Feb 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to You!

The ESN scavenger hunt this week is about Birthdays. 
This made me think of how kid's birthday parties have evolved.  What ever happened to the simple little parties we had as children?  Picking the invitation, filling in the time and date, and delivering it was just the start of the process. On the designated day and hour, neighbor children, schoolmates and their siblings, family friends, and relatives of all ages dressed up and came together to celebrate the honored Birthday Boy or Girl.  The games, in our circle, were pretty much the same at each party. We played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Drop the Clothes Pins in the Bottle and probably Drop the Handkerchief and/ or The Farmer in the Dell. There was always a prize for the child who got the most clothespins in the bottle.  By the way, The bottle was a glass milk bottle until the late 50's when they started using paper cartons for the milk.  The one who got the least got a "booby" prize.  The person getting the Donkey's tail nearest the correct spot also got a prize and the one getting farthest from the spot, again got the "booby" prize.  After the games, the honoree opened gifts which were humble by today's standards. This was exciting to the Birthday Boy or Girl.  Next, "Happy Birthday" was sung, the candles blown out as a wish was made. Then,lastly the cake was served, usually with punch,ie, kool-aid. Sometimes, a scoop of ice cream accompanied the cake. Guests received a small Party Favor, thanked the hostess for inviting them and the party was over.  It was a time for learning manners as well as having fun.

Summer before last my Sister-in-law put together and old fashioned birthday party for my granddaughter Anna.  Anna and her siblings enjoyed Pin the Tail on the Donkey, an egg  and spoon race, and a dart game.  Aunt Bev made a beautiful chocolate cake with cherries on it. We also had
 ice cream sodas before the games.  Anna was truly the person of the hour.  Since she is such an animal lover, the book she got was a very special gift.
 Afterwards, Uncle Bobby let them all ride the horse, Old Gray.  He was waxing nostalgic about pony rides we had as kids also.

I decided to look through the ESN pictures for things reminescent of the parties we had "way back when".  Here are 3 of the items I found.
Mama might have served kool-aid from a pitcher like this one
from Carolina Blue Lady.

Darling Book for Recording Memories of Birthdays and other Events
Available at Eccentric Thrifter
Maybe your mom kept a book similar to this for you?

You might have won this as a prize or taken it home as a "favor"
at a mid-century kid's party
Get it now from ComycGyrl's Collectibles

Whether you are looking for the perfect Birthday Gift for Someone Now or if you are waxing nostalgic and want something collectible, ESN is a good place to start your search.


  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful memory of yours. I'm sure it reflects a lot of people's "old time" birthday celebrations. Wonderful that your granddaughter got to experience a real birthday party. Especially with the ride on Old Gray. I bet this won't be the only "old time" party for the current generation. Tooo fun!

    Thanks for including me!

  2. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!! I loved this! ;)