Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Themed party - how much of a theme is too much?

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Basically, my friend is obsessed with X Files so we're throwing an X Files themed party for her birthday. Everyone invited is aware that it's X Files themed and it doesn't seem to be a problem, but I was wondering if it would be an idea to have some non-themed things going on so people don't feel too left out if they've not followed the series obsessively.

Is it alright to keep most things in theme as long as they're accessible, or is it better to have some things for the addicts and some neutral things? As I said, the birthday girl and a few others of us are all very into it, but I'm not sure about some others.

I'm heading towards accessible but themed things at the moment since we don't want to split the party into two. Things like silly games based around an episode, but you can still enjoy them if you don't get the reference.

What do you all think?

Bob Ducca:
I think it would be rude to carry the theme to such an extent that people who are invited to the party are left out.  If an encyclopedic knowledge of "The X-Files" is necessary to participate in the party activities, then you either need to make sure that everyone invited has that level of knowledge, or plan different activities.

I think the accessible idea is best.  Splitting the party in two smacks of an "A" group and a "B" group, particularly if there is one group revolving around the guest of honor, and another group "out in the cold," so to speak.

Use the theme in planning decorations, atmosphere, refreshments, but the activities should be accessible to everyone.

If everyone can participate, even without a deep knowledge of the show, then go all out.  if people will be excluded, then skip it. 

You can always find short synopsis' of show plots, print them out & mount them on card stock to pass around for the unfamiliar to read so they become more aware.

I'm sure you've planned some awesome stuff but immediately I thought of these theme appropriate ideas, so even tho you didn't ask I'm suggesting some (and really I'm not that into the show even!):
* [alien] Green jello (shots or jigglers, depending if it's a drinking crowd or not)
* fake cigarettes (eitehr straight up fakes, or the candy/gum ones) so everyone can be a "smoking man"
* invites, or game rules, etc in manilla file folders
* badges/FBI id cards (with funny or show relavant names) for guests

I would say there's fine line between a themed birthday party and a party dedicated to X Files. 

What games do grown ups actually play at parties?  You could put a X files twist to them.

There is nothing worse than being in a roomful of people and feeling like the only one who doesn't "get it". I think you can be theme-y as long as it doesn't exclude anyone.

Go all out on the decorations, but keep games and activities a little more balanced. If there are any team activities - like a trivia game - make sure you have an equal mix of addicts and newbies on each team and throw in some general questions to even things out.

You could also decorate with cheat sheets listing the major characters and a bit about them ("Wanted" Posters of the major villains and enlarged photo IDs/badges of the good guys).

Sounds like a fun party. I hope ya'll have a great time. 8)


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