Throw a Themed Party! It's easier than you think!
I love to throw dinner parties. For me it is the ultimate night of fun and friendship available. It a time for me and my friends to get together and enjoy good food and the simple joys of life. My specialty is themed dinner parties. Many may feel that this is simply an added burden to the entire process but for me it is like making a list before shopping. It simply gives my get together a central structure to build upon.
Many people when first hearing of a themed dinner party conjure up nightmarish images of a Martha Steward-like perfection few of us real people can achieve. However, a themed party need not become some monumental task guaranteed to bring the hostess to tears. In general dinner parties are meant to be fun not only for the invited but for the invite-er. The most important rule of thumb for any gathering is to keep it simple enough so that you enjoy yourself because if not your guests will feel the tension as well. In that respect I find attaching a simple theme to my parties to be the easiest way to achieve it. A general theme gives the hostess a basic outline when it comes to the menu, decorations, party favors and nights activities.
The theme you pick should be a broad one so that it is easy to mold to you and your guests yet clear enough to allow focus. I have done blues nights, in which we played blues music accompanied by good ole southern cooking, including gumbo, cornbread and sweet potato pie, later on we watched the Blues Brothers and played cards. Another favorite is Mexican night, blast mariachi music through the speakers while serving up a feast of tacos, salad and margarita's. An easy themed party is a tropical theme play island music, serve fruit salad and barbecue serving pina colada's with the little umbrella's and watch goofy 50's beach movies. A themed party doesn't need to be elaborate and if you choose something general and simple you can even throw in a few party favors and decorate around it. Most dollar stores carry a variety of party supplies If your theme is general and broad enough you are sure to find what you need. A few themed party platters or tiki torches go along way in setting a mood. And a few party favors for your guests will increase the fun. For blues nights we picked up a batch of black sunglasses reminiscent of Jake and Elwood, mexican night was completed with goofy straw hats and a pinata' and tropics night was simple with a few lei's. This makes the guests experience fun and memorable without breaking the bank.
So for your next get together with friends don't be afraid of setting a broad theme. It will allow you a simple outline concerning food choices and decor or party favors while letting your creativity shine and giving your guests that little extra something that will make the night truly memorable for all.