Women and their Work


Many Interesting, Instructive and Practical Suggestions Made for Amusements, in Church Parlor or Your Own Home, Which Will Help to Make Evening Hours Speed Away on Fairy Feet.

GERTRUDE E. S. PRINGLE December 15 1924
Women and their Work


Many Interesting, Instructive and Practical Suggestions Made for Amusements, in Church Parlor or Your Own Home, Which Will Help to Make Evening Hours Speed Away on Fairy Feet.

GERTRUDE E. S. PRINGLE December 15 1924


Women and their Work

Many Interesting, Instructive and Practical Suggestions Made for Amusements, in Church Parlor or Your Own Home, Which Will Help to Make Evening Hours Speed Away on Fairy Feet.


AS UPON the women largely devolves the work of raising funds to finance a church’s activities, and since they, too, are chiefly responsible for the social part of church life, they are continually seeking new and attractive ways of making money, and novel ideas for evening parties.

The most simple form of a church entertainment is a “social,” with a little music, some recitations, refreshments and a modest admission fee. An elaborate type of moneymaking affair may be a combination of bazaar, pageant and drama, requiring professional coaching, many weeks of preparation and the expenditure of a good deal of money for costumes and scenery.

But, fortunately, enjoyment is not invariably in direct proportion to the amount of money that may be spent. Many successful entertainments can be carried out at small expense if there is a leader with plenty of initiative, who is able to create and maintain enthusiasm. Then again, the more people who take part, the better, as each performer influences her own friends to attend, and this means larger receipts. But these affairs accomplish much more than the raising of money. They supply pleasant recreation, bring people together, and often draw out unsuspected talent among the more quiet and previously retiring members of the congregation.

Now, let us consider various ways of entertaining evening parties—more for the sake of social enjoyment than for money-making purposes, although if desirable a small admission fee can be charged.

A debate on an interesting topic has the advantage of involving no expense and providing intellectual stimulus to an audience whose numbers need only be limited by the size of the hall. The presentation of several little plays of varied type (curtain-raisers in one act, are best for amateurs) can promote great pleasure both for those taking part and for those who witness them. Community singing draws people together wonderfully. Two helpful bulletins issued by the Ontario Department of Agriculture, Parliament Buildings, Toronto, and sent free within the province, are entitled, “Debates, Plays and Community Music for Rural Social Organizations,” and Bulletin No. 290 “The Rural Literary and Debating Society.”

Authors Up-to-Date

WHEN we were children there was a card game called Authors that provided pictures of writers that had to be identified. The up-to-date way to play this is called “The Gallery of Fame.”

To prepare for this, a number of magazines must first be gone over and pictures of authors, artists, movie stars, sportsmen, statesmen and other well-known persons, cut out and mounted on sheets of paper or cardboard of uniform size, with the names omitted, but with numbers on instead. These are placed around the room, and the guests, in pairs, wander about and

write on slips of paper the names of the celebrities. Two prizes for the man and girl of the winning team are bestowed. In this contest as in others, it is a good plan to have people draw their partners. Each guest, on arriving, is told to choose a number, a flower, a button, or whatever the token decided on may be. There are two of each kind, and the newcomer must go in search of the token that is a counterpart of his own and thus find his partner. This hunt for partners breaks up the early stiffness of a gathering.

Snatches of melody played on a gramophone, or by a lively musician at the piano, who renders only a few measures at a time, makes a good contest. The guests are allowed just two minutes to write down the name of each composition, with prizes for the most successful contestants.

Around the holiday season we enjoy being children again, so a good romp is welcomed. “Wolf and Sheep” is a little noisy but is an excellent game to make everyone get into the spirit of the evening. One player, chosen to be the wolf, stands in the middle of a large room. The rest of the company, divided into two equal numbers, range in two lines on opposite sides of the room, next the wall. To the sound of gay music, the sheep try to run across, taking the places of their vis-a-is opposite, while the wolf tries to capture

W Entertainment Ideas

Scores of letters have been received during the past year, by Edwina Seton and the editors, asking for novel suggestions for amusements which may properly be staged in church parlors, and in many homes where jazz does not continually rule. 'Here are some suggestions—old and new.

And—all you who want information on debate topics—please give a margin of at least three weeks before you must have your reply. This applies also in the case of papers, essays and other material requested.

someone during transit. When caught, a sheep becomes the wolf. A touch does not count a capture, and if a sheep can break through the line, it is allowed to do so. The wolf must remain in the middle, within two chalk lines, but may go up and down it.

A game that creates a good deal of fun is Shadow Buff. At one end of the room a sheet is suspended. All lights are turned off except one, which is hung in a position to throw strong shadows on the sheet. Then, each guest in turn sits on a low stool in front of the sheet, and one by one the others file by, well behind him. He must guess who each one is, and as each guest tries to disguise his gait and makes small changes in dress, this becomes a quite a bit of guesswork. Each one in turn takes the part of guessing the passers-by. A variation of this is for groups to act wellknown proverbs in dumb crambo and have the audience guess them. “When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” “There’s many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip” and “Faint heart never won fair lady,” are some that are easy to act without words.

“Guessing Eyes” is a game that is popular in England at Christmastide. The players sit in a row, with large cones of newspaper placed over their heads, in which two slits are cut to show their eyes and a sheet placed over the rest of their persons. Each one will in turn try to guess whose eyes he gazes at, the players changing their positions after each trial, in the absence from the room of the next one to try.

For a lively game, try Mr. Jingle-Bell, in which ail the players are blindfolded except Mr. Jingle-Bell, who carries a bell which gives a clue to his whereabouts to his pursuers. He assuredly needs an eellike slipperiness in eluding the grasp of the groping crowd.

At a Baby Party the guests came dressed as small girls and boys respectively, each carrying a toy. The girls wore little muslin frocks with ribbon sashes and butterfly bows on the hair, socks and strapped slippers, with the little (?) boys in sailor suits, kilts and knitted suits. This kind of party is great fun when the guests know each other well, or are not too numerous to maintain the feeling of intimacy needed for success, especially if each lives up to the character of a child. Sometimes the entertainment is varied by each guest bringing a baby picture of himself or herself. These are numbered and the identity of each is guessed at and written down on a slip of paper opposite the number. The guests should offer to recite sing or play the piano, giving such classics as “Where Are You Going My Pretty Maid?.” “The Boy Stood on the

Burning Deck,” and so on, in an imitation of childhood.

Amusement and Information

FOR an “Evening of Mystery,” each person beforehand decides what character in history or fiction he will represent. Then he commits to memory a short passage from literature, or some wellknown saying of such a celebrity. Or two can give a brief dialogue together, as “Romeo and Juliet.” If these are skits, so much the better. The humorous magazines often have such material. Of course the more humorous these recitations are, the better, but they will probably range from the solemn to the frivolous, according to the tastes of the speakers.

Each guest comes wearing a sheet and old pillowcase, with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth. The lights are dim, incense scatters its fumes, and to the accompaniment of soft, weird music (such as “Nights of Gladness”) each in turn mounts the platform and speaks his “piece.” This occasion brings out the shy ones wonderfully. Lady MacBeth, Hamlet, Napoleon, Becky Sharpe, Mr. Micawber, Jane Eyre, Joan of Arc, and Tom Sawyer have the attention of the audience in turn. At the end of the “pieces,” which must not last more than five minutes, a vote is taken, and a prize given for the best. Then the spooks unmask and supper is served.

Carried out with great success was a masquerade, where the guests came wearing home-made costumes that had not cost more than a dollar each. They were not restricted to modern clothes, but selected from any period or geographical area they preferred. Crepe paper entered largely into the scheme, and some of the girls looked very well as various flowers. Dyed cheesecloth was also used. Among the men were the following characters: Brown Friar, Robin Hood, a gypsy, a clown in motley, a Joseph in his coat of many colors, and so on. A Grand March started the evening’s entertainment; this was followed by old-fashioned square dances and games. The supper was in keeping, a cheap but delicious one of home-baked beans, apple turnovers, doughnuts and coffee.

Work Your Brain a Bit

THERE are two other somewhat closely allied methods of amusement, which supply opportunities for giving and obtaining a certain amount of information, as well as amusement, and which are perhaps more popular for, and more suitable to, a fairly small group—say, from eight to fifteen.

In the first, the “Game of Geography,” a selected member of the group names any geographical word, an island, an ocean, or a river, for example, and, within five seconds, the person on his left must name another geographical word commencing with the final letter of the preceding word. For example, the first one starts with “Atlantic,” followed by “Costa Rica,” followed by “Andes,” “Siam,” “Montreal,” etc. As the game waxes fast and furious, some person will usually try to “get away with” some name that sounds geographical, but that probably belongs to a place such as those in fabled Atlantis! According to the rules of this contest, anyone who suspects anyone else of doing this may challenge him or her to give the approximate geographical location. The presence of an atlas will serve to check up. Anyone who takes more than five seconds is “counted out,” and must retire from the contest. Thus it continues, like the old-time “spelling bee.” Before the game starts a time-keeper is appointed, whose decision must be final. He also should have charge of the atlas, if it is called into use for reference.

If you try this game, remember that one of the worst “stickers” occurs when you give your left-hand neighbor such words as “Sussex” and “Middlesex.” The letter “x” must not be barred, as there are certain geographical terms starting with this letter. But, if you are persistent enough in furnishing w ords ending in_“x,” you can in time exhaust the possibilities of the most complete atlas, and “count out” your left-hand neighbor.

Word Variations

ANOTHER somewhat similar game may be played in this way: Take

any word of six, seven, eight, or nine letters—for example, “special,”—and see how many words can be formed from these Continued on page 70

Continued from vage 67 seven letters—or six, eight or nine, as the case may be—by re-arrangement of the letters. The next member of the group may say “lisp,” the next one “cap,” and so on. No word can, of course, be repeated. As in the previous game, each one is given five seconds, and there must be a timekeeper, who has also at his side a standard dictionary, which must finally determine whether any suggested word, or alleged word, is admissible.

As a matter of fact, the word “special” is not a very good example, and unless you want the game to terminate very quickly, do not choose a word of less than eight or nine letters'—if you want it to last some little time choose a word of ten, or even twelve. A lot of fun develops as the game progresses, becauses you probably have selected in your mind four or five words, and these may be given by those who immediately precede you, and you may find all your words “taken up” by the time the game reaches you in its third or fourth round. It is extraordinary how quickly, and suddenly, you may find yourself bereft of a single word!

A significant point of this game is that anyone who gives a word which may sound a little unusual may be challenged by the time-keeper, or by any other member of the group, to give a fairly accurate definition of it. On the question of its accuracy the dictionary is, of course, the proper authority to consult, and if there is any question of interpretation this rests finally with the time-keeper, or judge, appointed.

TN ENTERTAINING a number of persons, there is frequently nothing better than to let them furnish their own amusement. A successful feature of a jolly little party, consisting of about thirty people, held in Toronto recently was the, doing of a “stunt” by each one. After the buffet supper, which consisted of the usual thin sandwiches, coffee, cake and ice cream, a basket was passed around and each guest took a paper flower from it.

Tightly wrapped around the stem of each flower was a finely written slip of paper. The players sat in a circle around the room, and each in turn detached his paper, read it aloud and then did the stunt it mentioned. One read “Do the thing you love best.” An artist who got that slip secured a large piece of wrapping paper and a soft pencil and made a lightning sketch. Another slip read, “Bow low before the prettiest foot in the room.” A dainty maid had on her slip, “Go down on your hands and knees and lap water from a saucer,” which she did very gracefully. “Make the person you love best smile” was another, and the fair man who got it was unable to make his pretty wife smile until he pulled the net off her dark hair. Her slip disclosed the words, “Give an imitation of being angry,” and her quick response to this provoked a general laugh. Other slips read “Give a solo dance a la Pavlowa,” “Pick a quarrel with your best friend,” “Imitate the cry of a bird,” “Sing a song in a foreign language.” The last number made a hit when the drawee gave an imitation of a Chinese song.

A forthcoming article will deal with money-making entertainments which have been successfully carried out.