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10 Ways to Celebrate Holidays, 1980s Style

Daily writing prompt
How do you celebrate holidays?

How do I celebrate holidays? That’s what WordPress wants to know.

Well … in 1980s style, of course!

Here are 10 foolproof ways you can celebrate holidays like we’re still living in the greatest decade of them all, no matter when you were actually born.

All-Day, All-Night Atari Fest

It’s not a real 1980s holiday until someone’s thumb muscle explodes off the bone from an hours-long session of smashing the joystick fire button trying to advance to master Asteroids. Or until the ghosts of Pac-Mans past have eaten a full night of sleep. So fire up the 2600, pop the popcorn, and get the creaking and popping those controllers.

Neon – Lots and Lots of Neon

No decade has you covered when it comes to holiday lights and colors, no matter what the holiday. Neon works on the Christmas tree, for coloring Easter eggs, for lighting your pumpkin, for glowing your leprechaun, and for torching your Fourth of July night sky. And you haven’t really celebrated Thanskgiving until you’ve eaten a neon turkey.

Mousse Party!

You have to get your do did up right if you’re going to look good for the holidays, right? Right. So grab your friends, your brushes, your picks, your mirrors, your hairspray, and, of course, your mousse, and get that hair standing higher, higher, higher. And if time has been less than kind to your follicles, then you can cover your dome with the white stuff. You’ll be a like a human custard pie.

Dance! Dance! Dance!

One thing everybody did in the 1980s was move to the music. We break danced (broke dance?), moonwalked, Solid Gold-ed, line danced, and Safety Danced. It didn’t really matter how you danced or what dance you did, you just had to dance. Same goes for holidays, 1980-style. Grab your neighbor’s caboose if you have to and get the conga line going. But, whatever you do, move your body!

Pepsi Challenge

Can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke? People who can’t really have no place in my life long-term because one is basically turpentine, while the other is liquid ambrosia. I’ll let you guess which is which, but the holidays are a great time to weed out the pretenders from the worthy. You can get creative with blindfolds, voting curtains, and the like, but the real fun comes in if you start to slip some Tab or RC into the mix.

80s Trivia Night

This is another great way to classify your friends and family, and it gives you real insight into who knows their shit, who is full of shit, and who doesn’t give a shit. The 1980s were made for trivia parties, too, as the decade literally built the game that keeps on giving, decade after decade. So, have your pumpkin pie if you must, but save some room for those sweet, bitter, condescending Trivial Pursuit pie pieces, too.

Air Guitar Jam Session

We can’t all be stellar musicians, but we can look and act the part. The 1980s may have been the age of hair bands, first and foremost, but at home they were also the age of the air band. This is where the men were separated from the boys. Could you hang with Van Halen? Could you sledge with Metallica? Could you unplug with John Denver? The holidays need musical accompaniment, so this is your opportunity to show what you (still) got.

Rubik’s Cube Contest

There’s always that one dude in every family who figures out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube before he ever starts school and then torments you for years by constantly improving his speed. Or refining his “technique.” Or just generally being a pain the ass. Let’s see if Mr. Smarty Pants still has it next time we’re all together, shall we? I can bust a Rubik’s cube to pieces and then put its DNA back together with the best of them.


This is probably going to be pretty gross for kids of the 70s and 80s at this point, but you really can’t avoid a big ol’ Twister mashup whenever three or more of us get together. So try to ignore the funny smell, don’t step on Uncle Fred’s ingrown toenail, and just brush aside that prolapsed uterus that plopped out on the mat. We have some body parts to tangle up and a winner to crown, damn it!

Friday Night Videos All Night Long

Every 1980s fiesta has to have videos playing in the foreground, or the background. “Thriller” is great for Halloween, of course, “Every Breath You Take” is a Valentine classic, and “Material Girl” is the perfect fodder to open Christmas presents to. Of course, “Father Figure” works for any family gathering — daddy issues, and all.

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