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Bar and bat mitzvah ideas

Let the odds be ever in your favor

Community Newspaper Group

Does your tween merely poke her head up from her battered copy of “Mockingjay” only to hiss at you like Prim’s cat Buttercup whenever you ask what kind of theme she’d like for her upcoming bat mitzvah? Don’t worry, there’s no need to hit the white liquor just yet. Maybe the answer to your problem is right under your — or your kid’s — nose. A “Hunger Games” theme! We’ve got a few pointers — all as sharp as an arrow — that’ll help you plan a party centered around Suzanne Collin’s popular books and movie. Use our tips as a force-field-free jumping-off point for creativity and let the odds be ever in your favor.

1) Have each table’s centerpiece reflect a district. For instance, at a District 4 table — a district known for fishing — you can decorate it with fish bowls filled with Gold Fish crackers, vases filled with shells, netting, tridents, and even small fishing rods with gummy worms secured to the ends. Do the same for each district’s main export and be as creative as possible (District 1: luxury, District 2: masonry, District 3: electronics, District 5: power, District 6: transportation, District 7: lumber, District 8: textiles, District 9: grain, District 10: livestock, District 11: agriculture, District 12: mining).

2) Hang silver parachutes around the venue that have parting gifts or party favors attached to them.

3) Incorporate foods form the trilogy into your menu, like Katniss’s favorite Capitol meal, lamb stew with dried plums, the Everdeen’s fish stew with greens (try parsley, thyme, kale, and spinach with some snapper), Mellark Bakery’s goat cheese and apple tarts, pale purple melon (take some honey dew and soak it in some grape Kool-Aid), District 11’s bread dotted with seeds, force-field roasted nuts, grilled whole rabbit, or Prim’s “perfect goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves.” You can also creatively incorporate symbols and characters from the book and movie into your cuisine, like embellishing a chocolate-frosted cake with a mocking jay made out of golden icing or make Cracker Jacks into little tracker jackers using candy corns as stingers.

4) Play games like archery (we suggest Nerf bows and arrows), capture the flag, and dodge ball. You can also write “Hunger Games” trivia questions on pieces of paper, fold them, throw them into a glass “reaping bowl,” and play a fun game for prizes with your guests.

5) Style invitations so that they look like Panem lottery tickets.

6) Consider fire dancers or breathers for entertainment. If this seems like too much of a liability — or out of budget — consider setting up stations where kids can creatively decorate cupcakes (in honor of Peeta) or learn to tie a variety of knots or snares like Finnick or Gale.

7) For a creative candle lighting, have someone dressed as Caesar Flickerman conduct interviews with close friends and family who say kinds things about the bar or bat mitzvah boy of girl.

8) If you’re honoring a lovely, little lady, have the bat mitzvah girl wear a red, fire-inspired gown and fix her hair in a fancy braid — like a fishtail.

9) Instead of a sign-in board, find an old leather book and recreate the Everdeen family book of plants with a few ink drawings of various plants and have guests sign the book.

10) Have the DJ play songs that emphasize the theme, like Duran Duran’s “Hungry like the Wolf” or U2’s “With or Without You” (in honor of Katniss and Peeta). Or, simply play songs from the movie’s soundtrack. Who doesn’t love Arcade Fire, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, or the Decemberists?

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Reader Feedback

Pissed says:
A bar mitzvah is a spiritual and holy day for the child, it should be filled with joyous traditional celebration, and not filled with modern day BS.
Oct. 7, 2012, 1:57 pm

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