As 2013 comes to a close, we’re mining the year’s top news stories and trends, in order to find all the best reasons to celebrate.

Flaky layers of donut

Flaky layers of donut

  1. Don’t Shutdown This Party!: Opposed to raising the debt ceiling? Raise the roof instead! Come dressed as your favorite government shutdown player (Ted Cruz, Barack Obama, or John Boehner would all be good choices), play a rousing game of chicken, and revel in your non-essentialness.
  2. Go Nuts for Cronuts!: The trademarked croissant/donut combo was all the rage in 2013 thanks to the Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC. Make your own knock-off versions and consider serving some of the other well-branded food portmanteaus as well—Tofurky, Frappucinos, and Appletinis come to mind.

  3. Breaking Bread: AMC’s stylish drama about a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin became a runaway hit in its final season. Re-live the suspense with a theme party: tell guests to dress as their favorite morally-corrupt character, serve only breakfast foods, and do some (legal) science experiments. Have an awesome soundtrack while you’re at it.

  4. Google Glass Bash: Early in the year, Google launched their Glass Explorer Program and a bunch of early adopters snatched up the $1500 futuristic-looking wearable computer. Unless your guests are filthy rich, just make your own faux versions with cheap headbands and bits of plastic. Serve space food because the future is now.

  5. An Obamacare Affair: Best to send paper invites, since the website will probably be down. You’ll get fewer RSVPs than expected early on, but here’s hoping there are a lot of last minute sign-ups….er….guests. p.s. Serve healthful food!

  6. The Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball: Just kidding. Do not throw this party. Leave the girl alone—she does not need any more attention, and your guests need to keep their clothes on during the winter months.

  7. An NSA Soiree: Don’t worry, they already know you’re hosting this party.  All you have to do is bring apps and ‘zerts, and we’re sure the government will take care of the photography, whether you like it or not.

  8. Gravity Gala: The Sandra Bullock sci-fi flick was a hit at the box office despite having only three plot points. The visual effects were stunning and space is cool/scary! You may have trouble re-creating the movie magic, so stick with a regular old space-themed party (or the kid version).

  9. Sharknado Shindig: I did not see this abomination of a tv movie, but I hear it’s about a tornado of sharks. That’s a wicked party theme if I ever heard one. Do with it what you will.

  10. Equality Frivolity: 2013 was a pretty good year for gay rights. Celebrate the states where everyone can now marry the person they love. Serve crabcakes (Maryland), avocados (California, where marriage was restored), lutefisk (Minnesota), lobster rolls (Rhode Island), hot dogs (New Jersey), and peaches (did you know they’re the state food of Delaware?). If you’d like, you can throw in some Denver omelets for Colorado, where civil unions are now allowed.