Being a big etiquette enthusiast and student of days gone by, particularly the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries, my interest was piqued when I came across “Entertaining Made Easy” by Emily Rose Burt, published in 1919.
This is a handbook that helps the entertaining hostess with ideas for parties and games. There are five sections: Socials and Parties, Outdoor Affairs, Birthdays and Other Anniversaries, Announcements and Showers, and Weddings, and within each section are subcategories.
There are some good ideas that would work well in today’s party milieu; however, many might be too antiquated, or thought silly of, for today’s tastes.
Some of the party ideas draw from (the recent) World War I, whereby there are games that would appeal to the returning veteran or for the aviation aficionado (“Let’s pretend we’re an aeroplane!”) Other party ideas are decidedly for the upper grade school or high school student level. There are ideas for campfires, pageants, garden parties, graduations, and more. All are good, clean, and innocent fun.
My favorite party idea is the progressive motor party. It begins with guests arriving by motorcar to the first friend’s home for appetizers. Guests pin a colored ribbon to their jacket, give a gift to the hostess that is wrapped with the same colored ribbon they pinned on their jackets, then all proceed by motorcar to the next friend’s house for the next meal (course). This continues to the last friend’s home and final course, with the ribbons and gifts being different colors at each home. All the guests have a multi-colored array of ribbons on their jackets, they’re full from eating and drinking, and each hostess opens her colorfully-wrapped gift.
This book is well-organized. The writing is a little stilted, but easily understood. “Entertaining Made Easy” is a great reference book for your own parties, or for historical research. You can find it on Amazon Kindle.
“Entertaining Made Easy”
Author: Emily Rose Burt
Publication date: 1919
©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.