1960s Christmas party decor ideas

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Christmas party decor: Drum hospitality table (1961)

This table invites one and all to step up and share the season! The cardboard drum frame is covered in green felt trimmed with gold upholstery cord.

Christmas party decor Drum hospitality table (1961)

Sparkling decorative Christmas tree cake (1968)

This year, stage a Christmas spectacular… with a glittering, glistening eggnog cake!

Shape it like a starry Christmas tree, deck it with silvery garlands made from foil. On high, put a shining angel, and at the base, rock candy crystals to reflect dancing candlelight.

Sparkling decorative Christmas tree cake from Seventeen (1968)

A red and white Christmas table with a candy cane centerpiece (1965)

A red and white Christmas table with a candy cane centerpiece (1965)

Shower of gold drapery: Shiny fringed door decor (1961)

This shimmering curtain is like a shimmering fall of everlasting golden rain, is a 3-foot-wide, 8-foot-long curtain of slender, supple strands of metallized vinyl, which is also drapable in swags or festoons. Or you might cut it into glamorous fringing, to hang from chandeliers or from the ceiling.

Shower of gold drapery Shiny fringed door decor (1961)

Kissing rings Christmas ornament craft from 1960

Kissing rings are a delightful Christmas custom. These are embroidery hoops covered with red ribbon and sprigged with holly and mistletoe. Lucky the one caught beneath! Ribbon can be glued to or wound around the rings.

ALSO SEE: Why do people kiss under mistletoe? Look back at the history of this holiday tradition

Kissing rings Christmas ornament craft from 1960

Tall wood-dowel Christmas tree decoration (1961)

The tall, bracketed geometry of a wood-dowel tree repeats the structural lines of the modern living room. It is also a lesson in how you can tie in the trimming colors with the color scheme of the room.

The color of the painted tree and its hurricane-shaded candles are intensified earth tones from the draperies, walls, and rug. Silver-spiked glitter balls furnish lively glitter.

Tall wood-dowel Christmas tree decoration (1961)

Homemade ’60s-style Christmas decor: Deck the halls in keeping with your home

If your house is Colonial, be traditional.

Revive the charm, banish the cliches of long-ago Christmases. Use an abundance of ready-made ropes of real greens from the florist’s. Wind them with ribbons cut from bright felt.

For a wreath, fill a giant copper mold (housewares departments carry these) with Christmas balls attached with glue. Instead of a Christmas tree (unknown in Colonial days), have a decorative centerpiece of clove-studded apples or oranges anchored with wooden picks. Make gaily wrapped presents very much part of the picture as shown on these pages.

Retro Christmas home decor from the sixties (5)

Use everything from greens to metallic paper — and don’t forget imagination!

If your house is an apartment, be original.

Remember those fallen needles last year? Put your tree on the terrace to save space and work. Weatherproof decorations like our plastic bows are a must, and Christmas halls reflect city lights.

If you don’t have a terrace, mass your packages around two or more tabletop trees. Draw attention to one, or both, of these arrangements by draping the window with paper chains. See how we use paper chains, swags, and ropes in all our settings. Don’t be afraid of an unconventional color scheme, but do plan one that’s becoming to your room.

Retro Christmas home decor from the sixties (2)

Dazzling, jewel-like vintage Christmas ornament crafts from the '60s

If your house is Victorian, be sentimental.

Bring out the special warmth and glow that only a Victorian house has, with frankly old-fashioned decorations.

For example, that ladder, also used for tree-trimming purposes. Paint it red, garland it with smilax(no Victorian dinner table was ever complete without smilax [a climbing shrub]!) and use it to hold presents and candles.

Retro Christmas home decor from the sixties (3)

10 Victorian Christmas side dishes from the 1800s - most of which actually sound pretty good

If you live in a ranch house, be regional.

Look to our own Southwest for ideas. After all, that’s where the ranch house originated. Borrow from Mexico, too.

Probably your living room is done in neutrals — the beiges and the browns — and furnished in contemporary or modern, so choose uninhibited colors. The more the merrier your Christmas decorations will be.

Topping this typical ranch-house fireplace is a handmade star out from tin cans and trimmed with “Eye of God” yarn motifs from Mexico. Also from Mexico are mulled wine mugs and gourd-shaped figure.

Retro Christmas home decor from the sixties (4)

Groovy teen Christmas party ideas (1968)

Grow a tree of twigs hung with silvery bells and gay felt goodies. More merry-makers: a napkin basket stuffed with finger-towel napkins; liners under the plates for color cheer.

Feast your wondering eyes on the quick “silver” collecting idea: sterling and stainless in matching patterns! Can you guess which is which? Guests won’t.

For fun and favors, turn soda bottles into bright yarn fantasies and pour in party spirit using a funnel and a pitcher (at right). Giant coffee cups of dips and dunks (at the left ) are labeled for nibbling behind their funny faces.

Groovy retro Christmas party ideas for teens (1967)

A groovy 60s Christmas party from 1968

Opulent tiered table Christmas tree with green paper loops (1965)

This Christmas tree is fashioned of loops of heavy crepe paper in brilliant shades of lime and holiday green.

To make it: Thread three plastic foam balls (3-, 2-1/2-, 2-inch) on a 32-inch dowel pointed at the top. A food container sprayed gold serves as the base.

Make loops by stacking four pieces of heavy crepe paper 10 inches long and the width of the circumference of the largest ball. Stack and sew 1-1/2 inches from the longest edge. Cut into inch strips up to stitching. Repeat for her two balls. Strips are then looped back, pled, and pinned around the plastic balls.

Opulent tiered table Christmas tree with green paper loops (1965)

Crystal-like western “table tree” dessert stand (1968)

Crystal-like western table tree dessert stand (1968)

Storybook Christmas party ideas (1969)

Is it a party, a parade, or pageant? Actually, it can be all three — or any one you choose. These storybook characters who crowd the recreation room are going through the most delightful experience of their young years.

Dressed in box costumes ([bottom], Pierrette, Mother Goose, Drummer Boy, Pinocchio, Toy Soldier, Rudolph, and Pirate; [above], Dancing Doll, Drummer Boy, and Rudolph), they are re-creating scenes they’ve read or heard on records.

1960s Storybook Christmas party ideas (2)

How does this happy holiday happening come about? Start with any clever mother who wants to give her youngsters and their friends a memory of Christmas — and something creative, too.

A party with box costumes will require only one preliminary get-together. Invite the group over, and present them with a choice of well-known storybook characters.

This calls for a bit of extra planning on your part, since some of the classics are too long and complicated for small children to comprehend. So have a condensed version ready to recount — or read them just the highlights of the story, showing them the accompanying illustrations.

1960s Storybook Christmas party ideas (5)

Of course, if there’s been a popular television show recently, that wooden puppet with the long nose, or a peg-legged pirate, or a tin soldier may be everyone’s choice. This requires a little artful dodging on your part.

Point out that there’s a prize for originality… costume design… and acting. And if they still all want to be tin soldiers, let each child spin tales of his deeds of derring-do! Then send them home to work on the box costumes with an assist from their parents.

1960s Storybook Christmas party ideas (1)

If you decide to turn the party and play into a pageant, it won’t involve very much more. Call two or three dress rehearsals and let the children practice skits together. (Don’t be surprised if the stories become strangely altered when the kids interpret them.) They can wear “stand-in” boxes while they’re rehearsing to get used to the bulk (save finished creations for the pageant).

Of course, a pageant must have spectators. So mothers, fathers, cousins, sisters, and aunts are all invited to the big doings. You may want a special committee to work on invitations, collect extra chairs, help actors into their finery, and (say this in a whisper) clean up the mess.

1960s Storybook Christmas party ideas (3)

Start the pageant with a parade, either indoors or from house to house. A great dividend from these costumes is that kids can wear outdoor clothing underneath – bell bottoms and tights are just the right accessories in most cases.

After the entertainment, give out prizes. Mother Goose with all her rhymes may win, or Pierrette with an inspired dance routine, or Captain Kidd with fearsome swashbuckling. Prizewinner or not, every child who participates in this playful pageant will be thrilled to see the characters of his favorite stories come alive.

1960s Storybook Christmas party ideas (4)

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