Though Andrew W.K. isn’t going to the Middle East as an American cultural ambassador, he’s still the number one ambassador for year-round partying to the world at large. And now that we’re nearly halfway into December, many of us are preparing our own holiday parties. Who better to advise us on how to throw a proper one than the man himself? MTV Hive caught up with him to get his five best tips for throwing an Andrew W.K.-approved holiday party — follow these guidelines and you’ll be the talk of the town for years to come.
5. Put Bows and Bells on All Cats and Dogs in the House
I’d recommend putting bows and bells on all cats and dogs in the house. And birds! If you can find a way to get a bell on a fish in a fish tank, go for that, as well. Just keep in mind that it may rust, and it may suffocate the fish. All pets, though, I think they like to be decorated. They look so beautiful in a fluffy bow. It’s a chance for them to be proud. A lot of people in New York dress their animals up year-round, or at least when it gets cold, anyway, so why not keep the holiday theme going with a cuddle-up wrap for your dog, or small socks for your cat? Or a cover for your cat’s tail. Cats are trickier, because they usually tear and rip away whatever’s put on them, from what I’ve seen. But if you can force it, just force it. That’s how they learn. They want discipline. But out of solidarity and respect, it would be nice if you, yourself, also wore the same thing.
4. Connect the Past and Present Through Beautiful Holiday Plants
I love poinsettias. There’s a reason we do traditions like poinsettias. It’s not just because they look nice –- we have to pick objects, or symbols, that connect us to all the other times we’ve had this holiday. And assuming that you like holidays, something like poinsettias connect you to every time you saw poinsettias before. There’s a beautiful spiraling sensation of time that can happen with these holiday traditions. I like that, because it reminds me of going to get poinsettias with my mom, and how she was so excited that she could go and have poinsettias at all, or to see them in office buildings, and in stores. Just like pumpkins at Halloween time, it connects you to every time you’ve seen them in the past, and in the future. You’re really in every place at once, and hopefully, most of all, in the moment with that beautiful plant.
3. Cover Your House With Homemade Snow
I would encourage you to play songs like “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” even if you live in a land that doesn’t have snow, because that’s what the song’s about! I lived in California for at least the first four years of my life, and I don’t think it ever snowed where we were. So in that case, I’d put down cotton balls, or that cottony material you might be at the arts and crafts store, or perhaps even at the grocery store, this time of year. If you don’t want to go to the lengths of renting or buying a snow machine — which you could do, depending on how full-blown you’re going to go with this holiday party. You could also put ice in a blender or a Cuisinart, and chop it up pretty fluffy — not so much that it’s water – and then throw it around the house. Keep in mind that things are going to get pretty wet, and put down garbage bags. Or just throw the snow at people, instead of the furniture or the floor. And that’s basically an indoor snowball fight. If you don’t have a blender or a Cuisinart, you could also just throw ice cubes at people. But keep in mind that they can oftentimes really hurt, especially if you get hit in the eye socket, or the tooth. So be careful – I wouldn’t want anyone to get injured past a light bruise.”
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Dip into Children’s Music
To me, the music is very, very important. There’s all kinds of wonderful holiday music, as well as music that I associate with this time of year that doesn’t need to be about a particular holiday. But at the same time, this music is so fantastic, that I wouldn’t want it to be eliminated simple because we’re talking about one holiday or another. I really recommend a great Christmas album by the musician and singer Raffi, who’s traditionally thought of as a children’s musician. There are some great songs on there, really good songs, some that he has written and some that are old-time favorites, like “Must Be Santa,” which Bob Dylan recently recorded a version of.
1. Make It a Global Explosion of Holiday Joy
It’s very important, especially in this day and age, to remember and respect all of the different types of holidays that people might celebrate, whether it’s for religious reasons, spiritual reasons, social reason, reasons of age … There’s gonna be all different kinds of folks, and a lot of those folks might end up at your particular party. So my first tip is to make it a global explosion of holiday joy. Certainly incorporate whatever particular holiday interests you have at the forefront, but why not mix it up with a sense of excitement that could apply to anybody? And that’s what’s so great about the word “holiday.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christmas party, but the idea of being pure holiday – almost like a vacation from the normal routine – can help you embrace the pure holiday spirit in that way. A celebration of celebrating, in general. I think that’s what a holiday is. It can be for the new year, or for the sake of partying.