Merry Kitschmas: How to Throw a Retro Holiday Party

published Dec 10, 2015
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(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

‘Tis the season for holiday entertaining! Today we’re taking things all the way back to the 1950s for a retro-themed party — complete with a recipe for peppermint icebox cake. Want to throw your own kitschmas party? Here’s everything you need.

(Image credit: Carrie Winiker)

Before guests arrive, make sure to set the scene with plenty of mid-century modern accents. Put on a record, mix up a Manhattan, and toast to the holiday season.

(Image credit: Carrie Winiker)
  1. Mid-Century Table Lamp, $139 from West Elm
  2. 20-Piece Rush Gold Flatware Set, $79.95 from CB2
  3. KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $349.99 from KitchenAid
  4. Hughes Loveseat, $1699 from Joybird
  5. Retro Recipe: Peaches & Cream Jello from The Kitchn
  6. Terrace Bar Cart, $399 from West Elm
  7. Star Metallic Napkin, from Canvas Home
  8. Merry Argyle Stocking, $38 from Anthropologie
  9. Classic Manhattan Cocktail Recipe from The Kitchn
  10. Crosley X UO Sterling Vinyl Record Player, $220 from Urban Outfitters

Now that you’ve got the decor covered, it’s time to make a party-worthy dessert. Icebox cakes are traditionally made with chocolate wafer cookies, but to dress things up for the holidays, use Peppermint Joe Joe’s from Trader Joe’s instead. A drop of peppermint extract in the whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes on top seal the deal.

Peppermint Icebox Cake

Serves 8; adapted from Taste of Home

3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 packages Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe Joe’s Cookies
Crushed candy canes

In a large bowl, beat the cream, sugar, and peppermint extract on high until stiff peaks form. Fill a pastry bag with the whipped cream.

Arrange 7 cookies in a circle on a cake stand, using one cookie in the center. Pipe 2/3 cup whipped cream over cookies. Repeat layers 9 times. Refrigerate overnight.

Garnish with crushed candy canes.

(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

A shout-out to a few friends of Apartment Therapy who helped bring our kitsch-inspired version of a modern holiday celebration to life: