'Who Do You Think You Are?'

tvparty213.jpgIsn't it funny that we expend so much energy trying to figure out where we are going and yet so few of us know where we came from? Former "Friend" and now executive producer Lisa Kudrow of Who Do You Think You Are? airing Fridays on NBC, thinks the same thing. Hence the show. It gives viewers a wonderfully personal look into the lives and family histories of celebrities and notables as they explore their ancestral roots. Last season we learned that Sarah Jessica Parker's great-grandmother (times 10) was accused of being a witch at the Salem witch trials! (Not surprising if you ever saw Hocus Pocus.) So call your friends and family, because we're throwing a Who Do You Think You Are? party!

Setting the scene:
There hasn't been a show this perfectly tailored to a sponsorship since Cialis bought time on The Girls Next Door, so not surprisingly Ancestry.com will play a big role at this party. And since this shindig will entail some research during the night, keep things intimate with no more than six family trees needing to be laid out. Print out family tree templates on poster board for guests and try to get a jump on their family trees by using the aforementioned Ancestry.com. As motivation, have your tree as completed as possible beforehand. Decorate with antiques and memorabilia from various eras (Civil War, World War II, the Gay Nineties) and print out photos of potential family members from those times (any old pictures will do - who'll know?). Invitations should ask guests to forward as much family history as possible so you can get started on their trees. And be sure to have a poster from the most famous family search in history, Alex Haley's Roots prominently displayed. Party favors can be memberships to Ancestry.com or, if free is better, links to RootsWeb.

Attire:
Check your area for an old-time photo studio and hire them to come photograph guests in various crazy outfits - southern belles, gangsters, soldiers, cowboys, etc.

On the menu:
If there is any way to decipher an overwhelming nationality among the crowd - such as German or Italian - we suggest serving traditional menu items from those countries.

On the hi-fi:
We Are Family by Sister Sledge; In the Living Years by Mike & the Mechanics; Those Were the Days by Dolly Parton; Family Reunion by The O'Jays; These Are My People by Rodney Atkins.

The showstopper:
According to author Dan Brown ( The DaVinci Code), some of us will be able to trace ourselves back to Jesus. But for the rest of you, the best you can hope for is a family member on the Mayflower. Why not contact model shipbuilder Chuck Miller about his Mayflower model? It's only $3,100 and includes a Pilgrim on deck! (It could be great-uncle Ray!)