Molly Booth
December 16, 2014 2:21 pm

My sister and I host a holiday party every year for our mutual friends, and to be honest, not a large amount of work is put into it. We set a date, pick up some food and drinks, put on an appropriate Pandora station, and pull out board games. The one thing we do put some effort into is picking a “theme” that saves us from having to put effort into planning the party. Here are some of our successful lazy holiday party themes, and how to keep them low-key:

The Pajama Party. Everyone has to wear PJs, preferably holiday or winter themed ones. Easy, quirky, and pictures from the party are adorable. You will have to convince your more dapper friends to show up in sleep wear, but other than that, this is like a 1 on the effort scale. And the party itself is super cuddly and cozy.

The Seriously Fancy Party. This may sound like more work, but it’s really just the opposite of the PJ party — everyone has to show up in formal attire. Instantly, the party is classier, and everyone looks hella nice. So many opportunities for glamorous selfies.

Scifilent Night. This one has a bit more to it, more like a 2 to 3 on the effort scale, but still easy. My sister and I made a big ol’ TARDIS on the wall out of blue painter’s tape and Christmas lights, and then invited people to come dressed as a character from science fiction, should they so choose. We didn’t do a lot else, but that TARDIS was just enough to carry the theme for the night. It became a photo booth at one point, which is funny, when you think about how pictures are like time-traveling, kind of. So much holiday dork-dom. Sorry.

The Mad Men Office Party. I was into Mad Men one year in a pretty extreme way: I had just bought a pink version of Peggy Olson’s iconic blue plaid dress. I wanted to show it off, so we asked our friends to wear Mad Men-esque 1960s period clothes. Some people adhered to this more than others, but automatically, this party had more of a vintage office vibe.


20 Years Later. This holiday season, with all of our twenties angst going on, we decided to have a party where we all pretend it’s 20 years from now. You have to come up with a back story of what your life is like now, and what you’ve been up to, with the option of bringing photos of your significant other, kids and/or dogs. (My “husband” is going to be Daniel Radcliffe, and we are so in love.) We don’t plan on keeping this up for the whole night, but definitely for the first 20 minutes or so. We are “lazy” millennials, after all.

Really, a last-minute party theme can be anything if you’re committed to minimal effort. Because you’re throwing together a party to have a good time, right? You don’t have to go overboard if you don’t have the energy. The “theme” can just be something fun to tie it all together—an excuse to dress up, or an excuse to dress down. Or maybe, it’s just an excuse to carry around a photo of Daniel Radcliffe all night. Works for me.

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