Planning a January birthday party for any age is easier when there is a theme. A theme allows the planner to have a point of focus for each party element including invitations, decorations, games, food and party favors. For a January birthday, consider themes that reflect or contradict the winter season or relate to a specific January holiday.
* New Year’s theme.
If the birthday falls on or near January 1 or within the first week of January, a New Year’s theme may be appropriate. This theme works great for teens and adults but can be adapted for younger kids. The premise of a New Year theme for a birthday is to celebrate the birthday person’s new year/new age. General New Year’s party decorations can be used for this theme as long as they do not list the actual year. Use the decorations that say simply Happy New Year. Add decorations of stars and balloons as well as a homemade banner with the words, Celebrating Anna’s 15th Year.
Even if the party is being held during the afternoon, plan for a New Year’s midnight countdown. For a party lasting three to four hours, set the clocks to all read 9 p.m. when the guests are arriving and plan for a big New Year’s countdown in three hours. Play games, have dancing, karaoke and serve plenty of party munchies. When the clocks show the time as 11:55 p.m., sing Happy Birthday. Do a New Year’s countdown before the birthday girl blows out the candles. Be sure to get plenty of noisemakers for the guests to blow as the candles on the cake are blown out.
* Winnie the Pooh theme.
A. A. Milne, author of the Winnie the Pooh series of books was born on January 18. For a child’s birthday of the same date or near that date, organize a Winnie the Pooh themed party. Pooh Bear and his friends make for a great child-friendly birthday party theme. Many party supply stores and online retailers carry Winnie the Pooh themed invitations, decorations and party supplies like cups, plates and napkins. Fun games to include in this January party theme are Pin the Tail on Eeyore and Rabbit’s musical chairs. A cake featuring the A. A. Milne’s characters from the Hundred Acre wood can complete the theme.
* Popcorn Party.
January 19 is National Popcorn Day (U.S.). Take inspiration from this fluffy, buttery treat for a unique themed birthday party in January. The theme can be entirely focused around popcorn or merged with a movie theme, since popcorn and movies generally pair well. If you don’t want to show a feature length movie, consider showing a few cartoons while the party guests munch on movie-style popcorn. Play games where popcorn is the star. For example, have the guests suck pieces of popcorn to the end of a straw and then drop them into a paper cup. See who can fill the cup the fastest. Serve several varieties of popcorn including caramel corn, cheese popcorn and even chocolate-covered popcorn. Tweens or teens may enjoy making their own popcorn balls for a snack. Make sure the party favor bag includes a package of microwave popcorn.
* Winter Wonderland theme.
Even if you live in a climate that is warm during January, consider a Winter Wonderland theme filled with snowflakes, snowmen and everything decorated in blue, silver and white. Hang shimmering strands of twinkly lights in white or blue throughout the party area. Include outdoor lights if the party is being held at your home. Have the kids get involved with the decorations by making paper snowflakes from craft paper to hang on walls and from the ceiling with fishing line. Get your guests into the theme and ask them to dress in blue or white. For a kid’s party play Pin the Nose on the Snowman. Older kids may have fun with a relay race where they each try to unwrap a Peppermint Patty while wearing ski gloves. Birthday cake ideas for this theme include cakes shaped like a snowman, an igloo or even a polar bear. Individual cupcakes decorated with blue and silver snowflakes also fit this theme. Serve white snacks like popcorn, white-chocolate covered pretzels and blond brownies. This theme can be adapted to fit any age.
* Tropical or Luau theme.
For those living in a cold, snowy region, throw a tropical or luau themed party to celebrate a January birthday and brighten everyone’s spirits. Invite the guests to wear their finest Island apparel including grass skirts, coconut bikini tops, shorts, flip-flops and wild tropical print shirts. Serve fruit kabobs, fruit slushies in coconut cups and barbecue sandwiches with fresh sliced pineapple. The birthday cake can continue the island theme with a trim of hibiscus flowers in bright colors or a festive palm tree. For one of the party favors, provide each guest with a flower lei to wear and take home.
January is a great month to celebrate a birthday. No matter what the age of the birthday person, choosing a theme to fit the birthday month can be fun and provide a party filled with wonderful moments and memories.