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August 1, 2011

Hosting A Retro Little Girl’s Birthday Party – A Photographic How-To

By RetroRuth

If there was one thing my grandmother had, it was style. And she had it in spades. When Grandma decorated, she decorated.  Every few years my grandparents North Side Chicago flat would get all new wallpaper, new carpet, new curtains and sometimes even new furniture.

When she dressed, she dressed, complete with curled hair, nail polish and jewelry, even while on vacation in a cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

And when she planned a birthday party, it was spectacular.

I think I need to take a page out of my Grandma’s book, and plan a retro party just like she would. In fact, I think we all should take a page out of Grandma’s book, which is why I am putting together this handy 1950’s girl’s birthday party how-to to help you plan just the way my Grandma would do it. And, since Grandpa was an excellent photographer, so we even have photo illustrations.

Note: If you think I am embellishing this just to make it an awesome post, I’m not. My Grandma was this awesome on her own, and this is how the birthday parties she planned really went.

1. Make sure your house is decorated smartly and is sparkling clean. The birthday girl should have a special outfit, personalized is best, and her hair should be styled with as many pin-curls as possible. Nail polish is a must, and new jewelry to match the personalized outfit should be given as a present to the birthday girl right before the party guests arrive.

Siblings also should be dressed up in Sunday or party best, and should also get a new outfit.

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2. All children in the birthday girl’s class should be invited, also any friends from the neighborhood and Sunday School.

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3. The table should be decorated within an inch of it’s life. The most important part of the decorations should be the centerpiece, which should compliment the cake.

Party cups, plates, napkins and tablecloth should all match.  There should also be a small trinket for each little girl to wear, such as a hair bow, an inexpensive necklace, or a paper flower corsage for their hair. Party favors should be at each place, and should consist of candy and a small toy.

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4. Lunch should be provided, which should be something simple like sloppy joes, hot dogs, chicken salad or hamburgers.

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5. The cake is the most important part of the table. It should be huge and should match the theme of your party. If you are no good at making cakes from scratch, go to the best bakery you can and order a cake.

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6. Be sure to have plenty of party games planned, and be sure to include everyone!

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7. Make sure you have the gift opening in a large room, so all the children can see the birthday girl as she opens her gifts. Make sure the birthday girl thanks each child after she opens her gift.

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8. Most importantly, have fun!!!

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7 Responses to Hosting A Retro Little Girl’s Birthday Party – A Photographic How-To

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Lovely from start to finish! You’re right – she remembered all the details and her house was beautiful. I just love those big hair bows on the girls. And my goodness at how well coiffed those children were! I’m guessing that the beautiful little birthday girl is your Mom. SO sweet.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      August 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Glad you liked it, Eartha!! Her children’s parties were the stuff of legends, and the all the details and all the work she put into it just blow me away.

      Oh, and actually the cute little guy with the bow tie is my Dad and the birthday girl is my Aunt! :)

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    OMG! This is like the most awesome post ever! Your Grams sounds like she was a really spectacular lady. I would have loved to have had a party like that when I was little. And your Dad and Aunt – completely adorable! Great job Ruth!

  3. Andrea Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Absolutely love this post, Ruth! All of the kids look so cute! And I must say, the coordinating pillows, curtains and footstool in the first picture are killer! Your Grams really did have style in spades!

  4. Toni Reply

    August 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I tried this recently, but it didn’t work. The kids didn’t want to do party games, so we ended up just having a free-for all party. It was disappointing, but the kids had fun.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      August 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Awww!!! Toni, that sucks! They didn’t want to play games, huh? Ah well, I wonder if sometimes all the matching party favors and elaborate games are more for the adults than for the kids. Kids usually have fun at a party no matter what. :)

  5. Pingback: merrymaking 6.8.2012 | a subtle revelry | the art of merrymaking

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