PLEASE READ THIS FIRST OR YOU WON’T UNDERSTAND THE PICTURES AND CAPTIONS FOR THIS PARTY!!!
Today I want to show you some photos and explanations of a very unique party I did for my husband’s birthday last year. As we were having a year of “spouse dating” there was just the two of us present and the theme was Harry Potter – one of our all-time favourite movie series! There wasn’t much in terms of decorations (although if you look at the background in some pictures you’ll find that we have a lot of medieval type deco anyway) except for a gorgeous big plush owl and cute plush dragon. The witch’s hat on the pile in the pre-party picture was actually on my head most of the day… There was not much food either because it was incredibly hot and hubby doesn’t cope well with muggy high temperatures.
Somewhere there are a few photos of us and the bits of food we had…probably in the deep sink of his mobile. Instead you’ll find that all the pictures here are about presents because I want to show you a German tradition which was at the centre of this party. It’s called “Uzpaket” which means “Teasing Box”. I’ve done many over the years for friends and family and they are always a great party attraction. Originally, they were done just based on the person’s hobbies etc (i.e. without a theme) but nowadays I often do themed ones…more fun!
The idea is to have as many presents as the age of the person. Each is wrapped and carries a riddle from which the recipient has to guess the content. They can also thumb, shake or sniff it to try to get clues. But not all the things are really presents to please…some are meant to be embarrassing, scary, yucky or plain annoying for that person. It’s all part of the game. To add to it, they are usually stashed in a very large box in between crumpled newspaper or packaging paper…with some of them being small they can be hard to find, so everybody is always counting – they all know how many presents there must be… I couldn’t find a good photo of a complete box – only the little one which is number two above: that was the box of a large wall TV and we had to take hubby’s van to get it to his sister’s! But in our case I skipped the box and the mess and just went with the pile of presents.
Also, often there is a drinking game attached to this – if the birthday boy/girl guesses wrong he/she has to down a shot, if he/she guesses right everybody else has to down a shot. At our age (50+) this is best done with shots of wine or beer rather than spirits or things can get a bit unruly… For kids, you can have little giveaways to add to their favour boxes instead, or just do it without the competitive side (as we did in this case).
So that’s what an Uzpaket is all about – it’s good fun to put together (not a quick thing, though – if you want to do it start planning and shopping/finding/making well ahead and don’t forget you’ll have to make up all the riddles). Above are a few party photos and then a picture of each present, with the riddle in the caption. If you want to recreate this idea you are welcome to use the riddles (with the exception of the generic candle riddle, they are all my own, so you aren’t treading on anyone’s toes…).
I hope you’ll enjoy going through the photos and riddles and get inspired to give this funny German tradition a go. (And yes, I was born in Germany – and no, I have no idea why people think Germans don’t have a sense of humour!!!)
What People Ate
Appetizer: Cheese & Pretzl Stick Brooms Mains: Witches’ Hats Sandwiches (English style tea sandwiches cut in witch’s hat shape);
What People Drank
Cider from different types of fruit; tea
Ferrero Rocher snitches
None - just a whole pile of present for the birthday boy
Activities / Games
Uzpaket - read explanations above - plus several DIY puzzle games that came as part of the presents...see photos