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Have a fun 50's Party at home!

a magical mixture for a meaningful life

Edited by Gena Martine Santoni

Happy Holidays! This month we have a little bit of everything, from fun family time and tasteful dinners to manners tips and helpful ideas. Although we might not be celebrating in the same way as usual, there are still plenty of ways to add meaning to our together-time. And for those who need some alone-time, we have a suggestion or two for that as well! So get a streaming cup of warm spiced cider or hot cocoa and join us for a cozy, elegant winter season.

Getting Out the Good Stuff

Honoring special occasions and loved ones with the tradition of a special table.

The other day I was cleaning out my garage, getting out decorations and thinking I have far too much “stuff”.  As I began to look at the boxes, I realized I have not one… not two… but three different sets of china dishes stored in my garage.  I shook my head and questioned my judgement. Why in the world was I keeping three sets of china?  But then I opened the boxes and began to look at the pieces. The memories began to flow – the first set brought memories of Sunday dinners with my in-laws; the second set reminded me of holiday dinners with my grandparents; and the third set held memories of the look on my mother’s face as she set our special holiday table - carefully looking at each plate, tea cup and gravy boat, reminiscing about how excited she was when she picked them out and received them as wedding gifts. It suddenly didn’t seem quite so crazy to be storing them.


While wedding china has become less of a “thing” for brides today, the process of decorating the holiday table in our homes is more popular than ever.  But why?  As Miss Martine says, just as getting dressed up shows respect for important occasions and fellow guests, taking the trouble to set a special table shows your guests that you think they are important and worth the extra effort.  A beautiful table set with care and attention takes the entire experience out of the ordinary, marking it as a festive event and creating an 

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Featured Posts

Written by Julie Sweany

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Mom, I’m bored!


Some of us grew up being told that only boring people complain about being bored, but with all the time spent cooped up at home, it is bound to happen to the best of us. With all the time children spend in front of screens these days, it is nice to be able to point them toward some good old-fashioned ways to made idle time more interesting.


Enter two fun books created with this in mind:  The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls. In actuality, there are plenty to interest both boys and girls in each book, with a variety of games, a sprinkling of history, skill-building projects, practical tips, book recommendations and a dash of adventure.  While some projects do require parental supervision, the majority of activities encourage self-directed play and increased knowledge.  Peruse the table of contents online to see if these complelling compendiums might be just the thing to help spark the imagination and banish boredom - at least for a while!

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Zooming with Manners in Mind

Written by Julie Sweany

Some of the most enjoyable stories parents like to share with us are those that tell of the different ways their children practice “cotillion manners” out in the world.  We love to hear about the staff at a restaurant who complimented them on the wonderful manners their children exhibited while dining… or the couple at the table next to them who asked how they got their children to behave so well.  We’ve heard about grandparents coming to visit cotillion to see just what we are teaching and then raving about being asked to dance by their grandchild at a family wedding. The stories are endless, but like everything else they are now in “pause” mode. Dinners out and special events have been reduced, if not eliminated, so it is important to think of other opportunities to utilize and practice those cotillion manners where and when we can.  


Many of our members are now students of “distance learning.” What a challenge for students, parents, and teachers! Since manners online are just as important as in-person manners, we have compiled some ideas to help our families “think cotillion” and continue manners practice during the era of Zoom.      

Keep reading . . .

Being Present

Family Game Night

One great way to spend fun time with the family and create great memories is to have a family game night. Not video games, but rather the old fashioned favorites that get family members of all ages involved.










Younger players can feel part of the action with team games like Pictionary, and with games of chance - such as Shoots and Ladders - where winning does not depend upon skill. Classic card games like Rummy are fun to learn, and who hasn’t fallen over laughing during a game of Charades?


Whether you gather on the floor in front of a roaring fire with a bowl of popcorn, or around the kitchen table with hot cocoa, family game night can be a wonderful and nostalgic way for the whole family to be present together.

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Have a fun 50's Party at home!

The Martine Cotillions

California, USA


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