Sunday, May 3, 2009

...And I'll Cry If I Want To

From The Good Housekeeping Party Book, 1958.

"Party Pointers for Little Folks:

- Don’t plan a party to impress the parents.

- Plan a party suited to what your child likes to do, can do and will do at his particular age. It changes each and every year!

- Be an executive. Plan everything on paper. Know exactly what’s to happen and when.

- Don’t wear yourself out. Don’t make a production out of it. A party to a child is having a few pals plus something to eat.

- Don’t minimize the importance of prizes and food. If pennies count, save on invitations, favors and decorations instead.

- Decide with other parents on rules about birthday presents. Shall they be given; if yes, how much should they cost, etc, etc.

- At gift-opening time, have a wastebasket handy; wrappings will fly.

- Consider having a simple party at your child’s kindergarten or nursery school. At a time suitable to the teacher, you provide cake or cookies, and fruit juice or ice cream for the class. If too many parties threaten to interfere with the daily class program, the instructor may set aside one day each month when mothers of that month’s birthday children co-operate on refreshments.

- Then you can make the celebration at home just a family affair, at breakfast or dinnertime. In this way, the thrill of a more formal birthday party is saved for later years.”

And finally, this counsel (which I heartily endorse):

“The First Birthday. The very soundest advice is, don’t give a first birthday party.”

The food recommended for these events is the very simplest; sandwiches cut into different shapes with cookie-cutters, fresh fruit, cupcakes and ice cream. I think everyone has a horror story of a party menu gone wrong, but mine comes from the birthday dinner for the five year old son of a colleague (It was a long time ago and I was not as expert as I am now at ducking invitations. I did not realize until I arrived that the only guest under the age of twenty-one was the birthday boy himself). His mother with more zeal than sense had decided on a rather tricky main course of chicken flambéed with an exotic sauce, prepared on a hibachi on the patio.

It set fire to the back wall of the house.


Overeducated Twit said...

Y'know, today's parents could learn a few things from that...

I passed a birthday party last week with a painted mural wall and a rented inflatable jumping thing...

Shay said...

Depending on the age of the kids involved, they probably would have been just as happy with running through the sprinkler and a Disney DVD.

Packrat said...

To Shay: Absolutely.