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Liven Up Your Holiday Bash

The holiday season is a time to gather together with friends and family. At this time of year, people who ordinarily wouldn't even consider hosting a party are getting out the good china (or in my case, plastic), whipping up tasty treats and sending out invitations by the score. It just seems to be the "thing to do" around the holidays but entertaining several of your friends or family can be a major source of stress, too! Never fear, however, I've sought out some great tips to help you make your holiday party the talk of the town.

One thing all the experts agree on is that you need to start planning now. As the holidays approach, invitations to parties seem to come from virtually everywhere; if you want anyone to attend your party, you need to get those invitations out right away. Your first concern should be what size party you want to host. If you are new to entertaining, or if you're living in "cozy" circumstances, you'd do well to reconsider that dinner for twelve with string quartet. Also, bear in mind that you'll be paying to feed and entertain all these people, unless you're having a potluck dinner party, of course.

Once you've decided how many people you want to invite, make up a guest list. For smaller parties, you may want to leave out friends from work and family members. Not that they wouldn't be great guests, but you'll probably see them at other parties during the season. Invite your guests as soon as possible! At the risk of repeating myself, people are darned busy doing their own holiday chores, and making a last-minute change in plans might not be possible. Send out all of your invitations at the same time, so nobody feels like they were added at the last minute. Also, be sure to invite all of your guests yourself, people may feel uncomfortable showing up for a party to which the host didn't specifically invite them. Your invitations can be made by phone, e-mail, fax or (gah) snail-mail, but they should be specific as to the date, time and location of the party. It's also a good idea to indicate how guests should dress and if food will be served.

Okay, so you've sent the invitations, decorated your home for the party and loaded up (the cupboards) with food and drink. It's time to party! You might want to plan something for your guests to do during the party - this can be as simple as having dinner or as complex as a neighborhood caroling trip. This is especially important if you're inviting guests who will only know one or two other people at the party. If your guests aren't already acquainted with one another, have some activities ready to break the ice and get people talking. Please remember that offering booze as an "icebreaker" may not go over well with more conscientious guests.

By now you're asking, "all of those helpful tips and not one mention of a Theatre Effects product? Has Paul given up on special effects? Are there simply no items from Theatre Effects' vast catalog that will make my party memorable?"

What are you, nuts?!

Here are a few ideas on how to use our special effects devices to create the holiday party everyone will remember into the New Year. First, that old standby, the mirror ball while a mirror ball mounted on a motor can be a festive decorative touch, the effect can be disorienting in smaller rooms. This can be especially hazardous after that third glass of eggnog. Try mounting a mirror ball without the motor, and lighting it from several angles with either white or colored pin spots. You can create the look of a roomful of fairy lights without having to hang one string! Additionally, consider picking up several two and four-inch mirror balls to use as decoration on a 1970's-themed Christmas tree.

While we're thinking about lighting, don't forget the rope light! Strings of rope light are a great way to light the path to your door on a dark winter's night. Just don't be surprised if you get more than the usual number of gatecrashers with advertising like that! Indoors, rope lights with a chase controller can be used to create a festive accent around the bar or buffet, some people are even trimming their trees with rope light this year.

For those of us living in the south, White Christmas is a song or a movie, not an actual occurrence. Modern technology, however, allows us to remedy that situation in a number of ways. How about giving each guest a bag of "snow" (you can use either Aerosnow or Chinafetti) to toss at each other? Better yet, mount a Confetti Spreader to the ceiling and "let it snow" on your guests as they sing the appropriate carol. If you're far enough south to have a backyard holiday party, you might even want to invest in a Snow Machine to create a realistic blizzard while you barbecue the turkey.

As a final touch, send your guests home with something to remember the party by. Make up a gift bag for each guest you invite; use some Aerosnow as filler and add candy canes, gingerbread cookies, chocolate kisses and (the kicker) Champagne Party Poppers with an invitation to your next bash - New Year's Eve! How could they resist an invitation like that?


Theatre Effects Customer Service Department
Theatre Effects, 1810 Airport Exchange Blvd. #400, Erlanger, KY 41018
Phone: 1-800-791-7646 or 513-772-7646 Fax: 513-772-3579


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