Fall Celebrations 0

As we move into November, there are many opportunities to decorate, celebrate, and enjoy family and friends. My favorite holiday is, of course, Thanksgiving. No gifts. Just family and friends, good food and good times. Sure there may be a hearty debate or a few words minced over the football games, but that's nothing compared to the excitement this country just enjoyed.

For Thanksgiving, you can set your table with fine china and complement the decor with fall holiday designs.  Or go completely untraditional with a football themed decor in the family room where everyone goes off to watch the game, enjoying snacks from their football shaped bowls and NFL napkins.  Now wouldn't that stir things up just a bit? Me, I'm more of a traditional kind of girl. My party theme will be Thanksgiving from the family room to the dining table, from the kitchen counter snacks to dessert.  I like to keep it simple in design and decor. Since we eat in a room with a large bay style window, there will be Thanksgiving decorations on the window and of course, a turkey to greet the guests as they enter.  But other than that, for me it's all about the linens and the food.  We'll have disposable Thanksgiving napkins and plates for appetizers and desserts.  

Whether you're traditional, like to mix things up or are just looking for ways to make the clean up a little easier, the party store has something to help you look your best this Thanksgiving.

Autumn Patterns 0

Fall is here and so are the autumn patterns.  There are patterns to our weather in this season that let us sleep soundly with windows open, gently rocked by the cool breezes.  And autumn patterns show up ion our drives down Main Street when the fall colors dance overhead. The tree canopy changes in autumn to a true work of art. And autumn patterns show up in our gardens where fall foliage like mums take over the spring and summer blooms.  And in the party store, autumn patterns are on the shelves. There are plates and napkins,  wreaths and centerpieces in the array of colors we think of as representing fall.  We move away from the bright summer shades of pink and yellow or patriotic patterns used for the summer holidays and into the deep reds and orange and brown and yellows that resemble the trees outside.  And, then of course, there are the football patterns that we also associate with fall! 

By Thanksgiving we in the Midwest may have snow on the ground. It is not unheard of. But on our table will be the autumn patterns - the lush fall colors that make a house feel like a home. The colors make us think of soup on the stove, turkey in the oven, and hot apple cider.  

Enjoy autumn and all the autumn patterns because in the blink of an eye it will pass.  

Fall Party Supplies 0

The last official day of summer is just around the corner. And with a new season comes new party supplies and different reasons to celebrate.  From back-to-school, to the all-time favorite, Halloween, there's specialty classroom decor, Halloween party supplies, costumes and costume accessories and then, of course, Thanksgiving party supplies. For our Jewish friends there are specialty items for Rosh Hashanah and other fall holidays that bring families together.

In both the local party store in Glenview and the online store, there is already more activity as people gear up for these fall events.  Costume inventories are updated, store shelves are filled with fewer and fewer summer party supplies (though it is still 90 degrees out there today!), and more and more fall party supplies.  The theme of the store moves away from the bright colors of summer and more toward the beauty of fall colors reminiscent of falling leaves.  

Visit us today and see the change!

Thanksgiving, more than a feast 0

Thanskgiving3This week many of us will gather with family and friends. We will sit at tables set with Thanksgiving napkins, the good china or Thanksgiving-themed place settings. There will be centerpieces to delight our sense of sight and aromas to tease our sense of smell. In many families, a tradition is honored where each person takes a moment to share what they are thankful for. In most families, no matter what football games are being played, everyone comes to the table to feast together. In this holiday there is a warmth like no other. Yet, today our world is in turmoil. These are troubling, heartbreaking, and frightening times for many, making it imperative that we take the time to think about what we have. I know I and many others in this country have much to be thankful for. We will be together with our families and friends. We will honor the memory of a time when the natives of this land shared their resources with the settlers of this “new world.” They are our forefathers and we replay the meal with a menu that includes some of the fall harvest favorites, turkey with stuffing, and pies made from the fruits of the season. Thanksgiving is the time when even those who do it no other time of the year will stop and reflect about all they have: Family and friends at our Thanksgiving table; a home - warm and safe from the elements where we enjoy the holiday festivities. And there is so much more that we can add to that list. Almost anyone reading this blog will also be among those of us who have resources sufficient to purchase food to put on our table. And no matter how stressed we are, we have enough time to plan a menu, shop for food and party goods. Hopefully we have good health and the capacity for joy and laughter. However you spend this Thanksgiving, please remember to take a moment and express what makes you feel thankful this year. And, of course, be sure that are sufficiently sated so that you have the energy for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or however else you proceed to prepare for the winter holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving.

The Competition of Thanksgiving and Hockey 0

tablewareFrom the time they were in kindergarten, the sport of choice in our sons’ lives was ice hockey. They were hockey players who skated early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and of course, holidays. If you haven’t had the experience, you won’t know what that means to Thanksgiving. First, many teams would find “cheap ice” for Thanksgiving, making it imperative that players get out for an early morning skate on Thursday - Thanksgiving day. And, the fact that school was closed for this four-day weekend, Thanksgiving also offered a perfect opportunity for out-of-town tournaments, usually in Michigan or Minnesota. A tournament in Minneapolis or just outside Detroit is close enough that you pack up the car and drive. That means most hockey families are out on the road Thanksgiving day. They deal with the dilemma of finding a meal time late enough for the meal to be called supper and early enough to be done with and safely start a six-hour road trip. Some years we ate Thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 p.m. I would get up at the crack of dawn to set the table and start the turkey and stuffing. By noon the potatoes were boiling and vegetable side dishes were prepared in anticipation of room in the oven or on the stove top. By the time the boys and their dad were up and about, the Thanksgiving table was fully dressed with the good dishes, glassware and silverware. The napkins were neatly folded at each place setting, and the smell of a roasting turkey already filled the house. Those Thanksgiving dinners weren’t very relaxing. In fact, they were challenging. The Thanksgiving meal tradition was observed and packing for the road trip included turkey sandwiches, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. So maybe these were not my favorite Thanksgiving celebrations – all those years of youth hockey – but we still managed to sit together as a family and celebrate our holiday in true fashion.  

Thanksgiving Memories 0

tablewareThe very first Thanksgiving I can recall was when I was about seven years old. It may have been the first November after we moved into our home. It certainly was before my parents remodeled the house. That remodel resulted in the loss of the formal dining room. In fact, part of what stays etched in my mind about that particular Thanksgiving is the large room and dining table. Mom made a big deal about the holiday. She invited grandma and aunts and uncles, and cousins. She got up early to start the meal. I either watched or helped mix bread crumbs with egg and butter, onion, celery, spices and broth.  Even though I was only seven, I was the only daughter and often tagged along with my mom as she went about her daily routines. I am not sure that at age seven I was helping chop onions or celery, but I know I did help with that part of the meal almost every year from whatever age I was able. Mom and I would sit at the kitchen table, each wearing an apron, each with a cutting board, knife, and a vegetable to prepare.  I wasn’t allowed to help with fancy cutting because Mom never thought I was artistic enough. It’s true. Mom was right. I am not very artistic when it comes to food presentation. Anyway, on the first Thanksgiving I remember, I picture myself buzzing in and out of the kitchen to watch as my mom whipped up our meal. At least ten pounds of potatoes would have been peeled and placed in the boiling pot on the stove.  Sweet potatoes were candied and readied to be placed under the broiler once the turkey was done. The roasting turkey wafted throughout the house all day long. It remains one of my favorite aromas.  A turkey in the oven makes me think of family; it warms my heart and my tummy.  And perhaps just because of the idea of sharing a family meal tugs at my heart, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. As I close my eyes and think of that first memory of Thanksgiving, I can see the dining room where the table covers, napkins, and place settings all were perfectly arranged.  My parents, grandma, a great aunt, two uncles and two aunts sat at the big table. We children (myself, four brothers, and  five or six cousins) were seated at the proverbial “kids’ table” in the kitchen. The kitchen table wasn’t decorated as fancy as the dining room, but there was a Thanksgiving table cloth and fancy napkins for us too. Our party decorations were simple and tasteful. The day made special by the people and the food.