Bringing Back the Theme Party

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Finally, it’s holiday time, one of my favorite times of the year, filled with gifts, music (I don’t know why so many people hate it, I’m pretty obsessed with Christmas music), bar crawls, peace on Earth and good will towards men.  However, one of my favorite parts of the holidays is the return of the house party.

Ever since I’ve become a legal drinker, the general consensus in drinking trends is that bars rule over parties.  Generally, I agree with this.  It’s easier to go out, and there’s so many bars/events to explore (especially when traveling, nothing is more frustrating then going to a new city and only seeing the inside of your friends apartment).

I miss the house parties my undergrad experience revolved around.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue preaching about it: it’s easier to socialize at a party.  The crowds are smaller, there’s less distractions, and you could normally (if it’s a good party) hear yourself speak.  It’s the reason that I now cherish  the pregame.  There’s also something to be said about getting ready for a party; sending out invites, gathering supplies, and waiting for the first guests to arrive.    Come Christmas,  parties are where it’s at, and lately it seems that most of these holiday parties are themed; another aspect I direly miss from my undergrad.  Cocktail and ugly sweater seems to be the dominant choices.

Why restrict the theme parties to only the Christmas season?  They’re a fun, and dare I say, nostalgic addition to the rest of the year and for those of you with college friends spread all over the place, this is a great excuse to get everyone in one central locale.  People are more apt to commit and travel if there is a purpose and large gathering of people.

The theme party idea got stuck in my head the other day when I was browsing stumbleupon (if you don’t have an account, sign up for one now). An article from Men’s Health that came up, entitled, “The Ten Sexiest College Party Themes“, caught my eye..  The crux of this article is how easily you could get girls to hook up at your party, but it generally seemed to be a list of the most common college party themes.  In fact, we held four of the ten different parties during my stint in Scranton.  Some of the party ideas don’t translate well to post college life (I’m looking at you Jello-Wrestling), and some so blatantly belong in a frat that it’d be embarrassing to attempt to throw one in the real world automatically makes you a douche (see Lingerie). I’ve taken the liberty of taking this list, and combining it with some popular themes I remember  from college.  Most of these involve very little prep work and could be a fun alternative to another night out at the bar.

1) Blacklight:

This was the first entry on the Men’s Health list.  We had two large scale “raves” when I was in college.  We went all out, we got blacklights, strobe lights, disco balls, and glow in the dark paint.  We even had super soakers to put said paint in.  All guests need is a white tee-shirt, and you’ll definitely need a basement for one of these, especially

3) Anything for a Buck:

This is one that party I’m giving the Men’s Health article total credit for.  I’ve never heard of it, but it’s brilliant.  You purchase several packages of pretend money (or just raid all your acquaintances’ monopoly sets) and dare each other to do things “for a buck.”  Now, during college I’m sure this could escalate quickly, but having some sort of grand prize (maybe everyone pools in $5.00) and having a time limit could keep things rated R, as opposed to NC-17 (hopefully, the omnipresence of I-Phones would do this on its own, but you never know).

4) Toga:

Animal House officially made this king of the theme parties back in the 70’s, and let’s be serious, it has yet to be dethroned.

5) Dead Celebrity:

I mostly hear about this happening around Halloween or on Friday the 13th’s, but if you have a truly warped group of friends (which you definitely need to appreciate this) who’s saying you can’t have one anytime.  The aim is to dress as people famous for how they died.  Think Lincoln or Whitney Houston (to soon?) rather than celebrities who just happen to be dead.

6) Anything but Clothes:

Exactly what it sounds like.  Clothes aren’t allowed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cover up.  I’ve never been to an ABC party, as they’re known, but seen some great pictures involving flotation devices, duct tape, and street signs floating around Facebook.

7) White-trash:

This is my all time favorite scenes.  We had a white trash party my senior year of college and it was amazing.  Nothing brings you closer together to your friends than all hanging out in super short jorts and mullet wigs.

8) Luau:

Luaus are a summer staple, and another theme that’s incredibly easy and cheap for guests to prepare for.  All you need is a few good Hawaiian shirts and some leis.

9) Decade:

Pick a decade and have everyone dress for that time period.  80’s parties seem to be the de rigour choice, but we had a 60”s hippies themed party in college that was a blast.  One hint: don’t theme the music too exclusively, it’ll get old.

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