The Deco Party

Who doesn’t love to a throw or attend a party? In the twenties, thirties and forties, apparently many people did and they did their best to make it an event.  On our travels, I picked up a couple of books dedicated to “the party”: food, decorations and games.

Vintage party books
Vintage party books

The Party Book by Mary J. Breen (1939) starts her introduction with the simple words, “Let’s have a party!” and ends it, “Here’s hoping you’ll have a good time!” I hope the same for you.


Now anyone who personally knows me, will attest that I throw the most excruciatingly terrible parties. (For those old enough to remember The Mary Tyler-Moore show, a running gag was her awful get-togethers.  I ‘m in her league.) It is therefore ironic that Anthony can throw a party together that is both brilliant in guests and conversation.  It helps that he can mix a mean cocktail!


But I digress. In the book, parties are divided into several categories: Sprightly Parties for Everybody; Gay Parties for Lively People; Dances with an Air; Children’s Parties; Outdoor Parties and Picnics; Banquets; and Fun for Funds. Also listed are party games and stunts to keep your guest entertained.


Fear not, I don’t intend to spell out every party or detail but who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to throw your very own theme party in the deco style. P.S.: Please invite me!

Snow Frolic Party
Snow Frolic Party

“When winter comes – and you want to give a party, what could be better then a Snow Frolic, a realistic one with a Ski Tow, Ski Races and a Snow Battle Free-For-All…” Start by making your invitations with green paper using white ink and decorating it with a snowman or crossed skis in the corner. Add a snow effect by covering the invite with a fine wire mesh and use a toothbrush to rub a bit of the white ink over the invitation. (See how easy – who needs premade multipack invitations so readily available now-a-days?) Decorate the party space with fresh evergreens sprinkled with cotton or artificial snow. To blot out your ceiling, string wires across the room then hang tinsel and snow balls (cotton balls on thread).  Cover wall lights with blue cellophane and center ceiling lights can be covered with clusters of blue and white balloons.  Don’t forget the snowman made out of cotton!  (Then get out the spackle and touch up paint for later.)



I am already exhausted.  The instructions continue to limit teams for the games to 10 or 12, assuming you are inviting 60 guests (better start on those invites).


Speaking of games, the Free-For-All snow ball fight is the easiest to describe (and could be a lot of fun depending on the strength of the libations).  To start, white and blue balloons serving as the “snow balls” are placed on the floor.  The more you have the better.  Guests are divided into 2 teams – White and Blue.  The object is to destroy as many of the opponent’s balloons as possible while retrieving your own team’s within the three minute time limit.  Safe to say, there won’t be any balloons left intact at the end of the melee. The point of the game – well, actually there is no point, at least none given.


Afterwards, let your guests rest and serve them coffee and donuts.  “If you have a victrola, play the “Blue Danube” or some other waltz and the skaters will surprise you – and doubtless, themselves too – with their grace and skill on the ice.”  Oh, did I mention a suggestion was made to pull up your rugs and highly wax your floors to make them super slippery like ice?


This is just an example of the lengths and creativity gone into  ensure a memorable evening for your guests (and possibly your homeowner insurance).  I know I’d remember it!

More ideas later and happy partying!

Chris and Anthony, the “Freakin’, ‘Tiquen” guys!

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One thought on “The Deco Party

  1. Joanne

    I just got my very own copy of The Party Book! (Did I say, I can’t remember the last time I actually had a party? Never too late . . . . . )


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