Sunday, December 24, 2017

Vintage 1950s New Years Parties

New Years, 1950s

          Ringing in the new year, in the 1950s, often included a midnight extravaganza at a hotel or company party. However, suburbanites soon realized that they didn't need to mingle with hundreds of people in order to have fun on New Year's Eve. A small party at home or open house with close friends and neighbors could be far more enjoyable than an evening spent jostled around by strangers and uninhibited pranksters. Twelve people were a good number, one for each month of the New Year. When old friends gathered, there was no need to plan entertainment, for time just seemed to whisk away, 'doin' what comes naturally, singing, dancing or just talking and reminiscing. And suddenly it was midnight, time for Auld Lang Syne, and supper. If you had 12 people and a large, round table one could set that table to resemble a huge clock, with one guest seated at each marked hour with two large paper hands indicating the hour.
New Years Eve
          New Year's Eve or Day Dinner was traditionally Roast Beef (your choice: rib roast, rolled roast, or pot roast), Horse-Radish Sauce, Potatoes,
Parker House Rolls, Lettuce with French Dressing, Orange Ice, Holiday Cookies or Fruitcake, Coffee

New Years Eve

          Then came the TV. Television has drastically changed New Year's Eve and Day for millions of Americans. Festive family dinners yielded to broadcasts and TV trays. Open houses replaced with TV's floats, flowers, and football. Sitting in their rocking chairs, TV viewers traveled from coast to coast and back again thru the magic of the one-eyed giant in the living room. So no longer did people have to entertain themselves, TV was the entertainment.
New Years Eve
            Often New Years Day had a very different menu for food and for television

New Years Day

          New Year's Eve and Day buffets became popular so guests could be by the TV. It included  Eggnog or Fruit Punch, Trays of Crackers, Bowls of Cheese Spread, Baked sliced Ham, sliced Roast Turkey, Buttered Slices of Rye, Whole Wheat, and White Breads, Olives, Celery, Radishes, Pickles, Potato Salad, Cranberry Jelly, Cookies, Coffee.
New Years Day

Then there was the cleanup!

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