Decorating and entertaining are halves of the same apple. They are important parts of the art of living. – Dorothy Draper, Entertaining is Fun! Pg. 3
There are very few things in life I love more than throwing a great party! Nothing makes me happier than playing the hostess role and I credit much of that to my Grandmother, who has always thrown spectacular parties and who taught me that the secret to a great party was, above all, to have fun! She always said that if the hostess was having a good time, everyone would have a good time. She also has impeccable taste and her attention to detail never falters – two things that help when executing an evening for all to enjoy. In Dorothy Draper’s book, Entertaining is Fun! the author expresses many of the same sentiments as my grandmother when it comes to being the best hostess one can be. The book was published in 1941, and while it may no longer be possible to serve a dinner that costs only 50 cents per guest, Dorothy Draper’s advice still rings true. The book’s main focus is fighting what Dorothy calls our “Will To Be Dreary”. Filled with fun antidotes like, “A delighted hostess is a delightful hostess” and “Your enjoyment is as contagious to your guests as the measles,” Dorothy gives her advice in a clever and memorable manner. She covers every possible scenario for entertaining from entertaining yourself, your husband, a small group for cocktails or dinner, a large gala or wedding, even having weekend guests. The book is filled with situational stories that remind me of one of Aesop’s fables, as each scenario ends with a hostesses dilemma being solved and/or a lesson about the positive effect entertaining had on the life of the hostesses. For example, THE CASE HISTORY OF A LADY WHO THOUGHT FORMALITY MEANT FUSS tells a the tale of a woman from Montana whose husband ends up being elected to Congress. This woman feels that she would rather die alone and miserable than have to host formal parties for her husbands new congressional colleagues. The story ends with her making “the illuminating discovery that formality does not mean boredom and pomposity but grace and perfection of every detail”. The most important lesson imparted by Mrs. Draper is that no matter what a person’s situation, where there is a will there is a way, and a good party can be the most simple cure to many of life’s problems! And I have to say that I firmly agree! Dorothy Draper’s recipe for a perfect party: “Take what you’ve got; mix well with imagination, courage, a dash of humor and the desire to enjoy life. The result is guaranteed to please.”
Check list for all things one should make sure they have done BEFORE their guests arrive for a party.
Illustration for the CASE HISTORY OF THE GIRL WHO COULD GIVE A DINNER FOR EIGHT AND NOT RAISE A RIPPLE.
Illustration explaining everything that one should provide in the Guest Bedroom when having a visitor stay for the weekend.
Illustration describing how one should re-arrange the living room to accommodate for a party.