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and come early. Your friend,


P. S. Wear your every-day dress and apron.

Promptly at three o'clock the next Tues-
day eight little girls in clean aprons arrived
and sat solemnly down in the parlor. Then
Nannie's mamma told them that the party

76 Home Parties for Children

was to be in the kitchen, and some one sug-
gested " Candy Pull."

That magic word hurried them out to
the kitchen ; and there on the table were
nine groups of things, each one consist-
ing of a bowl, a tin cup, a soup-plate, a
crimped patty-pan, a tablespoon, a teaspoon,
and a doll spoon and fork. On a smaller
table near by stood sugar, eggs, and other
ingredients, while a brisk fire burned in the


u Now," said Nannie's mamma, " we will
all go to work and make our own cakes and
custards for tea, and see how well we can
do it. I want each little girl to have some-
thing nice to take home to show her mother
what a good housekeeper she can be. No
one knows, until she tries, how much fun
it is to cook."

The children were delighted at the pros-
pect, and examined their groups of dishes.
Then each child was given half a cup of
sugar in the bowl, and a lump of butter,
and was taught how to beat them together

o *-j

well; then the } 7 olk of an egg was added,
the white being put in the soup-plate to be

Home Parties for Children 77

whipped light with a fork later. Then a
little flour, two tablespoonfuls of sweet
milk, and two doll spoonfuls of baking
powder after the rest of a teacupful of
flour had been stirred in. When it came
to beating the whites the little arms grew
tired, and it seemed as if those whites never
would stand alone, but at last they were
added to the batter, which was whisked
with a tablespoon until it bubbled. In
order to have each cake different a table-
spoonful of grated cocoanut for one, the
same of chocolate for another, some cur-
rants, pounded almonds, chopped raisins,
and citron and lemon peel, spices, lemon
juice, and pink coloring and vanilla were

When all were ready a teaspoonful of
batter was put in each buttered patty-pan,
all set in a large pan and put in the oven.
Mamma attended to the baking, and very
soon each little girl had two pretty, crinkled
cakes for her very own.

Then came the boiled custard, with a
cup of milk put on to heat in the tin cup,
an egg and two tablespoonfuls of sugar

78 Home Parties for Children

beaten together, meanwhile the boiling milk
poured on the mixture and well stirred
before putting back in the tin cup to
thicken. While the custard and cakes
were cooling the children ran out to the
garden and gathered jonquils and violets
for the table, which they helped Nannie's
inamma to arrange with her pretty china

When the flowers were all arranged and
everything looked lovely, a surprise came
in the shape of a beautiful birthday cake
with nine candles around the edge and one
*' to grow on " in the middle. Also several
dishes of candies, nuts, preserves, and
sandwiches appeared. By that time the
custard was cool enough to flavor, and all
sat down to enjoy themselves, which they
did most heartily.

After tea, when the candles had been
blown out, the big cake cut and tasted,
and going-home time had come, each little
girl's own private opinion was that the clear
little cake, which she was about to carry
home to her mother in a new patty-pan,
was the best part of the party.

Home Parties for Children 79


FAIRYLAND becomes a reality to children
when revelling with many playfellows in the
freedom of an "outdoor party." Manners
are not so narrowly scanned out under the
wide blue sky as in a drawing-room, and, in
common with other frolicsome young ani-
mals, children seem to rejoice in their
liberty as in something for which God
and Nature intended them. The holiday
feeling which the wee folk bring with them
in their merry little hearts, the brighten-
ing effect of the fresh perfumed air, and
the excitement of each other's society,
make any great effort for their amusement

In the joy of receiving an invitation to a
"pound party," the children will be glad
of the opportunity to give pleasure sug-
gested in the words, " A pound package
solicited, to be given to the poor." The
tender young hearts will be quick to feel
sympathy for the privation and suffering of
the unfortunate, and it is a sweet lesson to
learn early in life that when pleasure comes

8o Home Parties for Children

to us in any form we are to " pass it on"
that some other may be gladdened also.
Pounds of tea, sugar, coffee, rice, prunes,
crackers though costing but a trifle
will carry pleasure and perhaps needed
relief to some poor homes.

It will add to the fin if you can get a
little donkey, caparisoned in true Spanish
style with worsted tasse's, red, blue, and
yellow galore, bearing a large pannier on
each side, into which the parcels may 1 e
dropped. If the animal be left to wander
about the lawn, and the children have to
chase him a little in order to make their
contributions, the fun will be the greater.
If, by accident, any of Jack's antics should
dislodge a package or two, the catastrophe
will probably be received with peals of
laughter and the contents not greatly in-
jured. Donkeys are usually docile little
animals, and may be had for hire in
many country towns. Besides, it is prob-
able that a ride on donkey- back may
be a novelty to some of the children.
The little ones will exchange eager con-
fidences about what their particular pack-

Home Parties^for Children 81

ages contain, and the sense of importance
in playing the r61e of benefactor may be
a new pleasure.

To dispose of the little souvenirs they
may play a new game called " Bubbles
and Bimlbs." The little gifts mu t be
previously prepared, each one placed in
a box or made into a bundle, and tied
up as prettily as possible in colored tissue
papers, with ribbons to match. Some may
be grotesque to excite curiosity, and others
artistic. A little practice will soon re-
veal the wonderful possibilities of tissue
paper to make most dainty and charming

These bundles are suspended by ribbons
on a strong cord, or clothes-line suspended
from tree to tree, in a manner remotely to
suggest a cobweb. The children are pro-
vided with prjtty terra-cotta soap-bubble
pipes, tied with ribbons, and a huge bowl
of soapsuds is brought upon the scene.
A tablespoonful of glycerine added to the
suds will prevent the bubbles from break-
ing easily. Two persons at a time take
turns in blowing. The bubbles must be


82 Home Parties for Children

thrown off the pipes into the air, aud the
children get under them and try to blow
them against the packages that they wish
for their own. If the bubble hits the bun-
dle, the latter is awarded as a prize, and
when a child has secured one he does not
try again. It has all the mysterious charm
of a game of chance without its objection-
able features.

To distinguish between the gifts appro-
priate for the boys and those for the girls,
it may be determined to wrap those for the
former in scarlet, yellow, and green, while
the others may be pink, blue, white, and
lilac. The souvenirs may be as simple and
inexpensive as those in a " grab-bag" at a
fair, children are easily pleased, or they
may be as fine as means may permit or
taste dictate.

Little tables set out under the trees,
prettily decorated with daisies and butter-
cups, will enable the children to " play tea-
party " after an ideal fashion. A sensible
menu that will leave no unpleasant after-
effects may consist of chicken sandwiches,
milk or cocoa, ice cream in flower moulds,

Home Parties for Children 8 j

sponge-cake, lady-fingers, and plain bon-
bons. The costume mottoes never fail to
create a little flutter of excitement and fan,
for the boys like the noise and the girls en-
joy the "dressing up."




DURING the summer and early autumn
months country towns and villages are, as
a rule, full of city visitors and boarders.
How to entertain them is a matter of
special interest to hostesses and their
young friends. As a help in that direc-
tion this chapter offers a variety of novel

Whatever kind of fete is decided upon,
it is worth while to make it distinctive in
type by suitable costumes, decoration, and
menu. Visitors are to be depended upon
for help in this direction. Usually, little
expense need be incurred.

The degree of elaboration must depend
upon the size and location of grounds, and
the particular kind of serving intended.
If tables are set, menu, cards, and plate

Lawn Parties and

souvenirs of rustic type should be used,
also centrepieces representing the idea of
the fete. If a picnic lunching is preferred,
let the costumes and general decorating
serve that purpose.


CHILDREN are always delighted with a
costume party, and the Mother Goose
family is to them an enjoyable company.
So, the hostess who would wish to please
the little people, could do no better than
to invite them to a lawn party, with the
request that each shall come as one of
Mother Goose's children. The hostess, or
the little girl whom she may choose, should
serve as Mother Goose, and receive the
company. The costumes required are so
simple that no great skill or expense is
necessary in preparing them. A well illus-
trated copy of the book would give helpful
hints about what to wear.

A lawn furnished with swings, and with
hoops to trundle, also games, croquet,
battledore and shutt'ecock, ball, etc.,
would insure for the children a happy

Out-Door Fetes

time. Yet, as pertinent to the Mother
Goose idea, a "gooseberry" tree is sug-
gested as a vehicle of conveyance for
bonbons and gifts. This tree should stand
apart from the others, and may well be not
over eight feet tall. Upon it toys, sugar
animals, fishes, birds, etc., are hung, just
like a Christmas-tree. Each should be
labelled, not for the children by name, but
for the character they assume, thus : Sheep
for Bo-peep ; Fish for Simple Simon ; Baby
for Eock-a-bye; Spider for Miss Mufflt,
etc. A merry dance around the tree, and
the singing of Mother Goose songs, should
precede the picking of these unique "goose-
berries" from the tree.

For plate souvenirs large sugar plums,
with rhymes from "Mother Goose," each
suited to the character chosen, pasted upon
one side, are pretty ; and a handsome py-
ramidal centrepiece may be made by stack-
ing gooseberry tarts to form the required
shape, then daintily decorating the same
with flowers, the pedestal being covered
wholly with roses. Tarts and roses are
to be distributed later.

90 Lawn Parties and


THE holiday costumes of peasants in
all European countries are picturesque.
Many of them, especially the Swiss,
French, Italian, and Alsatian, are very
pretty. They are particularly suitable for
out-of-door fetes, and a company of pleas-
ure-seekers could hardly choose more fit-
tingly for enjoying a summer afternoon
than to prepare for a peasants' party with
the idea of representing as many different
countries as possible.

Games, dancing upon the lawn, and
other sports, may be enjoyed in imitation
of the joyous fetes so famous among

There is another popular suggestion
that of a dairy-maid party. This, too, is
pretty for costuming - - the broad Gains-
borough hat, fan waist, velvet bodice, full
and rather short skirt, with low shoes
and colored stockings, being generally
worn on holidays. The floor of the dairy
house, or the big barn, is cleared, and by
lantern light, and with the music of rustic

Out-Door Fetes 91

fiddlers, old-time " figures " are recalled
and sanies of other days revived. Then


milk, cream, cakes, cheese, curds, whey,
ices, and berries are handed about, the
company sitting the while upon milking-
stools a most pastoral type of serving.

Then, again, there is the corn roast in its
season, just when the field corn is "in the
rnilk." The evening is best for this. Com-


panies ride to the roast, if they choose, in
hav wagons. A glowing hard-wood fire
greets the guests : they spear the corn
ears with long, sharpened poles, then
kneel down before the fire to roast them.
Blankets are spread upon mounds of newly-
inown hay for seats, and the corn, when
roasted golden-brown, is served.

Dancing upon the lawn by moonlight,
with Chinese lanterns among the trees,
and the firelight sending forth cheery
rays, is a scene to tempt a band of happy
young people.


THE absence of conventionality, while
it may be, and is, one of the pleasantest

92 Lawn Parties and

features of country and seaside life, places
upon mothers and cbaperones a double
duty and care. In preparing for lawn
parties, at which, by the way, there should
be matrons, indeed, there is greater need
of this than in home society, where every-
body is well known, - - the older friends
may do much to assist in matters of cos-
tuming, entertaining, refreshment-serving,
and introduction. The ideal pleasure party
is one in which children, young people, and
adults all have a happy part.

Guests at mountain and seaside hotels
are not always the kind of companions
parents would choose for their children
and young friends, yet a kindly courtesy
demands that no one shall be excluded
from the general merry-making. It, there-
fore, requires a deal of tact on the part
of the older people to protect the younger
members. The presence of the " grown*
ups '" is the best protection.


A ' 4 GYPSY CAMP " is a pretty and attrac-
tive affair, and easily managed, even where

Out-Door Fetes 93

there are but few trees in the grounds. In-
vitations written upon cards cut from the
inner peeling of birch bark, if such can be
obtained, are most suitable, and may read
something after this style : ' ' The Shoushone
gypsies will camp at Blank's Grove. One
hour after the sunset gun, meet us, wearing
the costume of your tribe."

By this card the people invited under-
stand that they are to join the company
wearing the dress of their respective tribes.
As many different tribes as possible should
be represented, and from as many different
countries. There can be little difficulty in
this age of pictorial literature in finding
pictures or paintings to give models for
the required costumes. They differ very
little among the semi-barbaric tribes (and
those are the types most picturesque for
representation) from the costumes of the
peasantry, being rather more showy in
color, and more profusely ornamented with
beads, buckles, and bracelets.

The conventional gypsy costume gene-
rally worn by European tribes consists of
the white blouse waist, with a bright-

94 Lawn Parties and

colored corset bodice, which is really
neither more nor less than an ordinary
corset worn upon the outside of the dress,
laced at the back with bright red cord;
bright colored, and full gathered, or plaited
skirt ; low shoes, with stockings to match
the dress ; broad-brimmed hat, with broad
ribbon streamers, but more often an orange
or red handkerchief tied over the head,
Strings of beads of every variety of colored
glass and coral are massed about the neck
and waist. They also hang from the
shoulders with the ends caught by brace-
lets above the elbow or at the waist, and
are sometimes looped from shoulder to
shoulder. Many varieties of colors are
combined, so that, even with the same
style of dress, their costumes are wholly
different in effect.

The men wear high-crowned hats, with
long feathers or plumes; blouses in bright
showy stripes ; long waistcoats of con-
trasting color; long dark stockings; full
trousers and low buckled shoes ; fancy-
colored necktie and handkerchief make
up costumes both suitable and attractive.

Out-Door Fetes 95


IT is a pretty idea to set up a goodly
number of tents and booths. The tents,
of course, should have canvas roofs, the
sides being left uncovered. Booths, which
look picturesque and pretty, are easily
made thus :

Set firmly in the sod, in a circle, a half-
dozen posts, say eight feet high, with an-
other post a little longer, and one foot, at
least, taller, in the centre of these. Con-
nect their tops with the centre post by
narrow boards ; also connect the outer
posts with each other in a similar way.
Then form a network of ropes sufficiently
close to hold up the fresh green boughs,
which, being heaped upon it, form the roof
of the booth. Wind the posts with ivies
and greens ; then ornament them with
flowers or bright bits of red, orange, and
blue bunting. Hang Chinese lanterns be-
tween the posts, and the structure will be
complete. It w r ill be pretty enough to
remain all summer, with now and then a
fresh covering of greens. A large booth of

96 Lawn Parties and

this kind, set in the centre of the grounds,
with a camp-fire built near at hand, over
which a gypsy kettle (nearly every farm-
house can furnish one) is hung, with blank-
ets spread about among rustic seats, makes
a very good representation of a genuine
gypsy camp.

Chinese lanterns, plenty of them, should
be hung in the tents and among the trees.
There should be music, also. The nearest
imitation of gipsy music is given by playing
upon combs, Jews'-harps, and violins, ac-
companied by clappers or " bones," tam-
bourine, and drums. The mouth harmonica
also is good. The weird and seemingly
tuneless music of the gypsy cannot be
closely imitated. The rhythm of it is
strongly marked, and those who do not
play keep the time by clapping their
hands, striking their knees, and joining
in a guttural tone, emphasized at each
rhythmic beat. A gypsy dance upon the
lawn would be suited to the hour. Songs,
merry choruses, and bright stories should

Out-Door Fetes 97


SERVED in gipsy style the refreshments
may consist of coffee (supposably cooked in
the steaming kettle hanging above the fire),
tropical fruits, such as oranges, lemons, ba-
nanas, nuts, raisins, etc. Cool drinks should
be brought around in large pails, and dipped
therefrom into tin or earthen mugs. Plates,
napkins, and all other signs of a more civ-
ilized serving should be dispensed with as
far as possible. A large company may be
thus served with very little effort.

Fortune-telling belongs to gypsy life,
though the more intelligent tribes of to-day
make little use of it. Mysterious oracles,
" whose glib tongues spin mirthfully the
thread of fortune," ought to have a place.

Sometimes fetes of this kind are arranged
for the purpose of assisting some charity, or
for establishing a magazine and book club.
Then vouug girls in costume sell oranges^


peanuts, candies, etc., and pretty Italian
gypsy girls play the tambourine and sing
songs for the help of the treasury.

The novelty and brightness of this rural

98 Lawn Parties and

scene, especially under the light of an Ail-
gust or September moon, cannot fail to de
light a company of merry young people.


July comes the Fourth, always
suggestive of the Red, White, and Blue
bunting, flags, and fireworks ; and what-
ever kind of celebration is decided upon,
whether boating, picnicking, or an u at-
home " fete, the national emblem and colors
must rule the day. The colors of no nation
lend themselves so beautifully and so grace-
fully to decoration as do those of America,
and in whatever fete given out-of-doors our
national colors should in some manner take


IT is the month, too, of hay-making, and
a "haymakers' picnic" furnishes a novelty
with which city people, especially, are de-
lighted. The young people braid yards of
clover, daisy, and buttercup blossoms for
decorating the big hay wagon. AVheels,
stakes, and shaft, and the broad hay frame

Out-Door Fetes 99

are all wound, festooned, and wreathed.
The oxen, too, are dressed in a flower-
bedecked yoke, their horns tied with rib-
bons, and a broad floral saddle placed upon
their backs.

Girls wear broad-brimmed hats, gingham
dresses, strong boots, and long leather
gloves to protect the hands while haying,
and men wear linen "-jumpers," their trou-
sers tucked into high top boots ; also leather

Hampers are packed with a generous
lunch, and the haymakers ride away in their
gala wagon to the field which, if possible,
should border a lake or pond surrounded by
plenty of shade. There the haying goes on,
not with modern methods, but after the more
pastoral type, the men swinging sc}?thes,
and the girls spreading the grass, then
raking it ready for making the load.

Luncheon is served at high noon, the
hayers sitting upon mounds of newly-mown
hay. The conventional "noon hour' 1 is
extended, so that sailing, rowing, fishing,
or berry picking may be enjoyed, after
which a hay load of convenient size is pre-


ioo Lawn Parties and

pared, and they all ride homeward, hay-
maker fashion, on the top of the load.


DOG days and showery weather make the
fish hungry ; and, in the opinion of many
folk, there is no sort of a holiday that quite
equals an all-day fishing picnic. The party
start off in the cool of the early morning
for a drive of a dozen miles to some pond
or lake. They camp upon the shore and
start a glowing fire. Then all take boats
for fishing, with a right earnest purpose of
catching enough shiners, trout, or perch for

" If the day is right
And the big fish bite,"

there 's little danger of failure ; yet the for-
tunes of the day are safest in the hands of
experienced fishermen, such as usually fre-
quent fishing grounds. They know the
haunts of the fish, and are sure to bring them
in. They can dress them in a trice, and
no chef, though he may be a thousand times
French, can produce such crisp, dainty, deli

Out-Door Fetes 101

cious morsels as will those same queer old
fishermen, with nothing at hand but a long-
handled fry pan, a bit of salt pork, a dish
of Indian meal, and a wood fire whose very
smoke seems to add the crowning flavor.

For side dishes take field corn, with the
husks on, also potatoes and green apples;
bury them either in white sand of the beach,
or in clean ashes, then build above them a
glowing fire, and after an hour's cooking
they come forth "fit to set before a king."


CITY people who linger during the warm
September da}~s to watch the ripening fruit,
and bringing in of the yellow corn and grain,
must enjoy right heartily an "apple bee"
or "husking," arranged in exact imitation
of the old-fashioned pattern of fifty years

or more ago.

It is not difficult to find in ancient chests
and attics well-preserved costumes of that
period. Arrayed in these, the young peo-
ple often begin the ' ' bee " by gathering the
orchard apples with their own hands during
the afternoon ; then in the evening young

IO2 Lawn Parties and

men corne, armed with " Jacks" for paring
the fruit, and maidens equip themselves
with apple knives for " quartering and cor-
ing" it ; also long slim needles for stringing
the prepared pieces. After stringing the
fruit they hang it in festoons along drying
bars suspended from the ceiling of the
old-fashioned kitchen. Then underneath
these they dance the "figures" of "ye old
time," and revive the games and frolics of
that day. Refreshments should not vary
much from the old-time menu, - doughnuts
and cheese, pumpkin pie, popped corn,
home-made molasses candy, and sweet,
new cider.

A "husking," which follows the fashion
of our grandparents' day, takes place on
the bio; barn floor where corn " stocks "


bank the outer walls, the center being re-
served for the yellow mound of husked ears,
to which all contribute a share. Milking
stools are set for seating the buskers. As
fast as the " stooks " are husked they are
removed, and the corn is carried to the bin
by basketfuls. Searching for ears of red
corn furnishes a deal of merriment. By

Out-Door Fetes 103

these the sweethearts for the evening are
chosen, duplicate ears in the order of find-
ing deciding the choice. When the corn is
all husked, and the floor cleared, and the
primitive style of serving such old-time
goodies as mince and pumpkin pies, apple
turnovers, fruit, nut anc 1 honey cakes, with
coffee and cider has been enjoyed, then

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Online LibraryHamilton MottHome games and parties → online text (page 4 of 8)