Entertaining guests and holidays are played up big in Sunset; the annual cycle of publication relies almost as much upon the procession of major (and other) festivities as it does on the gardening calendar. Food, crafts, and decorating ideas mark these events, culminating in the November and December issues.

Setting the stage for Thanksgiving
Cub Scouts
Illustration of chef
Thanksgiving pumpkins

Left to right:

Charming use of color during hard times. November 1934, p. 28.

“Den mother helps to serve Giant’s burger to a half dozen Cub Scouts. Menu features finger foods—easy to serve and to eat. The paper name flags label each child’s contribution. You can make them beforehand from index cards glued to meat skewers.” Family and community life merge via the sharing of food. May 1958, p. 174.

“Chefs of the West” presents the holiday goose in the German style (for both goose and presenter). December 1948, p. 56.

Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is the most prominent holiday in Sunset’s calendar. October 1934, p. 30.

Backyard catering

“Snack table converted from ping pong table, foods duplicated on either side: meat balls in chafing dishes (picks in inverted cantaloupe half); carrot, celery sticks; melon balls in watermelon rind bowls; frosted sheet cakes; punch in the coffee urns.” Backyard catering for graduation party. May 1958, p. 129.

Seasonal decorations
Sunset Magazine cover. December 1904
Picnic in the woods

Left: “Potted trees, pruned as globes and brilliantly lit with pin-point lights, lead guests along entry path to a pre-Christmas party.” Holidays, hospitality, seasonal decorating: all favorite Sunset topics. December 1968, p. 58. (photo: Glenn Christiansen)

Center: 1904 December cover. A great Western-theme holiday cover by Maynard Dixon.

Right: “A stop in the woods after a brisk walk, refresh with mugs of hot vegetable soup.…” April 1990, p. 166. (photo: Norman A. Plate)