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A few days after Christmas, I heard Jeff on the phone with his brother, and he said the words “New Years Eve.” I hadn’t given a single thought to the day, and we had no idea what we were doing.

“Want to have a party?” I asked.

And thus it came to be that we were hosting a party at our house, even though the entire week beforehand, we were not home.

Granted, parties at our house are low-key affairs. There is beer, there are snacks, there are board games. But we don’t go crazy with decorations or fancy-pants hors-d’oeuvres.

However, when you can have an activity of some sort, that party becomes that much cooler. And as this particular gathering would have more than just Jeff’s brothers and friends-since-they-were-fetuses, I felt the need to offer something a little extra.

And that is how my invitation email came to say “You must come to the party with a prop.”

Because, HELLO, photo booth!

I took the cloth I use as a tablecloth when I set up for craft shows, and Jeff tacked it to the wall as a backdrop. We filled a large box with whatever props/costume pieces we could find around the house (giant plastic sword, horned helmet, wigs, purple feather boa, etc.) and added the party guests’ (captain’s hat, cowboy hat, large swath of leopard print fabric, etc.) and voila: A perfect party activity for when you have a roomful of hams.

Oh wait, it’s not perfect yet. See, my plan was to use my camera and have us take photos of one another. However, my friend Clint is a recovering photojournalist, and his wife called and asked if we’d like him to bring his fancy camera, his tripod, his remote control clicker. Um … yes, yes, I would like that very much.

A suggestion for next time: The backdrop should be LARGER, but it’s easy to crop out when you take the time. Some fruits of our labor from New Year’s Eve. HAPPY 2014!!!

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