Have a ’70s holiday party

Posted On December 21, 2006

Filed under Christmas Parties

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It must have happened while we were shining our disco ball. The ’70s came back. To the max.

Platform shoes and maxi skirts. Groovy graphics on dinner plates and wrapping paper. “The Jeffersons” on cable. The first season of “Saturday Night Live,” circa 1975, just out on DVD. Even the Captain and Tennille have a new Christmas CD. So in that spirit, let’s have a very Brady Christmas!

How to trim your home:
From shag rugs to bean bags, our prop designer found it all. There’s so much ’70s out there right now. Decorate your home with a 7-foot yellow Christmas tree from the ’70s, decked out in lime-green ornaments. Muted greens and golds are the colors of a ’70s Christmas vibe. Check your local antique shop, maybe you will find a treasure trove of ’70s goodies, from teardrop-shaped ornaments to plastic lighted Santas.

What else you need:
• A felt tree skirt. Check also to find some nice 70s tablecloths with vintage prints.
• Gold garland. As artificial as you can possibly get. Gold garland was the major trend, and it’s back.
• A retro Nativity scene. Oversized figurines, a big-big baby Jesus.
• Vintage-print wrapping paper. Check party related shops.

What to give:
The car aisle at Toys “R” Us is where you can find miniature remakes of the hot cars of the ’70s, including the Mustang and Firebird. The one in the show is that weird lime-green color from 1971.
You may also find a stash of ’70s-inspired lunchboxes at other retro shops. Is there someone on your shopping list who would love a Holly Hobbie lunchbox?

What you need:
• For the home: A Tupperware deviled egg container and a lava lamp. Buy some shag rugs and beanbags too.
• For the kids: Tinkertoys, Lincoln Logs, Mystery Date board game.
• For the fashionista: Adidas or Puma sneakers, big hoop earrings, a halter blouse, sweater coat, a Keep on Truckin’ T-shirt.

What to wear:
Look to find the ’70s alive and well, from the colors to the mixing of patterns to layering. All of those things are very reminiscent and just scream ’70s. Check at your local vintage shops. 

What you need:
• Something crocheted, preferably in an open-weave. Think scarves, hats, shawls and ponchos.
• A macrame choker.
• Candies. Those are shoes.
• Anything embroidered. It was very “in” to embroider all over Levi jackets, to repair holes, and sew on patches, and to decorate with names, flowers, suns, peace signs, hearts.
• A wrap dress. The wrap dress in cotton jersey by Diane von Furstenberg was very big in the mid-’70s. Very flattering to most women’s figures.
• Something plaid, a skirt, pants, jumper, blazer. Even better, mix your something-plaid with something-striped.
• Corduroy pants, flared. True-to-the-era colors: various shades of tan and brown, burgundy and bottle-green.
• Knee-high socks or striped tights.

What to listen to:
There’s no shortage of what refers to as “so many idiotic Christmas records” from the ’70s. Everyone from the Partridge Family and Brady Bunch to Johnny Cash and Grandpa Walton, to Mud and Slade and Rod Stewart recorded holiday songs. One of the most popular Christmas crooners of the decade? Karen Carpenter. Merry Christmas, darling.
But don’t stick with Christmas music while you’re making gingerbread. To keep the action in the play moving, set it to lots of pre-disco ’70s funk and soul, because it’s more interesting than James Taylor.

Music you need:
• Stevie Wonder
• The Jackson Five
• David Bowie
• Led Zeppelin
• Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” 
• The “Superfly” soundtrack

What to eat:
You can’t have a ’70s Christmas without Pop Rocks, Necco wafers, Lemonheads and Pixy Stix in the stockings. Candy cigarettes would be so-oooo politically incorrect. But they were fun in the ’70s.
For your retro Christmas party, channel Carol Brady. Even though we suspect housekeeper Alice did all the cooking.

What you need:
• Appetizers: Fondue, deviled eggs, stuffed celery
• Dessert: Hummingbird cake, baked Alaska, cherries jubilee. (Search cooks.com.)
• Main course: Quiche Lorraine, beef Stroganoff
• Side dishes: Three-bean salad, green beans au gratin, ambrosia salad, Watergate salad, Waldorf salad
• Beverages: Kool-Aid, Harvey wallbangers, tequila sunrises