Holiday flashback parties to remember

By Paula Felps

Holiday flashback parties are all the rage this year. Throwing a theme party based on a certain time period (or your favorite holiday movie) and then giving it a seasonal twist is a great excuse to dress up, snap some pics, and deck the halls in an entirely different way!

Ghosts of Christmas past

Certain decades lend themselves to great holiday party themes, giving an instant touch of fun and nostalgia to the event. Feel free to try one of these — or come up with one of your own!

  • ‘80s Christmas. Break out the red and green legwarmers, the big hair, and loads of eyeliner. A holiday party set in this totally gnarly decade provides plenty of options for fun, whether the preferred look is tight-rolled jeans or big shoulder pads. (Just remember, your party playlist must include the following: the Band Aid smash “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses, and David Bowie’s classic collaboration with Bing Crosby on “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”)
  • A Christmas Story. If you’re one of the millions who have fallen in love with this classic holiday film, why not build a theme party around it? Set your holiday party in the 1940s, complete with decorations like an old-time radio and Red Ryder B.B. guns (plastic, of course). Then, give out leg lamp ornaments — or decoder rings — as party favors. For added fun, encourage guests to dress up like their favorite character from the movie, and hope that at least one of them shows up in Ralphie’s pink bunny suit.
  • A Very Elvis Christmas. Ask your guests to dress in their best 1950s poodle skirts, monogrammed sweaters and leather jackets, and have themselves a “Blue Christmas.” For a special touch, track down an aluminum Christmas tree (bonus points if you have the electric color wheel to light it). To keep the evening totally Elvis-y, play nothing but music by The King, who has seven Christmas albums to choose from!

New year, old times

Ring in the New Year in a retro way with one of these throwback themes:

  • Roaring Twenties. Speakeasies, flappers, and gangsters are a fun way to ring in 2012! Put on some swing or jazz music, keep the “bootleg” liquor flowing, and incorporate a gambling theme by hiring a company that can turn your space into a clandestine casino.
  • Swinging Sixties. Riding high on the popularity of TV shows like Mad Men and Pan Am, the 1960s are hip again. That means you can’t go wrong with a swanky ‘60s-era New Year’s Eve party! Recommend ties and pearls for the guests (or hand out inexpensive versions of them out at the door), make sure there are plenty of martini glasses available and, last but not least, be sure to serve up deviled eggs — the staple of every ‘60s gathering — as you toast the new year.
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