Aloha to Zydeco: Ten Years of Theme Parties

18 May
The invitation to our Scandinavian-themed party, Who Gnomes?

The invitation to our Scandinavian-themed party, Who Gnomes?

Today is my birthday. It’s also the 10-year anniversary of my family’s theme party tradition. 10 years ago, I had just dropped out of my first year of college, and was going through a period of depression. I was, I kid you not, reading Kafka and hanging out in poorly lit jazz clubs. My family took notice and organized a Hawaiian-themed surprise birthday party to cheer me up. We had fresh leis, bacon-wrapped pineapple, and mai tais.

Since then, we’ve had 25 parties, the most recent being our Mardi Gras-themed soiree back in January.

Here are some of our greatest hits:

  • Silliest Theme: Who Gnomes? (December 2005)
  • Best Innovation: The InTheSampler website (launched in 2003), which houses a decade’s worth of party archives, photos, and recipes.
  • Biggest Group Effort: “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” (Halloween 2004) required all hands on deck for a major renovation as we transformed my sister’s house into a scary haunted mansion for the kids in the neighborhood.
  • Most Creative Theme Party: Death by Chocolate (December 2003), with an improv-friendly murder mystery script penned by my mother.
  • Most Anticipated Event: The Annual Theme Dinner Awards (instituted in 2002).
  • Most Egregious Cultural Faux-Pas: Trying to tackle an entire continent during “African Safari” (December 2001).

One of my favorite things about this tradition is how each party serves as a sort of marker in time.  I remember which ones occurred before my niece was born, and which ones after. I can remember houses family members have lived in. I can remember significant others who attended. I remember haircuts. You know…the important stuff. 🙂

Thank you, family!!


2 Responses to “Aloha to Zydeco: Ten Years of Theme Parties”

  1. jadynmom May 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    Happy Birthday Hannah!


  1. Theme Party Inspiration: Hawaiian Luau « Everybody’s Invited! - January 25, 2012

    […] Hawaiian Luau theme party has a special place in my heart, because it is the party that started my family’s theme party tradition twelve years ago. I’m also a little bit obsessed with Hawaii, but who […]

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