Oscar Fever – Do You Have It???

these are tips on how to throw an oscar party - fancy, isn't it?

Party Planning

Oscar Fever – Do You Have It???

Break up winter monotony by throwing a fun party to toast the stars

-Jennifer Trannon

woman holding glass of champagneThe Academy Awards show is on February 22 this year. Just weeks away, it gives you just enough time to plan your annual Oscar party. What’s that you say? You don’t have an annual Oscar party? Well, maybe you should consider it!

Every year in February or March, Hollywood’s biggest stars glam up and strut down that famous red carpet. As more than one host has quipped, it’s their night to celebrate themselves. So why should we jump on the bandwagon of their self-congratulation and self-promotion?

Well, there are a few reasons, but the biggest one for me is that it gives me something to look forward to in those bleak winter weeks after the holidays. The post-Christmas letdown can be fierce, but as soon as we change the calendar, the movie watching begins.

My friend Nancy and I are in our fifth year of Oscar Party hosting, and we have learned a few things along the way:

1. Venue and Guest List. One thing we do which has worked well for us is to alternate the house at which the party will be held, and we split the cost of the party each year. This has really helped us keep the cost and the stress down. We also have a strict number of invitees – 12 total between us. We do not break this rule, even though we have had many requests from friends trying to get on the list. Our reason is simple: we want everyone to be able to see the TV comfortably. And we also, despite much lobbying from our hubbies, have kept it a ladies-only evening.

2. Dress Code. Another important thing we’ve learned is that as fun as it sounds, making this a costume party is just not a good idea. It’s cute to see how everyone comes dressed, but remember, it’s a looooooooong show. Nobody wants to sit dressed up as The Dark Knight for five hours. Instead, we ask guests to wear pajamas or something very comfy with an accessory to glam up their outfit. Every year we choose a different accessory. One year we did “comfy clothes and gaudy jewels.” We had a Glamorous Gloves party, and another for Hollywood Hats. This year our focus is stars – each guest is asked to wear a star somewhere on her body. This way everyone is nice and comfortable, but we still feel a little bit “Hollywood.”

3. Invites and Favors. As for the party itself, the chosen accessory dictates the theme of the party. For example, last year for the Hats party, the invitation was a paper hat with a real feather sticking out. The prizes were given in miniature hat boxes. This year, we found star-shaped nut bowls which will be our favors.

4. The Menu. Food is simple: each guest is asked to bring an appetizer or dessert with a funny, movie-themed name. We’ve had Million Dollar Baby Shrimp, Electric Cowboy Caviar, and Heath Ledger pretzels. Nancy and I provide the drinks … Gwyneth’s Baby Martinis, Last Tango in Paris Martinis, Lemony Snickets Martinis … you get the picture.

5. And the Winner is… We give prizes for the guest who picks the most winners. We create a ballot with only 10 categories, and learned, after our friend Carrie filled out her ballot with her People magazine next to her, to give out the ballots as guests arrive rather than sending them with the invitations. We also have funny prizes, such as the guest who arrived last, the person with the largest hat, or the one who kept her gloves on the longest. Probably our favorite activity is BINGO. We create BINGO cards with items on it like “shot of Jack Nicholson,” “comment about gays in Hollywood,” “actress stumbles,” “tears,” etc. People X them off as they see them and BINGO wins a prize.

Whether you go through the effort to do all of this, or just invite some girlfriends over to watch the show and drink a bottle of wine, I promise you won’t be sorry. Give yourself something fun to look forward to these next few weeks!

Jennifer Trannon is a stay-home mom with a crush on a small golden man. She can be reached at trannon@msn.com.

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