Sunday, August 17, 2008

Halloween Party

Hallow-e'en or Hallow-Even is the last night of October, being the eve or vigil of All-Hallow's or All Saint's Day, and no holiday in all the year is so informal or so marked by fun both for grown-ups as well as children as this one. On this night there should be nothing but laughter, fun and mystery. It is the night when Fairies dance, Ghosts, Witches, Devils and mischief-making Elves wander around. It is the night when all sorts of charms and spells are invoked for prying into the future by all young folks and sometimes by folks who are not young.

The room or rooms in which most of the games are to be played should be decorated as grotesquely as possible with Jack-o'-lanterns made from apples, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, etc., with incisions made for eyes, nose and mouth and a lighted candle placed within.

Jack-o'-lanterns for the gas jets may be made of paste board boxes about the size of a shoe box. Cut holes for eyes, nose and mouth in all four sides of the box and cover the holes with red or green tissue paper. A black box with the openings covered with red tissue paper or vice versa or white and green make good combinations.

Cut a hole in the bottom of the box just large enough to fit over the gas jet, turning the gas low enough to not burn the box.

In addition to this Jack-o'-lanterns made from pumpkins, etc., should be placed around on tables, mantles, corners, etc.

A skull and cross bones placed over the door entering the house would be very appropriate. The hall should be in total darkness except for the light coming from the Jack-o'-lanterns of all shapes and sizes in various places.

Autumn leaves, green branches, apples, tomatoes and corn should also play an important part in the decorations. Black and yellow cheese cloth or crepe paper makes very effective and inexpensive decorations. The dining-room should be decorated with autumn leaves, golden rod, yellow chrysanthemums, strings of cranberries, etc. For a table center piece a large pumpkin could be used with the top cut off and partly filled with water in which a large bunch of yellow chrysanthemums or golden-rod could be placed. Bay leaves can be scattered over the table.

Another idea for a center piece is a large pumpkin Jack-o'-lantern, the top cut in large points with small chocolate mice in the notches and scampering down the sides of the pumpkin (held in place by long pins or a little glue) and over the table.

Place cards representing pumpkins, black cats, witches' hats, witches, brownies, etc., are appropriate.

If one is not an artist in water color painting, some of the cards could be cut from colored bristol board or heavy paper. The witches' hats of black or brown paper with a red ribbon band; the cats of black paper showing a back view may have a red or yellow ribbon necktie; the pumpkins of yellow paper with the sections traced in ink or notched a trifle and black thread drawn between the notches.

Any of these designs could be used for an invitation for a children's party, by writing on the reverse side: "Will you please come to my party on Wednesday, October 31st" with the name and address of the little host or hostess, using white ink on black paper.

The dining-room should also be in total darkness, except for the light given by the Jack-o'-lanterns, until the guests are seated, when they should unmask. The supper could be served in this dim light or the lights turned up and the room made brilliant. After the supper is over and while the guests are still seated a splendid idea would be to extinguish all the lights and to have one or more of the party tell
ghost stories.

Have a large pumpkin on a stand or table from which hang as many ribbons as there are guests. Have one end of the ribbon attached to a small card in the pumpkin on which may be a little water color sketch of pumpkin, apples, witch, ghost or other appropriate design together with a number. Have red ribbon for the girls and yellow ribbon for the boys, with corresponding numbers. Let each guest draw a ribbon from
the pumpkin and find their partner by number.

Another suggestion is to have the hall totally dark with the door ajar and no one in sight to welcome the guests. As they step in they are surprised to be greeted by some one dressed as a ghost who extends his hand which is covered with wet salt.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Garden Party

Charming indeed is the simple entertainment of the garden party. It is an undebatable fact that informal entertainments are always more enjoyable than those that are strictly formal, and the easy harmony of the garden party is certainly informal to an acceptable degree.

Someone once said of the lawn fete (which is merely another name for a garden party) that "a green lawn, a few trees, a fine day and something to eat" constitute a perfect garden party. To this we add, that the guests must be carefully selected and the grounds must be attractive.

The garden party must be held in the open air; refreshments are served outside and the guests remain outside until they are ready to depart. At Newport, where garden parties are quite the vogue, the invitations are sent weeks in advance, and, if the weather is bad, the party is held indoors. But ordinarily it must be held entirely on the grounds. A large porch is a great advantage, for if there is a sudden downpour of rain, the guests may repair to its shelter.

There are many opportunities for the hostess to show consideration and hospitality at the garden party. Easy chairs arranged in groups or couples under spreading trees always make for comfort. Some hostesses have a tent provided on the lawn for the purpose of serving the refreshments--a custom which earns the approbation of fastidious guests who search the food for imaginary specks of dust when it is served in the open.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Mother's Birthday Tea

A pleasant way for a daughter to entertain for her mother is to give a little informal afternoon tea, asking the mother's friends and their daughters and thus making it a kind of mother and daughter affair.

Send out the invitations on your calling card, writing your mother's name at the top. If your mother likes surprises, arrange the party to be one if possible, but if she is like most mothers she will prefer to know what's going on and so be prepared.

The rooms should be decorated with flowers of the season. The country girl will find it easy in spring, summer, or fall.

During the afternoon a little program of previously arranged "mother" songs, lullabies and readings by some of the guests may agreeably interrupt the chat.

Tea, sandwiches and little cakes may be served in the dining-room from a festive birthday table. The centerpiece may be a bowl of pink roses--to match in number the years of the guest of honor. Candles from under rose-colored paper or silk shades may light the room, and if desired each guest may be presented with a miniature band-box covered with rose-sprigged paper or chintz--filled with wee pink and
white candies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Party Ideas: A Children's Daisy Party

Let the children make the invitations they send out for their own daisy party. On heavy water color paper they may draw and cut out simple outlines of daisies--about ten petals around a center which is then colored yellow with crayons. Each petal may hold one or two words of the invitation, thus: Will--you--come--to--our--daisy--party--on--Saturday--at--three?--Betty and John.

Of course there should be some outdoor games, and a good one to play is "Daisy in the Dell." For this the children form in a circle, joining hands, and one is chosen to be daisy-picker. The daisy-picker runs around the outside of the circle, chanting:

"Daisy in the Dell, Daisy in the Dell, I don't pick you, I don't pick you, I _do_ pick you."

The child whom the daisy-picker touches upon reaching, the last word must try to run entirely around the circle and back to his place before the daisy-picker catches him. If he succeeds, he need not be "it"; but if he is caught, he must be the daisy picker.

"Are You a Daisy?" is another jolly game. The players stand in a line facing one child, who is chosen to be "it." This child asks each one in turn the question, "Are you a daisy?" Each child answers by naming the flower he chooses to be. Thus one may say, "I am a rose"; another, "I am a pansy." If any child chooses to say, "I am a daisy," he is immediately chased by the questioner, and if caught, he must take the
place of the questioner. The game then proceeds as before. One rule is that a child must not repeat the name of a flower that another child has given.

A game that is based on the Mother Goose rhyme, "Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief," etc., is called "Rich Man, Poor Man." One child is chosen to whisper to each of the players some word of the rhyme. The named children then stand in a circle, and another child who is "it" may call for any character in the rhyme that he wishes; the child who has been given that name must respond by saying "Here," and then running away. For instance, the one who is "it" may call for "lawyer,"
and the child to whom that name has been whispered calls out "Here," and is immediately chased by the leader. If he is caught within a reasonable length of time, he is "it," and the former leader drops out. This should be played until only two are left.

The refreshments carry out the daisy idea, and should be served outdoors, either on the piazza or on the lawn. The centerpiece at the supper-table is a big bunch of daisies, and each child has a place-card on which is painted or drawn a daisy face, the petals forming a cap frill. The sandwiches are bread and butter, and some
"good-to-eat" daisies can be made from hard-boiled eggs, by cutting the whites petal-shaped, and by mixing the yellow with salad mayonnaise to form the centers. Marguerites and little cakes frosted in yellow and white may be served with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Party Ideas: A Japanese Garden Party

A girl who wished to entertain for a visiting school friend one evening in midsummer sent out invitations to a Japanese Garden Party. She wrote them on the pretty little hand-decorated place-cards which are to be found in most shops now. The Japanese writing paper which comes in rolls is another possibility for them.

She had a wide porch and a big lawn which she decorated for the occasion with strings of pink, yellow and green Japanese lanterns with electric bulbs inside. Settees and wicker chairs were scattered in cosy groups through the shrubbery, and there was a faint odor of burning incense.

For entertainment there was dancing on the porch to the tune of a phonograph and a program of Japanese music, including some selections from "Butterfly" and "The Mikado."

A clever reader gave one of the Hashimura Togo stories, and also the hostess had arranged some artistic tableaux in Japanese fashion.

When it was refreshment time, cunning little girl friends of the hostess appeared in Japanese kimonos, hair done high and stuck full of tiny fans or flowers. They bore Japanese lacquer trays with tiny sandwiches (filled with preserved ginger), cherry ice and rice wafers. A wee Japanese flag was stuck in each portion of cherry ice.

The favors were wee Japanese doilies which the guests were bidden to hunt for under a certain group of trees. While doing so, a sudden surprise shower of seeming cherry blossoms covered them with pink and white petals. These were really confetti petals obligingly scattered by the nimble little waitresses perched in the branches above.

Party Ideas: A May Pole Party for Children

One teacher planned a very happy May party for her little boy and girl pupils. There was no chance to set up a big May pole out-of-doors for the children to wind, but her idea turned out to be more original and maybe even more jolly.

There were eighteen children included in the party, which was held in the park. On arriving, each child was given a little peaked paper cap of bright colored tissue paper. The boys liked these as well as the girls did, although they found them harder to keep in place on their heads. As soon as the children had donned their caps, three of the tallest children were appointed to "help teacher." This helping consisted in marching proudly out from behind a screen of bushes, carrying three gay little May poles, decked with flowers and colored paper streamers. They had been made by swinging a barrel hoop from a broomstick handle, by means of a number of ribbon-like strips of cloth. Of course the hoops were wound with the cloth, and besides that were trimmed with apple blossoms and lilacs.

From the rim of each hoop the cloth strips hung straight down for two or three feet. The colors on the May pole matched the colored caps that the children wore.

There proved to be just fifteen streamer, and each child was allowed to pick out a streamer to correspond with the color of the cap worn. Thus a little girl with a pink cap would pick out a pink streamer; a little boy with a green cap, a green streamer, and so on. The children who held the May poles were then asked to stand at some distance apart out in the open space of the park, and each little group of five danced round and round, and back and forth, holding and twisting their colored streamers.

Somehow this amused them almost all the long spring afternoon. Different children took turns holding the May poles and sometimes they would even form a procession and hippity-hop around the park. They paraded down Main Street for a little way, but came back to the park in time to play "Drop the Handkerchief," "Hide and Seek," and "Tag," before refreshments were served.

They were perfectly delighted, of course, with strawberry lemonade, brown bread sandwiches, and little frosted cup cakes, which their teacher's mother had made and on which she had outlined in pink candies the individual initials of the children.

A Nutty Party for October

A girl who wanted to give an inexpensive jolly little party in honor of a visiting friend in October issued invitations to a nut gathering.

At the top of each correspondence card which served as an invitation, she glued half an almond shell upon which a face was marked in ink. Below this nut head the rest of the figure was drawn in ink on the card, and the inscription read:

_Pretend you're a squirrel for once
And join my nut-gathering stunts,
Friday, October the eleventh
at half-past eight_.

The first amusement of the evening was introduced by suspending from the chandelier in the center of the room a cocoanut decorated with a comical face and a pointed paper cap perched on top.

Each person from a distance of ten feet was allowed three throws at this cap with a little light rubber ball, the object being to knock Mr. Cocoanut's cap off. The best marksman won a prize.

This first nut stunt caused so much fun that no one wanted to be lured away to a Nut Exhibit. Ten varieties of nuts were represented by pictures or objects and little slips of paper and pencil were distributed for recording guesses.

The display was as follows:

1. A bit of butter on a plate
2. A stout, old-fashioned stick
3. A can of canned peas with indicating label
4. A single pea
5. A map of South America with the outlines of Brazil especially prominent
6. A picture of typical English stone or brick wall
7. A can or cup of cocoa
8. A photograph of Hazel Dawn, the movie star Editor's note: OK, substitute a modern star but she has to be named Hazel :-)
9. A beetle specimen (dead or alive)
10. Three ears of corn arranged to form the letter A


1. Butternut
2. Hickory nut
3. Pecan nut
4. Peanut
5. Brazil nut
6. English walnut
7. Cocoanut
8. Hazel nut
9. Betel nut
10. Acorn

The winner of this contest also had a prize. Of course a nut party would hardly be complete without a peanut hunt and there was also a peanut race in which the object was to transfer the peanuts from one end of the room to another on the blade of a table knife.

In still another peanut contest the object was to pitch ten peanuts into a narrow-necked jar at a distance of about twelve feet.

To choose partners for refreshments a basket of English walnuts was passed, each little nut with a painted face and a paper cap of some sort. Blue sailor caps, soldier caps, Red Cross nurse head-dresses, Scotch Tam o' Shanters, babies' bonnets, girls' gay garden hats, were all represented. There were only two of a kind, and the two individuals who selected them were of course partners.

In addition each nut proved to be only a hollow nut shell; in one was a conundrum, in its mate the answer.

The refreshments were nut-bread sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, hot cocoa, coconut macaroons, vanilla ice-cream with chocolate nut sauce, and peanut brittle.

Costume Hats for the Red Ear Party

Tomato: Turkey red crepe paper or cotton skull cap with pointed green paper calyx and green upstanding stem of wire covered over with paper or cloth.
Carrot: Orange crepe paper or cloth conical cap. This may be made on heavy paper or cardboard foundation. Characteristic lines may be marked on the carrot.
Corn: Green paper or cloth toboggan cap falling gracefully to one side With a long green or gold-colored silk tassel.
Apple: Little round bowl-like cap of glossy red paper with a brown stem of paper-covered wire.
Wheat: A wreath of natural or artificial wheat ears.
Squash: Cardboard or stiff paper cut to make a "crook neck" effect, covered with yellow paper.
Grapes: A graceful floppy green hat of straw or paper with a crown entirely made of artificial or real grape bunches--blue or purple as desired.--A filet of green ribbon with a real or artificial bunch of grapes depending on each side to hang over the ears.
Popcorn: A close-fitting little toque covered with tiny pieces of cotton batting to resemble popped corn.
Watermelon: A crescent-shaped hat to be worn broadside suggesting a slice of watermelon from green paper border (fitting on hair) to pink center dotted with tiny bits of black court plaster to suggest seeds.
Blackberry: Close-fitting little black quilted or puffed bonnet to tie under chin.

These accompany the Harvest Home Party/Red Ear Party

A Harvest Home Party

A "RED EAR" party is what they called it in the invitations. It was the opening party of the year in the high school and the seniors planned it.

The cards they sent out said:

_Oh, this time o' the year
You'll recall the red ear
(It will never go out o' date);
So the members of "twenty"
Have planned fun a-plenty
At a regular Harvest Home fĂȘte--
You're invited_!

The school hall was delightfully decorated emphasizing the autumn colors. Bright tawny leaves banked the platform where the orchestra sat, and along the side walls globes of red and orange balloons glowed among the soft tans and browns of cornstalks. From the ceiling, myriads of red and orange paper lanterns swayed brilliantly.

The dance programs were "red ears" cut from cardboard, and tiny red pencils dangled from them. Some of the names of the dances to excite curiosity were:

The Corn Stalk
The Scarecrow Skitter
Farmerettes Fancy
Popcorn Waltz
Orchard One-step
Pumpkin Pie Walk
Red Ear Dance
Harvest Home Revue

The Corn Stalk was in the nature of a grand march--everybody "stalking stiffly" round and round in time to the music, which ended in a rollicking one-step.

Then followed the Scarecrow Skitter. A dilapidated old cornfield character in all the crudity of flapping black was brought in and established in the center of the floor. In his shabby hat fluttered a handful of rusty crow feathers, and the feature of the dance was for each boy to secure one of them in passing for his partner. The poor old fellow was nearly torn to bits in the process.

The Farmerettes Fancy was another name for "ladies choice." All the girls were given tiny toy rakes, hoes, spades, or other farm implements which they used as favors in choosing partners.

For the Popcorn Waltz, the favors were popcorn chains for the boys to hang around their partners' necks. There was a temptation to devour these adornments as well as to use them for decorative purposes, and on the whole they were a source of much fun.

The orchestra at intervals in this dance made use of some contrivance which sounded like corn popping briskly over the fire.

A shower of snowy white confetti from the balcony still further emphasized the popcorn idea.

In the Orchard One-step the boys were asked to pick peaches. The girls stood behind a high screen and thrust their right hands above it. The boys reached up, touched the "peaches" they chose and thereupon the girls thus designated one-stepped away with their partners.

Instead of a cake walk, a Pumpkin Pie Walk was announced. The contestants could indulge in just as crazy, funny or pretty dance steps as they liked. The reward to the most original, entertaining and clever couple was a big pumpkin pie.

Then came the Red Ear Dance. Everybody was blindfolded and asked to pick an ear of corn from a big basket. When vision was restored the girl holding the red ear (an ordinary ear with a red crepe paper wrapping) was acclaimed queen of the carnival, and was presented with a bouquet of red roses. During the dance a red glow by means of special lighting arrangements filled the hall.

The Harvest Home Dance came just before supper, and lived up to its name, in that paper costume caps designating fruits and vegetables were given out and worn, so that the whole room seemed to be filled with the "harvest."

Tomato, carrot, corn, apple, wheat, squashes, grapes, popcorn, watermelon and blackberry were all represented.

The supper dance occurred midway in the evening, and the other novelty dances described were interspersed before and after it.

The supper consisted merely of peach ice cream with sugared popcorn on top, served on grape leaves, nut macaroons, tiny pumpkin tarts and fruit punch.

An Autumn Leaf Dance

In the fall, after school has opened, some class often likes to give a reception to the entering class. An autumn leaf dance in October is the prettiest kind of one to have.

Decorate the school hall with branches of scarlet and yellow maple leaves, or deep red and russet oak boughs.

For the dance programs make covers from water-color paper cut and painted to look like oak or maple leaves. The inside pages can be of thin white paper in the same shape. Attach little red pencils.

Plan one autumn leaf dance in which each girl receives a wreath of autumn leaves from her partner. For refreshments have orange or raspberry ice with vanilla ice-cream, and serve it on plates covered with leaf-shaped paper doilies.

A Progressive March Party

A group of high school friends, a social club of boys and girls, or a church society of young people will enjoy giving the following party in March.

Send out invitations written on cards reading as follows:

_March is the month of all the year
When lamb and lion do appear,
When pussy willow comes anew
And March hare scampers into view.
If you would meet these creatures four
And maybe several others more,
Then come prepared for work and play
To Grangers' hall, March first, the day_.

On the invitation cards, tiny hares, lions, lambs, or sprays of pussy willows can be outlined or traced by means of carbon paper from pictures.

The guests upon arrival draw from a basket containing tiny toy or cracker lions, lambs, rabbits and cats, whichever kind of favor they wish.

According to the favor each one draws, the guests take their places respectively at the March hare table, the lion table, the lamb table, or the pussy willow table. Each table is marked by a distinguishing centerpiece: at the March hare table is a plaster rabbit, at the lion table, a toy lion; the lamb table has a woolly lamb on wheels, and the pussy willow table, a bunch of pussy willows or a stuffed cat.

The fun is now ready to begin, for with the implements and materials provided at each table the guests are required to produce a facsimile of the animal for which the table is named. Different materials are provided at each table, so there is no monotony, as the guests progress from table to table after half an hour's stay at each one in turn.

Modeling clay is the medium in which the March hares are to be done, and no implements except fingers are supposed to be used, though if a boy slyly makes use of his jack-knife, there are no embarrassing questions asked.

The lions are to be carved from potatoes with the aid of little kitchen vegetable knives, and the lambs are to be fashioned from cotton wool, matches, and mucilage.

At the pussy willow table the guests must show how expert they can be at cutting cats, free hand, from flannel. Beads for eyes, and floss and bristles for whiskers, are also furnished.

Prizes are given for the best and the worst specimen at each table.

A rabbit's foot charm, a small reproduction of the Barye lion, or the well-known Perry picture of a lion, a Dresden-china lamb or shepherdess, and a pussy-cat plate, pincushion, or paper weight are suggestions for first prizes, and four little tin horns painted green may be given as booby prizes to the four "greenhorns" who have the worst showing.