Category Archives: Holidays

Top 3 Anti Valentines Day Party Ideas

Anti Valentines Party Ideas - a heart painted onto a gravestoneUse any of these anti Valentines Day party ideas, you’re making a bold statement about how you’ll spend Valentines Day.

But it’s important to make that choice, without being angry or emotional.

This can be difficult, thanks to the commercialism of February 14th and the messages of how being single is wrong.

Adding these anti Valentines Day party ideas to the mix also doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate love and romance.

But the way Valentine’s Day focuses on standardized romance, it can put more emphasis on hurt for you.

Here’s how you can avoid the hurt – and celebrate Valentines Day – at the same time.

Avoid feeling miserable about being single

Nothing sucks more than anti Valentines Day party ideas that leave you feeling bad about being solo. Perhaps you’ve just become newly single, or are still smarting from your last relationship.

Either way, celebrating being free from old ties IS the way to move forward.

Like it or not, you are currently single – but you are also independent and in control. This is a better place to be in, than trapped in a miserable relationship.

So when it comes to being anti Valentines, enjoy the fact you are free!

  • Team up with other single friends and center your day around a fun activity – like paintballing, a roller derby, getting a massage
  • Book a class you wouldn’t ordinarily do, just because you can
  • Buy a last-minute ticket to the opera, theatre or a concert; often, there will be single seats in the front few rows, if you’re lucky
  • Eat uplifting, healthy food – like Asian style.

Respecting yourself is the name of the game here.

Say no to celebrating Valentine’s in a romantic way

Who says you need red hearts, cherub dolls and boxes of chocolate, to celebrate? These Anti Valentines Day party ideas are all about ditching the commercial.

Instead, why not try this Unromantic Romantic idea.

  • The invites are written on plain A4 paper. Let everyone know there’s no dress code
  • Flowers, chocolates and other romantic gifts are banned, as are any banners and cards with “Happy Valentine’s”
  • For activities, throw a board game party. Watch comedies or horror movies
  • Play unromantic trivia quizzes – like word or useless trivia. Have a video game match.

Pig out on the messiest food you got – fried onion rings, curry takeout, fried chicken bucket, chocolate cake, takeaway pizza.

Finish off with a drinking game.

When you’re anti Valentines, you’ll probably end up having more fun that Valentiners themselves.

Avoid feeling bitter about your ex

It’s too easy, sometimes, to focus on all the bad things about our exs – what they did do, didn’t do, what you did and wished you hadn’t.

You don’t want to throw any anti Valentines Day party ideas that end up leaving you anti love.

If you dwell on it too much, you’ll become miserable. And, of course, feel unable to move forward in life.

That’s why you need to throw a Relationship Wake this Valentines Day. Like a version of a spring clean, this is your chance to say a proper goodbye to the past – and a BIG hello for what’s to come.

  • Invite all your friends together, giving each a paper and pen
  • Give everyone 30 mins to write all the things they can’t do, thanks to their breakup, e.g. I can’t get over how much I resent him/her, I can’t get anyone to fancy me
  • Once time’s up, gather the sheets, and everyone outside
  • Start a little bonfire and let everyone toss in their papers
  • Once burning, join hands with everyone and give a eulogy, like:

“Friends, we are gathered here today to honor the memory of I Can’t. While he was with us, he touched many. As we watch I Can’t leave our lives, we can feel good to know I Can will take his place. While not as well-known, perhaps some day, with your help, we can make a stronger mark on the world with these new words. May I Can’t rest in peace and everyone here pick up their lives and move forward.”

Go back inside, for food, drinks and music. Post-party, mail everyone a few ashes from the bonfire in a little box.

Just the act of the bonfire can be cathartic to many.

Image: Orin Zebest

Valentine Party Ideas -
 how to plan in 5 easy steps

Valentine party ideas - an envelope filled with heartsThese Valentine party ideas will help you survive the commercial tackiness that comes with February 14th.

To defeat it means choosing to celebrate your relationship. That’s all you need to make the day work.

Forget what other people say. You don’t need expensive flowers or expensive anything. You don’t need to do Valentine’s Day like everyone else.

With these 5 steps, you can celebrate the day, without following the crowd.

Step 1, Valentine party ideas for invites

Add a handmade touch to your invites, with these suggestions.

Hearts Bursting Invites — You’ll need sheets of pink colored paperstock, also red. Make sure the paper is thick, but not like card, as you’ll need to staple through.

  • Take the pink paper first, draw and then cut out a heart-shaped outline
  • Do the same with the red, only the heart shape needs to be larger than the pink
  • Then staple the pink inside the red, so it bursts out when the red heart is opened
  • Write your party name inside the pink heart, with the details on the red.

Kissing Photos Invites

  • Look for photos of couples kissing on the web and download your faves
  • Then glue each one onto separate white cardstock
  • This gives you a selection of invitations, so each guest gets something special, depending on their type of couple.

Valentine Party Details — Include party time, date, location and contact info. Make sure everyone knows to ring with any dietary needs.

Step 2, Valentine party ideas for decorations

Color Palate — Create a balance of red and pink.

  • Too much red and it’s like being inside a throbbing heart; too much pink can be too girly for some guys. Decorate using cushions, throw rugs and floor rugs.

Candles — This is the easiest way of creating a romantic vibe.

  • Group tall candles, with a ring of red ribbon or tinsel around the base
  • Float tea light candles in a large glass bowl
  • Be careful your candles don’t set off any smoke alarms and are kept away from flammable objects.

Lighting

  • In addition to the candles, swap out regular lightbulbs here and there, for red and pink. Tie red ribbon around your regular light fittings.

Balloons

  • Tie several balloons together, bobbing them at different heights. Dangle red and pink streamers from door frames and the ceiling.

The Love Table

  • Ask everyone to bring their Valentine’s cards and photos of the person they love, to put on display
  • Cover the tabletop in pink and snake tinsel between your photos
  • Create a spotlight using a desk lamp.
Step 3, Valentine party ideas for activities

Love Dancefloor — Get your lovebirds smooching and grooving with these loved-up dance tunes:

  • On in A Million – Aaliyah
  • I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You – Elvis Presley
  • Can’t Smile Without You – Barry Manilow
  • Wild Thing – The Troggs
  • Three Times A Lady – The Commodores
  • Hero – Enrique Iglesias

Guess Whose Date — Everyone’s got a bad dating story, right? Let this game be the one to dish to dirt.

  • To play, each person writes out two dating stories – bad, embarrassing or weird – onto two pieces of paper
  • Jumble the group’s papers, then everyone gets two
  • Each player now takes it in turn to read out theirs, leaving the rest to guess the owners. The more juicy the stories, the better. Like:
  • Someone mistook me for their ex during our date / He turned up in clothes he’d worn three days in a row / Our table collapsed during our dinner date

Do You Know Your Love Songs — Use this love songs trivia quiz to test your knowledge.

Love Doubles — This is a couples version of the Who Am I game.

  • Each person gets a Post-it note stuck to their back, that is one half of a celebrity couple, e.g. Beyonce and Jay-Z
  • Couples must now reunite with the other half, asking only ‘Yes/no’ questions about who they are
  • If celebrities ain’t your thing, use love-related pairings or word couples, for example Romeo & Juliet, Tom & Jerry, cheese and crackers.

Lovers Limbo — How low can your couples go? Find out, with this classic.

For the limbo bar, use:

  • A string of twinkling lights
  • Rope with chocolate heart-shaped candy dangling from it (for players to try and eat on the way under)
  • A long pink feather boa ruffled by two people on either side.
Step 4, Valentine party ideas for food

Create a menu that combines hearty, spicy dishes and aphrodisiac foods, to get the love rumbling among your guests. Spicy dishes could include:

  • Spicy chicken wings, a spicy curry or stew
  • Homemade steak and kidney pie
  • Fresh strawberries, with chocolate sauce for dipping
  • Garlic bread and mini pizzas topped with chillies
  • Black forest gateau covered in lots of chocolate
  • Turkish delight and candies covering tabletops
  • Aphrodisiac foods include bananas, avocados, asparagus, and figs.

Red wine makes for a better romantic drink than beer. Serve up liquors, as well as a homemade red fruit punch you could called ‘Love Potion’.

If you’re up for a drunk romantic time, check out this site for cocktail recipes.

Step 5, Valentine party ideas for favors

Round off your Valentine party ideas with some fun little gifts for people to take home:

  • Heart-shaped key rings
  • A red rose
  • A red-pink drawstring bag of liquor candies
  • A box of Turkish Delight
  • Saucy playing cards

Plan Your Winter Solstice Celebrations (in 6 Simple Steps)

Winter Solstice celebrations - a lady dances with fireAdd Winter Solstice celebrations to your holiday entertaining – and you’ll be experiencing a fun-filled, relaxed and stress-free party.

Here, you’ll be celebrating the longest night of the year

…December 21 or 22.

From then onwards, the days will then grow longer, the nights shorter, up ’til June 21 – the Summer Solstice.

Bonfires, dancing to light (like this woman is doing) and wild feasts also offer a down-to-earth alternative to the commercialism of Christmas.

Let’s get you started.

Step 1, decide time/place for your Winter Solstice celebrations

Best Time to Celebrate? — This is up to you.

  • Twilight, late evening, early evening – these are all good times. You can party through the night too, staying up ’til sunrise.

Celebrate Indoors or Outdoors?

This is the part about the bonfire.

Since Nature and sunlight are key parts of Winter Solstice rituals, decide early on if you’ll have one.

You’ll need to think about location, fire safety and where to buy wood for burning.

  • If you do opt for a bonfire – hold your party indoors, so guests can hop between
  • Prefer to stay indoors? Then an open fireplace is a good alternative
  • Don’t have a bonfire or fireplace? Don’t worry. Displaying candles of different heights in a corner of your room is cool.
Step 2, plan your invites for your Winter Solstice celebrations

Since the Winter Solstice is all about the sun, light up your party with these simple invitations.

Cards with Candle Photos

  • Pre-buy, or make your own, by gluing images of candles to white card
  • Add your party details to the blank side – and get a double-sided invite made at your local print shop

Handmade Sun-shaped Cards

  • Buy a stack of yellow-colored cardstock, drawing an outline of the sun to each. Cut them out, adding party details to one side.

Solstice Party Details — Include party time, date, location and contact info. Friends got special dietary needs (like dairy allergy)? Let them know to ring you.

  • If you’re using a bonfire, ask guests to bring warm clothes.
Step 3, plan the decor for your Winter Solstice celebrations

Lighting plays an important part in Solstice decorations, as it evokes the “return of the sun” idea.

Candles are the easiest way of doing this.

  • Display in candle holders or jam jars placed outside, spaced apart
  • Place a few along window sills. Float tea lights in a large glass bowl
  • Be careful with candles, if serving alcohol at your party. Not just in case people get drunk and knock them over. Mix in houselights and lamps instead.

Hang up twinkling fairy lights around your door and window frames.

Create wreaths using natural materials from nearby woods or a flower shop.

Display a large homemade image of the sun on your main wall.

  • This can be made out of yellow construction paper with glitter
  • Invite friends to write their feelings about the Solstice in marker pens.
Step 4, plan activities for your Winter Solstice celebrations

In a way, a Winter Solstice party takes a “back to basics” approach to its fun – relying just on you and the fun you’ll create on the spot, with whatever is to hand.

So, to get involved, lock away your iPads, Wii’s and smartphones.

Group Reflection by Candlelight

This is one of the central Winter Solstice rituals.

  • Gather everyone in a circle
  • Invite each person to share something they’re grateful for and why
  • Then, give everyone the chance to write down what they want to leave behind
  • Gather up their notes after, for burning in an urn or at the bonfire later.

A Sunny Singalong

Break out the guitar for to tunes that celebrate the light – like ‘Here Comes the Sun’ or ‘You Are My Sunshine’.

  • Take your guitar out into the woods, for a late night sing-up
  • Or snuggle up to the songs by the fireplace.

Write a Play Together

And perform it. Have a trunk of spare clothes at the ready, for costumes.

  • Write poems or songs and share them as a group
  • Paint together. Face paint each other.

Throw a Trivia Night

Test what you know about the longest night of the year, with a Winter Solstice symbols quiz.

Or mix up these questions with other trivia games on Partycurrent.

Hold a Storytelling Session

Get everyone on the circle for a round of Winter storytelling. The types of stories you choose to tell can vary. Try:

  • Try old Winter folk tales
  • Or stories about fun experiences you’ve done this year
  • Scary winter stories
  • Intimate personal stories
  • Or throw a group story-writing session.

Play Pictionary, Chess or Scrabble

Board games to keep you up until sunrise. Jigsaw puzzles are also cool.

Step 5, decide the food for your Winter Solstice celebrations

We’re going for a “back to Nature” feel with the food.

Lots of roasting, stewing and baking here. Scatter your tables with walnuts, chestnuts, berries and oranges.

The sun theme still rules. To get everyone feeling hot, add spices, even chilli. Here are a few menu ideas:

  • Roast meats, stews and homemade pies
  • Roasted parsnips, swedes, marrow
  • Homemade chicken or beef soup
  • Crumbled goat’s cheese with crackers
  • Big loaves of bread, served whole, so people can tear chunks
  • Jacket potatoes, roasted in foil on your bonfire
  • Chillies and mustard as garnish

For drinks, Schnapps, mulled wine, whiskey and hot toddies rule the tastebuds.

Add hot cocoa and tea of all types.

Step 6, party favors for your Winter Solstice celebrations

Send guests back to the light with nature-themed party favors.

  • Pine cones, potpourri, drawstring bags filled with walnuts, oranges, scented candles and candle holders are a few sweet examples
  • Add a little thank you poem for each guest, tailored to that person
  • Create a mix CD of your sunlight-related songs, to hand out post-party.

Image: ItzaFineDay

Fun Eurovision Party Ideas: Celebrate
 Europe’s Crazy Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision party ideas - guy gives his thumbs up next to a banner for the contestWith these Eurovision party ideas, you now have a new excuse to party.

This time, you’ll be joining thousands of Europeans in celebrating their “Olympics” of pop music – their annual Eurovision Song Contest.

This is held every May, in the city of the previous year’s winner.

A music event that started in 1956, you’ll now find many Europeans glued to their screens, eager to find out which country has won.

For many, national pride is as much a fun part of Eurovision as is the types of songs featured.

All the songs are sung in English, which can make for some interesting lyrics.

Most notable of the Eurovision winners, the group ABBA exploded into the spotlight, as a result of their win for Sweden in 1974 with their song ‘Waterloo’.

Singer Celine Dion also took part in 1988, winning the contest for Switzerland with the song ‘Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi’.

Eurovision party ideas for invites

So why not set the scene with your invites. As the Eurovision Song Content can be quite cheesy, think of bright wacky colors in your invitations, as well as musical motifs.

Psychedelic Vibe — Make this, by using pre-bought psychedelic-colored card. Glue gold glitter to the front for a more sparkly effect.

Eurovision Lyric — Alternatively, use a lyric from a previous Eurovision song as your invitation wording, like,

  • “Your kisses for me, save all your kisses for me… for this [party date]”. (From the Brotherhood of Man Eurovision song ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’)

Host Country Postcards — Each year, the Song Contest is held in the city of last year’s winner (like Helsinki in 2007).

  • Create a photo collage of the country’s icons – from celebrities to food to buildings.
  • Print, cut out and assemble on white cardstock to resemble a ‘Wish you were here’-type postcard.
  • Add ‘Eurovision Party [year] ’ underneath.
Eurovision party ideas for decorations

Since your TV is the star attraction, re-arrange your seating so everyone can see. Tape silver tinsel trim around the edge of the TV screen.

Hang up a flag of the latest host country (which will be the country of the previous year’s winner). Add some silver and gold tinsel around it too.

Find some popular and traditional sayings from the language of this country. Write these onto banners and stick along your walls. Choose words like ‘Welcome’, ‘Enjoy our party’ and ‘Share love and music’.

Eurovision party ideas for activities

Guess the Winner — Everyone gets a ballot sheet. Whoever guesses the winner and Top 2 runners-up correctly wins a prize.

Get Euro Dancing — With music as your theme, get everyone dancing to former Eurovision winners. Create your playlist before the party, mixed together with music from the host country of the latest Eurovision Song Contest.

Here are a few Eurovision songs to get you started:

  • Hold Me Now – Johnny Logan (Ireland 1987)
  • Hard Rock Hallelujah – Lordi (Finland 2006)
  • Waterloo – ABBA (Sweden 1974)
  • Love Shine A Light – Katrina and the Waves (United Kingdom 1997)
  • Wild Dances – Ruslana (Ukraine 2004)
  • Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit – Gina G (UK 1996; didn’t win but a great dance track)

Know Your Country Quiz — Educate your guests about the hosting country with a trivia quiz. Good to play during the contest’s intervals.

Eurovision Origins Quiz — Love knowledge? Test your guests’ own background knowhow of the Eurovision Song Contest with a quiz. Here are a few sample questions:

1. Which song was voted the most popular Eurovision song?

1. Boom Bang-a-Bang (Lulu)

2. Puppet on a String (Sandie Shaw)

3. Waterloo (ABBA)

4. Save Your Kisses for Me (Brotherhood of Man)

2. What is the time limit for a Eurovision song?

1. 2.5 minutes

2. 3 minutes

3. 3.5 minutes

4. 4 minutes

3. Which country holds the record for most wins?

1. France

2. Luxembourg

3. Ireland

4. Germany

4. Why was Eurovision created in the first place?

1. To unite countries rebuilding from World War 2

2. To celebrate new European music

3. To celebrate the founding of the European Union

4. To be a vehicle for unknown European musicians

Answers: 1. 3. Waterloo (ABBA) / 2. 2. 3 minutes / 3. 3. Ireland (won 7 times) / 4. 1. To unite countries rebuilding from World War 2.

Eurovision party ideas for food

Choose a potluck of food from all over Europe.

Or, you could cook dishes of the latest host country. You’ll need to research recipes online for this. Also find out if there are restaurants from that country in your city. If there are, check them out; find out if they do home delivery/takeaway.

Set up snack food in bowls – like popcorn, potato chips with dips, quiche slices.

Eurovision can be cheesy so – don’t forget to have actual cheese (groan!).

Create a special Eurovision fruit punch – in bright neon pink colors. Serve your punch, soda and wine in kitsch plastic glasses.

Eurovision party ideas for favors

Send your guests home with a few winning party favors, such as:

  • Pastries and candy from the hosting country
  • Flag of the country
  • CD compilation of Eurovision winners
  • Neon-colored feather boas
  • Toy whistles
  • Cheap ray bands

Image: wstryder

Read Wikipedia for more about the Eurovision Song Contest.

Decorating Easter Eggs? 
A video guide to 4 different approaches

Decorating Easter eggs - an egg done as a DalekBy decorating Easter eggs in these 4 different ways, you can create them as gifts as well as decorations. You can even design eggs to serve as long-term room displays.

Learning how to decorate Easter eggs in this way is a whole lot easier, though, when watching someone else do it.

Hence these Youtube videos, which have helped me in the past and hope will help you as well. Each one walks you through a straightforward process.

Preparation Tip #1 – decorate hard-boiled eggs or empty eggs?

Either egg type can work, depending on what’s best for you.

Hard-boiled eggs work best, if you want a sturdier object to paint. They’re also easier to handle, if you have a tight grip, and won’t break as easily.

  • To hard boil the eggs, place them in a single layer in a saucepan.
  • Add water, cover, and bring the eggs to just boiling. Switch off the heat.
  • Remove the pan and leave the eggs to sit in their water for 15 minutes. Then run cold water over them, so they cool.

If you’re planning to keep the eggs, choose the empty egg option. Cooked eggs will eventually go off.

Empty eggs allow you to keep the egg and put them on display. To empty your eggs, you’ll need to blow out the insides.

  • Carefully prick a small hole at either end of the egg.
  • Then blow through one hole, so the insides leave through the other.
  • Make sure to use the insides in an omelette or something.

You can also strengthen their shells, by gluing to them thin layers of paper.

Preparation Tip #2 – wash your hands before and after decorating

That way, you protect yourself from any germs on the egg. You also protect the egg from any oils or mess you might accumulate.

1. Decorating Easter eggs in various artistic styles

Need: paintbrush, various dyes and paints, glass containers, newspaper

Video length: 4.01 minutes

Learn how to create several fun designs – like glitter egg, striped, ombre (my fave) and chalkboard egg. All the eggs are empty eggs.

Unlike the other videos, you won’t be talked through the process. Just watch and follow. There are instructions onscreen, to help you along.

2. Learn how to use flowers and leaves to decorate Easter eggs

Need: dried flowers, leaves, a pan for boiling, glues

Video length: 1.43 minutes

In this video, you’ll be shown how to create eggshell patterns, using dried flowers and leaves. Both are used as pieces to lay over the shells as well as in homemade color dyes.

3. How to decorate chocolate Easter eggs

Need: pre-made chocolate eggs and candies

Video length: 3.24 minutes

Ideally, the chocolate eggs you use will be the same size as regular eggs, so they can fit inside a standard cardboard egg box – which in itself becomes the gift box. Your eggs can be supermarket bought or made at home, using moulds.

• This video shows you how to decorate your eggs with sugar pieces, icing and chocolate buttons.

Decorating Easter eggs - Ukrainian eggs in a jar4. Decorate Easter eggs, the Ukrainian way

Need: beeswax, natural dyes, a stylus for the wax. To purchase these and more, check out this excellent online Ukrainian arts store.

Video length: 3.06 minutes

Pysanky in itself is a type of craft. And once you’ve mastered it, your egg designs can be as elaborate as you like – and can be displayed around the house, like in the image here. The image at the top of the page is also Pysanky, done in the style of a Doctor Who Dalek.

Decorating Easter eggs this way will take some time, since you’ll need to think through your ideas. But the final result is worth all the effort.

Images: PugnoMVaMedia