Pandora’s Party Box

Pandora, the romantic sprite that she is has a soft spot in her heart for old Saint Valentine, and she sends us the following suggestion. It holds with which to help celebrate his day.

Hello, again History Lovers!

Rural folks in the 1920s often made their own holiday fun and entertainment, and The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women was a great resource for homemade party suggestions. Suitable for single young men and women, the column Pandora’s Party Box featured themed holiday ideas each month.

The post below features a craft activity published in February 1922 where young women would gather together to create a large valentine requiring a plethora of magazine cutouts that would “divine” what each girl’s matrimonial fortune would hold. 1922 magazine cutouts would have looked very different from what could be found in today’s Cosmo, Vogue, or Martha Stewart Living. I even imagined myself hosting a similar party and cutting pictures from Western Horseman, Field and Stream, and Outdoor Life. Each party would definitely have produced lots of conversation and giggles as well as unique valentine’s keepsakes.

A Valentine Party

Suppose you are entertaining some girlfriends. Supply each of them with some paste and a large heart of red cardboard (think poster size) on each of which you have written at the top MY VALENTINE, and below this, the following headings, five on each side of the heart, Keeping to the left as far as possible:

  1. His initials
  2. How we will met
  3. His picture
  4. His first gift
  5. Our best friend
  6. Who will try to keep us apart
  7. When we will be married
  8. The best man
  9. Our home
  10. His worst fault

Have ready beforehand, ten boxes to correspond with the heading on the hearts. In each of these, place the required number of suitable pictures which you have cut from the advertising section of magazines. For instance, Box No. 1 should contain at least twenty letters, each girl drawing two. Box No. 2 will contain pictures of a couple playing tennis, at the opera, on a train, anything to indicate the circumstances under which two people might meet. Box No. 3 will contain the heads of various types of men—some old, others young, some bald, some handsome, and so forth. Box No. 4 offers a variety in the way of candy, books, a phonograph, electrical gifts, and so on. Box No. 5 may contain a dog, postman, little brother, old lady. Box No. 6, a pretty girl, old gentlemen. Box No. 7, the name of some month or flowers to indicate spring, snow for winter. Box No. 8 can contain pictures of men engaged in different professions, such as carpenter, plumber, lawyer, doctor. Box No. 9 will have in it attractive little houses, big ugly ones, and so forth. While Box No. 10 will show “him” smoking, reading, playing cards, joyriding, and so on.

Innumerable ideas will be obtained for this while going through magazines. Each girl, blindfolded, draws from each box and pastes her fortune on her heart as she goes along. Great fun will ensue in comparing the fortunes. The hearts themselves make interesting souvenirs to carry home.

If there are to be boys at the party as well as girls, separate boxes should be provided for them, and the headings on the hearts made to apply to girls, as for instance, “Her initials,” “Her picture,” “Her worst fault.”