Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Luck Charlie inspires me to throw a luau-themed party

As we await Hurricane Irene's arrival, my daughter and I have been watching a lot of television.  We always watch a lot of television, but we have actually upped our daily quota in anticipation of a power outage. We have to get our TV-watching in now, before we are trapped in a house without electricity.

She starts a new school - middle school! - on September 6th, so I've decided to celebrate her transition by throwing an end-of-the-summer party. While we were cleaning out the DVR, we watched about seven episodes of Good Luck Charlie (Disney) and found our party inspiration. In a special two-part episode, Charlie, Teddy and the rest of the Duncan family traveled to beautiful Hawaii.

Although the storyline revolved around an ancient curse, Hawaii still looked very exotic and fun. As we sit here watching rain fall against the gray sky, there is no other place we'd rather be right now than Hawaii. So we've decided that our "Hurricane Activity" is going to be planning a Hawaiian luau for next week, when hopefully the weather will be nicer.

Throwing a luau is extremely easy. All you need to do is take a trip to the party supply store or visit an online store that specializes in birthday party supplies and novelty items.The most obvious items are leis, grass skirts and straw hats. If I'm feeling extra "festive" I might even throw in some coconut bras and Hawaiian shirts for the adult guests.

I can't stop at attire; decorations are also key. Inflatable palm trees, shells, grass table skirts, and tiki torches are always a nice touch. I might even throw in a plastic pineapple or two, for good measure.

The word "luau" actually means "feast", so no luau-themed party would be complete without a delicious spread of food. I'm not sure how many tweens have a taste for authentic Hawaiian cuisine, but I will have to include a few classics like roast pork and pineapple. I plan on mixing non-alcoholic daiquiris and pina coladas for the girls, as well as a big bowl of tropical fruit punch.

The more I think about planning this luau, the more I think about all the TV shows that I grew up watching. The "Aloha Hawaii" trope has always been very popular and I can think of countless series that have had a very special "Hawaii episode". Both the Jeffersons and the Bradys went to Hawaii on vacation. Years later, the casts of Growing Pains, Full House, Saved By the Bell and Sabrina the Teenage Witch all traveled to Hawaii. More recently, Modern Family had their own "very special Hawaiian episode" and the show Hawaii Five-O obviously takes place in Hawaii.

If you have any suggestions for the luau (or want to remind us of more TV shows that have used this trope in the past) please comment and let us know!

Photo of Good Luck Charlie courtesy of Disney. All photos of party supplies are courtesy of

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