christmas-party

Hints Upon the Doings of the Fashionable World (December 1882)

(Godey’s Lady’s Book) At this season of the year children’s parties are probably more fashionable than at any other time in the whole year. Many little ones who are busy at other seasons with their school duties now have holiday, and it is their parents’ and guardians’ wish to try and give them pleasure.

There is such a variety of parties given that it is difficult to know where to begin a description; but we will try and give our readers who desire to contribute to their children’s pleasure some hints upon how they may do it.

One of the first things to be considered is the number of guests to be invited, and to try to have them as near of an age as possible; for what will please young children will not gratify their older brothers and sisters, and younger ones do not appreciate what older ones enjoy.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

The next thing is to have them invited for early hours— produce night by closing windows and having lights, but do no keep them to late hours to cause them to be cross and sick for days to come.

To decorate the rooms is the next consideration. Plenty of evergreens make them pretty and bright with a small outlay; then flowers, if they can be procured, are always pretty, and add more than anything else to the general effect. Tableaux, charades, or some little play, are always attractive to older children, while to the smaller ones nothing can prove more attractive than a veritable Santa Claus, or a large Christmas tree.

Of course, the latter, if trimmed very handsomely, is an expense that many do not care to assume; but it is not necessary that it should cost so much. Every child should have a gift from the tree, and each gift should have the name of the child for whom it is intended attached to it. In distributing the gifts, and to watch the eager look upon each childish face as they patiently wait to see what they are to receive, is as great a pleasure to the hostess as the guests.

Numberless trifles can be made at home – dolls can be dressed, toys made at small cost, bags of confectionery pretty decorated, and many other small gifts can be made at a small cost. Where this trouble is not cared for, the tree can be prettily decorated, with articles that are to remain upon it, and boxes filled with confectionery can be piled up at the base of the tree, each child having one presented to him.

Of course, if expense is not considered, all the gifts can be bought, and many beautiful ones chosen. After the distribution of the contents of the tree, games and dancing are enjoyed by the little ones until the joyful summons to supper comes, when the table, to their childish mind, resembles fairyland, and solid viands give place to bonbons, creams, ices, cakes, sandwiches and oysters, that satisfy their desires, and make the evening to them one complete enjoyment.

To have Santa Claus represented always gives pleasure. He should be dressed as an old man, with white wig, long beard, and ruddy complexion, seated on a sled with his treasures surrounding him on all sides. He calls each child up to him by name, and as he presents the gifts he addresses some words to each one. If the person who represents the character is fond of children, and studies up their little peculiarities, much amusement may be caused by the remarks made.

If they have been especially good during the year past, some special mention should be made of it, as nothing so surely gratifies the, childish heart a public commendation, and the wonder is so great to know how Santa Claus heard of their doings through the year.

Many grown persons take great pride in getting up these parties each year for their children, and are noted throughout their circle of friends and acquaintances for the pleasure they give.

With wishes for a Merry Christmas to our readers, old and young, we close our labors for the year, hoping to welcome all the old and many new faces with the bright New Year.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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