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theme parties 101 |
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Divining a Theme …
First and foremost, find a theme. Eek, you're saying, but how? If the perfect party vision just isn't coming to you, first look at the calendar. The most commonly-thrown theme parties are tied-in to holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, New Year's, Fourth of July, Mardi Gras, St.Patrick's Day, just to name a few. Most of these holidays - many of which, let's face it, seem to exist these days for no reason BEYOND providing an excuse to enjoy a bash - provide a ready-made theme. Throwing a Halloween party? Do a costume ball, or a haunted house. Celebrating Mardi Gras? Go all-out New Orleans Cajun. Throwing that perfect theme party may be as simple as finding a seasonally-timed event.

Sick of those tired-old, boring holiday themes? Look towards non-Western traditions and more obscure holidays instead. Posadas, Day of the Dead (dio de los muertos), Kite Day, tea ceremonies, Guy Fawkes Day, Cinco de Mayo, or the Chinese Festival of the Hungry Ghosts all make excellent, and slightly exotic, themes. Do a little research on now-defunct holidays like Lupercalia, Saturnalia, and Twelfth Night, then revive the tradition.

Finally, pay a visit to your nearest party supplies vendor. Stroll through the aisles and you're sure to be struck with inspiration. Pirates, luaus, fiestas and any number of wacky ideas can be found at these places. In love with the kiddie decorations? Latch onto that as a theme … Inner Child Night anyone?

Not only will these stores have a bevy of cool, decorative items, but most also carry helium balloons, signs, banners, silly string, and scads of cheap, tacky toys that can either serve as piñata fillers or guest favors. Party supply shops are also your best bet for finding paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils in a rainbow array of colors, themes and patterns.

Get all Themed-Out
Got your theme picked out, service items color-coordinated, decorations bought? Great, now go the extra mile to make your theme stand out.

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