I get it. You’re serious about this, this Dec. 21 thing. You’re not crazy, but you figure better safe than sorry. You’ve got your supplies. You’ve got your plan. You’ve got your doomsday face on.

Man, I gotta say: Lighten up. I know that’s counterintuitive coming from this columnist who has spent the last year slumped over a stack of books in the survival aisle of the public library and slogging around Minto-Brown Island Park with a bunch of shovels and sticks.

But the time for preparation has passed. Now is the time to wait, and enjoy the world as we know it before it ends forever. You’re gonna have the rest of your life, however short that may be, to fear and fight and grump in the post-apocalyptic world. So just chill out for the next few days.

In fact, why not throw a party? Why not whip up some tasty treats and invite some friends over for that dinner party you’ve been meaning to have but just haven’t gotten around to? When the apocalypse strikes, you can band together to survive, or accept death in the company of your beloved friends and that awkward couple you had to invite because your husband works with her husband and office politics stop for no man-made or natural cataclysm.

So here are a few ideas for a Dec. 21 shindig. Party like there’s no tomorrow, as they say.

You’ll need to create your own soundtrack to east your guests into the apocalyptic spirit. Not all these songs are specifically about the end of the world, but they’re all close enough:
 “It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by REM
“The Final Countdown” by Europe
“Doomsday Clock” by Smashing Pumpkins
“Blackened” by Metallica
“Four Horsemen" by Metallica
“Apocalypse Please” by Muse
“Til the World Ends” by Britney Spears
“Zombie” by the Cranberries
“The End” by the Doors
“1812 Overture” by Peter Ilytich Tchaikovsky

How you ask party invitees to dress reveals a lot about your world(end)view, so think carefully.

You may decide to treat your party like a funeral or White House tour, asking people to dress formally and somberly. Lots of black and wool.

Or you may consider this to be the final prom of life, the most important party you’ll ever attend. So guests should dress like they’re trying to impress the cheerleaders and the science teacher they would never admit to having a crush on; think sparkles and taffeta.

Or perhaps you believe Dec. 21 will be a very spiritual experience, perhaps even the moment of the biblical Rapture, so you should ask partiers to wear flowing white robes; if they don’t have a flowing white robe handy, they can substitute pastel bath robes.

Or maybe you’re more practical-minded and want to be ready for the after-party, aka the apocalypse, so you’ll want everyone wearing their best camo, body armor and ammunition belts.

Or, wanting to keep things light and funny, you could throw a themed party inspired by a specific movie or scenario; have everyone dress as zombies or Godzilla or the magma from a supervolcano.

Or just have a nudist party. You came into the world naked; you might as well go out the same way.

Hangman. We’re all headed to the gallows of doomsday anyway, so you might as well have some alphabetical fun along the way.
Short fiction. Give everyone half an hour to write up a little story of how the world is about to end. Whoever guesses most accurately gets to die knowing they have a touch of clairvoyance.
Board games. This may seem a mundane way to spend your last hours on Earth, but think about it: Life, Monopoly, Risk and similar games give you the chance to indulge in some final fantasies about what you thought your life would look like: having those twins and curing cancer, becoming a real estate magnate, taking over the world.
Truth or dare, but especially truth. Think of it as group deathbed confessions. Get it all off your chest: I cheated on my SATs; I don’t really like Saturday Night Live, I just pretend to; I hate those stupid bedazzled Crocs you wear everywhere, even to church; I love you. In the words of famous Mayan prophet John Mayer, say what you need to say.


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