Pictured here: my mom wearing the Don Ho shirt and Donna Reed wig from Mafia Night: An Evening of the Dons (and Donnas)

My family has theme parties a couple times a year. We’ve done this for about ten years. It’s super dorky, we know. We’ve done a Luau, a Mardi Gras carnival, a murder mystery (“Death by Chocolate”), and lots more. In fact, one of my original goals for this blog was to inspire others to use theme parties to connect with their families. To help meet this goal, I’m going to kick off a series of posts about how to cultivate a theme party tradition in your own family.

To start off the series, here’s a basic rundown of what you’ll need to do. I’ll expand on each of these in future posts.

  1. Get buy-in. You’ll need to convince your shy aunt Betty and your too-cool-for-school tween niece that wearing a silly costume is an awesome thing to do.
  2. Start a list of themes. It will grow, but get a couple dozen down on paper to start. The classics, like Casino Night and Wild Wild West are good, but don’t be afraid to think outside of the theme party box. How about…Space? Or a Tribute to Buddy Cop Films?
  3. Create a website. I love websites, don’t you? Document your parties. Share photos, videos and recipes.
  4. Make it your own. Come up with your own theme party customs, specific to your family. Most of these will happen organically. Does crazy Uncle Joey always make a drunken toast before dinner? Is cousin Lisa always in charge of dessert? Some require a little more effort. Will you celebrate your culinary and decor achievements with theme party awards? Will you self-publish an annual theme party cookbook?

Let me know if you have specific questions and I’ll try to answer them in upcoming posts. Also, I’d love to hear any stories of similar traditions. Please share.

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2 Responses to “Creating a theme party tradition in your family”

  1. jadynmom April 14, 2009 at 4:39 am #

    I’d sure like to see some hidden camera footage of “Donna Reed”! Would you recommend hiding a camera to capture the revelry? Or is it better to do it “confessional” style a la “The Real World”? Any other thoughts on capturing these events for posterity?

  2. hisgalpal April 15, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    a space theme party sounds like fun! thanks for the idea!

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