Pajama Party

When I was a kid, I loved a pajama party (or whatever euphemism you’re used to—sleepover or slumber party being the most common). I particularly loved going to my best friend’s house with my sleeping bag, pillow, and of course, my pajamas and slippers. My friends and I stayed up well past midnight, playing games like Twister, eating pizza and popcorn, and watching Svengoolie (Rich Koz) on TV (who featured really tame monster movies). After that, we’d tell ghost stories until we fell asleep, frightened out of our wits.

Mostly, I loved being with friends, away from my brothers (who hosted their own sleepovers in the tent in our backyard). I also loved the coziness of sleeping on the floor in my sleeping bag and the convenience of having junk food within reach. (My BFF’s mom was very hospitable and hooked us up with snacks on the hour.) So, coziness, camaraderie, and convenience are three words that come to mind when I think about pajama parties.

Those words also come to mind when I consider why I love mystery books, especially those written by Agatha Christie—one of the queens of the cozy mystery. I love plots that involve people spending at least one night at a remote estate—the ultimate sleepover. Thinking of mysteries causes me to add a fourth C to the list—clues. The amateur detective, who of course is among those invited to the gathering, has to solve the mystery based on conveniently placed clues. But the clues that seem the most obvious are often red herrings placed to lead the detective astray. “Curiouser and curiouser,” Alice from Alice in Wonderland would say (to add a fifth word beginning with C to the list). (By the way, did you know that Lewis Carroll coined the word curiouser? Check this out.)

While I haven’t been to a pajama party in ages, I can always attend one vicariously, whenever I pick up a cozy mystery.

What’s your favorite cozy mystery?

  

Everyone agreed that the highlight of the sleepover was when the uninvited T-Rex sneaked in to wreak havoc, but wound up staying and having a good time when the bunny started telling ghost stories.

Pajama party image from fbccranbrook.org. Son of Svengoolie from Pinterest. Book cover from somewhere on the internet. Other photos by L. Marie. Squeezamals are a product of Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company. Pop Hair Pets are a product of MGA Entertainment. The T-Rex came from Bath & Body Works.

35 thoughts on “Pajama Party

  1. I loved sleepovers too, L. Marie! Staying up late and eating all sorts of junk food was the best. 🙂 My best friend and I used to set up huge Barbie neighborhoods. Gosh, it’s been years since I’ve read a cozy mystery, but Agatha Christie has always been my favorite.

  2. I remember a few sleepovers, but not many. Maybe they were mostly a girl thing back when I was growing up because I don’t remember it being popular with boys. Coziest memory is any where I get to stay curled up in bed and not have to rush out. Simple one, but it’s definitely a coziness goal most weeks.

    • I think they were mostly a girl thing. My brothers never went to sleepovers at the home of others. Instead, they camped out.

      I hear you! I’ve been thinking cozy thoughts lately because of all of the chaos going on in the world.

  3. I studied Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series when I was in college. Thus I kind of fell out of love with them because too much academic attention can suck the joy out of reading. At the moment my favorite cozy mystery series is the Agatha Raisin detective series written by M. C. Beaton. These books are pure brain candy and some have been made into a TV series which is great fun, too.

    • That’s a great series! And how cool that you studied Miss Marple! I love those books. I agree, Ally, that too much analysis can suck the joy out of reading. I studied nineteenth-century British fiction in college because I started off enjoying those authors. Many years had to pass afterward for me to crack open those books again simply because of the academic attention you mentioned.

  4. What a smooth segue from the coziness, camaraderie, and convenience of a pajama party to Agatha Christie’s mysteries.

    My sleepovers happened during the summer with cousins on my mother’s side of the family. We did “girlie” things, but I don’t remember snacks, just hearty farm meals.

  5. Love your alliterations, Linda! The only sleepovers I remember were when one of my mom’s sisters would take her kids up to their cabin in the summer. I was close in age to one of the girls so I stayed over a few times. No sleeping bags, though. We shared a bed and the cabin was too small for shenanigans. Still, it was a fun time for a kid with the lake just a block away. Right now I’m listening to a police procedural series, D.C. Smith by Peter Grainger. It’s a bit slow-paced but quite good character development and very light on sex and violence. A nice antidote for today’s world.

  6. How about adding ‘Cousin Craziness’ to the “C” words?
    Slumber Parties with my cousins from Ma’s sister (4 girls, 1 boy) were special because it meant Mass the next morning with the gang and getting there in the back of their station wagon.
    Slumber Parties with girlfriends were special because it meant NO Mass the next day! HA!
    Fantastic post, L. Marie – I always have a cozy mystery at hand on my bedside table – right now it’s a well worn copy of Madame Christie’s, “Curtain”.

    • Thank you, Laura. 😀 See Marian’s comment on the cousins. 😀 I remember being in the back of a station wagon. We used to wave to the cars behind us. Sigh. What an era!

      I need to stock up on the Christies. Though I have several in my bookcase, there’s always room for more. 😀

  7. Svengoolie. Ha. That show is actually still on these days.

    We called them slumber parties, and I only went to a couple when I was growing up. I was never much of a murder mystery fan, but I do love a story with a mystery. One of my favorite books in Junior High (now called Middle School) was called The Velvet Room. It had a mystery, but it didn’t involve a murder.

    I’ve been watching this really cool magical mystery on Netflix called Locke & Key. It’s supposedly based on some comic book. It’s about this gigantic old house that has magic keys hidden in various places. Each key opens a door to a different magical world. The mysteries surrounding the keys are intriguing and thrilling.

  8. Even though I know about Agatha Christie and read a few of her books (translated in Dutch) when growing up, I had never heard the term “cozy mystery” until a blogging friend (and since yesterday also a real life friend) started writing them. You might want to check them out, L. Marie. Her name is Ellen Jacobson and she has an entire series of cozy mysteries out, sporting a fun cat, many clues, and set in a marina. She is a humorous author as well. Perfect slumber party material. 🙂

  9. Great post, Marie. I loved sleepovers ~ at our house, at a friend’s house, or in the tent pitched in the backyard. And food was always a big part of it, for sure.

    • Thanks, Nancy! Yes, childhood sleepovers were so magical. Maybe not for the parents who had to put up with screaming, giggling kids. But they were great fun for us! 😀

  10. I had a tough time with sleepovers — strange bed or sleeping bag on hard floor, disruption to normal routines, and social skills issues. My daughter was also not a fan, and my son had a friend who was very popular (the basketball team’s star point guard) but that kid would never go to a sleepover.

  11. For some reason we didn’t really do sleepovers over here much when I was a kid – it always seemed a very American thing. I did however read plenty of Agatha Christie and still do, as you know! She has to be the ultimate but I find vintage crime in general is very calming and comforting – not at all like contemporary crime which seems to want to harrow and shock us!

  12. Did you and your friends not talk about boys too at your slumber parties? Just wondering since you didn’t mention that, lol.

    I love Agatha Christie as well and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is quite good as is Murder on the Orient Express, The Murder of Roger Akroyd, and Curtain.

  13. LOVE Agatha Christie and especially the Miss Marple series of hers.
    Growing up, I didn’t go to many sleepovers – unless they were with Greek kids. Sigh. That’s what sometimes happens when you have a parent of immigrants. 🙂 My cousin Ted and I used to carry on all sorts of silliness, though. His bedroom window and ours faced each other across the driveway. My Dad, who adored Ted as much as his own daughter, knew what we were doing. After a time he invented a game he called Beat the Clock (there was a tv game show of that name). The first one to get to sleep got a point with a prize at the end of summer. A challenge! AHA! We all got a prize at summer’s end, which I no longer remember but was probably something out of a Cracker Jack box Daddy raided when letting us have our little game.

    My freshman year at college was one, long pajama game. We had soooo much fun back then.

    A friend and I enjoyed trading M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin books some years ago. We went through most of them at the time and were like two teenagers when we got to meet her at Borders. I’ll mention a “C” – Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate”.

    • MC Beaton books are great! Very cozy! Now I’m thinking of the Jessica Fletcher books by Donald Bain. Also cozy. 😀
      I also had a great college experience. I was in the same dorm all four years. We were in and out of each other’s rooms. So much fun!

  14. Pajama parties and sleepovers seemed like such a long time ago! Eating pizza or staying up later eating treat food was probably the best part… I remember as a kid some of my sleepovers involved building a fort with bedsheets and pillows – and back then that was so cool.

    I hope Henry the Yeti has sleepovers 😊

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