Let’s Party Like It’s 1935!


This little 24-page book was just waiting for me at one of our favorite antique stores in Iowa City. A marketing piece for the Staley Manufacturing Company in 1935, the party book was designed to give “all growing boys and girls” a celebration that was delightful and fun. The ideas inside are “easy to prepare - and not expensive!” Ok, so they had me hooked.


First of all, the illustrations are beautiful! They show each of the table arrangements and games described for that party theme, and the colors are stunning. Please note, the small children are playing a game that requires a table full of candles. Apparently children were a little more careful and less likely to set things on fire in the 1930s.


I wish I had read through this book more closely two weeks ago because I would loved to have used one or two of these Valentine’s ideas with the youth group. They have some beautiful suggestions for the tablescape, including a decorated box that can be embellished with just about anything. I love the game Going To Jerusalem, the back-in-the-day name for Musical Chairs.


If you zoom in on this St. Patrick’s Day picture, you’ll see the recipe for Candy Potatoes. I have never heard of these before, but I absolutely have to try them. I’ll have to look up a substitute for the Crystal White Syrup, but they’re such an original idea that I think I can figure something out. Plus, the tablescape calls for a castle made out of potatoes held together with toothpicks. How much fun would that be?


The Easter Party page would be perfect for a spring party with our teens. They would love to decorate the flower pots and Easter egg nests themselves - well, the girls would anyway. And I love the little basket party favors to have at each place setting. The other pages in the book cover Christmas, 4th of July and New Year’s parties, and they each have their own recipes and activities. Then there are several more pages of games, jokes and decorations that would make any party planner smile. Isn’t it amazing what we can learn from the past?

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