Nostalgic Home

A Vintage View of Homekeeping

I smell a theme coming on…. December 5, 2007

Filed under: Community,Nostalgic Homemaking,Random Thoughts — LotusMama @ 5:57 pm

I like themes for parties. Cliche, you say? True. Unoriginal, you think? Sometimes. But honestly I find theme parties to be fun. That of course depends on the theme. I wouldn’t do a Cinco de Mayo party on May 5 because it is overdone, but perhaps a Dia de los Muertos on November 1, a family get-together to honor those we’ve lost, or a St. Lucia party for my Scandinavian family (wonder if Uncle Calvin will don the lighted candle crown if I ask…)

I like unusual theme parties. So much so that I’m working on a little vanity press book on the subject, which would be easier if I could take decent photos. But that aside, the theme of this post is about themes in general (yes, that was corny).

Themes are everywhere. From musical scores to menus, fashion collections to hardware stores, themes abound. Don’t believe me? Think about the literal meaning of theme: a unifying idea that is a recurring element. I like the sound of that…an idea that brings things together and happens over and over. Kinda like the holidays, dontcha think?

Should adherence to a theme be rigorous? No way. I think the best themes in our homes, our kitchens, our families, our fun times are not rules. They are markers on a map, the lattice that supports the climbing rose of our lives (wow, that was overly poetical). Once I started thinking about themes, I saw them everywhere. My preference for 1920s art, architecture and household items; my interest in handmade, rustic, artisan materials; my ever-present love of vintage fashion. All these recurring elements sprout from the same unifying idea: for me, keeping the past close makes me feel grounded, connected to those that have gone before. It gives continuity to life.

Ok, that’s heavy for a post that started as a discussion of party themes. Whew. But nonetheless, I’m interested in hearing what other people think about this. Are themed events an homage to the setting/time period/holiday or a cheap imitation? Does it depend on the spirit and intent of those attending? Is corny in the eye of the beholder? I’m curious….

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6 Responses to “I smell a theme coming on….”

  1. Auld Hat Says:

    A few points for your attention please:
    Firstly, excellent post – per usual.
    Next, “overly poetical” is a redundant statement.
    Third – Themed anything settles the anxiety bugs in my knickers (ewww…) and brings cohesion and unity to my otherwise chaotic madhouse of a life. Trust.
    And finally – From the vintage Victrola record player next to my TV, to the tea-stained lace bottomed bloomers in my pj drawer, I live the theme of antiquity. Which is why I heart you ever so much.
    That’s all for now.
    As you were then.

  2. Sling Says:

    ..Hat said what I was gonna say,only,..you know,..better.

  3. Sling Says:

    Wait!..My bloomers are not tea stained!..Carry on.

  4. Doralong Says:

    I think it generally lies in the intent and the spirit in which it’s done. Sometimes it can be awful, sometimes brilliant, sometimes overt, sometimes subtle. Thematic content is not necessarily in the eye of the beholder, but in the eye of the one that executes it.

    It also generally speaks volumes about a person. I’ve been in McMansions where the decorating budget was no doubt more than my entire house, IRA and car combined. But they weren’t particularly welcoming, there was no sense of the spirit of the humans that occupied the space.

    My house is Bauhaus by way of Beijing and long side trip to Kyoto. A shrink would have a field day with me, no? Not a typical cup of tea, but it’s done to suit me and mine, not House Beautiful. That said, if Santa wants to finally drop that van der Rohe chaise under my tree It would really make me awfully happy!

    And Miss Hat, I shan’t be discussing my lingerie drawers..

    As for theme parties, they can be a total hoot if you do them the right way- wrong way and you know in about 15 minutes that you really took a wrong turn in Albuquerque.

  5. Professor Says:

    Wonderful post! And I too love theme parties and haven’t had one in awhile so now I’m inspired… I feel a party coming on!

  6. Maryann Says:

    Love theme parties! The more unusual the better. btw..Happy Holidays to you and yours, Kim 🙂


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