Avoid the "tacky sweater" trap when planning a holiday theme party

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Mindy Parker - Photo by Rachelle MorvantBy Kristin Keiper and Mindy Parker
Staff writers

If you’re looking for a fun party theme this season, don’t settle for that tired old "Tacky Sweater" shtick. If you were at any gay bar on Halloween, you should have no problem coming up with great themes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Go Gaga for Christmas
Have guests dress in their favorite Lady Gaga get-up. There’s so much to choose from: puffed sleeves, hair bows, pillbox hats, white fishnets and doll lips. You’ll probably want to rent a fog machine and buy a small bubble machine. The Lady Gaga station on Pandora.com will provide the right mix of tunes. Best dressed of the night should win a sequined microphone.

Reindeer Games
You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen, and of course, Rudolph. Which reindeer will you be? Find some antlers and possibly a red nose. Shirts optional. This is also great for groups who would like to arrive tethered together. 

Cher the Love
Choose what (Ch)era you prefer: long, straight hair and bell-bottoms, Bob Mackie, or a thong and fishnets. Warm Cher’s heart and collect a donation at the door for one of her charities: Children’s Craniofacial Association. More info can be found at ccakids.com.

A Karen Walker Christmas
Inspired by our favorite character from Will & Grace, this soiree should involve the ideal party mix of M&Ms, uppers and downers, plus Gingerbread cookies sprinkled with Xanax. All Karens should be dressed to the nines, and will likely need a Rosario to yell culturally insensitive comments to. Start working on the perfect pitch of her voice now.

Ellen DeChristmas
Wear your blazer, your favorite tee, jeans, and some spunky kicks. Dance-off is required upon entry to the party. Alternate between Justin Timberlake’s “Justified” and “FutureSex/LoveSounds” albums.

Streis-Santa Land
Certainly you’ve seen or at least heard of Santa’s Villages, where you wait in line and finally end up face-to-face with Santa. Instead of having your picture taken with Santa, why not have your picture made with a life-size cutout of Babs?

Dress her in a Santa hat and apron, and she’s ready for the camera. (Plus, she could be stored in the closet and dressed for nearly any holiday: something green for St. Patty’s Day; red, white and blue for the Fourth, etc.) You can order the cutout from Shindigs and Celebrations in Green Hills.