Christmas Party Ideas For A Troubled Time

Many have drawn parallels between our troubled times and the late 1930s, and it might be helpful to see how they celebrated during the festive Christmas season.

Anti Semitism was on the rise, fascists were taking over Europe, and a world at war was just around the corner, but in 1938, there was plenty to celebrate at Christmas time for Americans.

And plenty of suggestions on how to have fun.

Life was just a bowl of cherries when you don one of these fun rubber masks sure to add some spice and laughs at your Christmas party.

Is that Hitler I see kissing a Glamor girl under the mistletoe? Do I spy Mussolini having a tete-a-tete with an ape over the welsh rarebit?  Uh oh, looks like Stalin is getting a bit tipsy from too much eggnog! Can’t take that Uncle Joe anywhere!

These fun masks were made in 1938 by Don Post Sr. who made history by creating the first over-the-head latex mask.

The only fun mask missing from this 1930s coterie of characters is Neville Chamberlain who might enjoy partying with the 3 authoritarians with his promises of appeasement.


In the 1950s Hollywood discovered Don Post Studios and put its talents to work on many motion pictures, television shows, commercials, and stage projects. Because of Don’s relationships throughout Hollywood, he pioneered the art of product licensing, resulting in amazing licensed masks from Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, and the Universal Classic Monsters.

Looks like he was onto something in 1938.




  1. People were aware of the war to come in 1937-1939. I recall a LIFE magazine article in an archived library issue from that time that compared fleets Japanese and US military planes, etc. “The Cinnamon Bear”, a children’s radio program traditionally played in increments between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas, starting in 1937, even had hints of the international situation that later burst out in war. I can’t recall specifically that was though the last time I listened to in in 2002 or so I was surprised at the reference to that situation. It also has some overt racist in spots, but so did all sorts of media at the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In 1938, FDR was asking for a buildup of the Army and Navy, despite Chamberlain’s declaration of “peace in our time” and a the signed document between the big 4 guaranteeing there would be no European War at all. There was considerable worry in the states.

  2. I would have preferred a Marlene Dietrich mask, since she was the one who told her Hollywood friends in 1934 something rotten was happening to Jews in Germany. The original Time magazine cover made Hitler the Man of Year in 1936. The times haven’t changed much as far as Time is concerned. On September 10, 1939 Canada a country of 11 million declared war on Germany. Canada would become a pipeline of goods from America in support of the UK and it’s allies. My Dad, only 18 at the time, made his first Atlantic crossing in Dec. 1939. I recall after the war in the early 1950’s a house full of ex-military related families partying for days at Christmas with mountains of home-cooked food. Happy Hanukkah Sally. Thank you for your articles of hope, love and inspiration throughout the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Canada played a really vital part in the war effort and thank you for bringing it to our attention.
      Thank you too for your support and appreciation of my writing and the information I try to share. Have a wonderful holiday and a Merry Xmas!


  3. Reblogged this on Journalism as Art and commented:
    Antisemitism was on the rise, fascists were taking over Europe, before the coming of a world at war.

    Liked by 2 people

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