Where the Luck of the Irish Doesn’t Apply

If you plan to hoist a pint of Guinness in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, don’t count on the luck of the Irish to get you home safely. Don’t drink and drive, allow friends to get behind the wheel after toasting or ride in a car whose driver has overindulged. If you’re out on the town, instead designate a sober driver or have an alternate plan before you begin celebrating; most towns now have ride-share services that can take you home safely. And if you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, serve plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic beverages as well as green beer, and ensure everyone imbibing has a safe ride home.

Have a Low-Key St. Patrick’s Day Party

For a low-key St. Patrick’s Day, have a few friends or family members over for a Irish-themed party. “Serve corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew,” suggests WikiHow, along with green beer tinted with a few drops of food coloring. Then, stream a movie to match the theme such as The Quiet Man or Michael Collins (Leprechaun if you’re a horror fan). Or get involved in the nearest St. Patrick’s Day parade by marching with a local civic group, helping design a float or simply cheering the festivities and Irish heritage from the sidelines.

Keep the Super Bowl Interesting With a Party Game

If you want to get even the guests who don’t like or understand football involved on game day, try adding an activity to your Super Bowl party. If the crowd is large enough, you can start a friendly football pool, The Spruce suggests, or a game of Super Bowl Bingo, which will entice guests to mark their cards when they see a team mascot, a face-painted fan or Gisele Bündchen onscreen with novelty prizes. For the younger set, try a football-themed scavenger hunt — not only will it be fun for the kids, but it will also keep them busy while the adults watch the game.

Plot a Patriotic Election-Night Party

With the World Series over, the next big event on everyone’s mind is the 2016 election.

While most people in the United States are sick of hearing the stump speeches and the sordid details, the presidential election has been driving news coverage for almost two years and will soon come to a dramatic end—and that’s an excuse for celebration.

With a little creativity, you can host a party that celebrates the democratic process, helps those who serve or have served in the military, and entertains friends (on neutral turf) as the returns come in.

First, you’ll need some supplies. The thrift store—often stocked with clothing and other donations from clothingdonations.org—is a great resource for lightly used red, white and blue paraphernalia left over from July 4th. You can find items such as American flags, maps, games and clothing with a patriotic theme.

A few patriotic refreshments are in order. Adult beverages can include Blue Hawaii and Cosmopolitan cocktails to suggest the two major parties by beverage color. Blue-state/red-state beers might include Pabst Blue Ribbon and Red Stripe.

Food can be as simple as all-American hot dogs and apple pie, or chili served with red, white and blue tortilla chips. Or you can get creative, and serve red, white and blue popcorn; (left- and right-) chicken wings; donkey, elephant, flag and star-shaped cookies; and more.

For entertainment, presidential trivia contests are fun and relatively nonpartisan, and for children, you can stage games of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey/elephant. Political junkies can submit their 50-state electoral projections to win door prizes such as vintage campaign memorabilia or red, white and blue ribbons. Assuming political differences don’t get in the way, a balloon drop is an inexpensive and easy way to celebrate the final outcome.

When the night is over, make sure to recycle, whether or not the Green Party makes inroads. And instead of tossing those t-shirts, campaign caps and other election-themed goods into the dustbin of history, bag them up with anything else you no longer need and contact clothingdonations.org for a pickup. Your donations will help fund valuable veterans’ programs and keep trash out of landfills.

Many Happy Returns!