A Christmas Fairy
In the center of a room place a large round table covered with a green cloth scattered all over with small boughs of evergreen frosted with tinsel. Suspended from the chandelier and hanging just far enough apart to admit a little light from above have garlands sparkling with frost, with the ends fastened to the sides of the table, three-quarters of the way around it. The effect will be that of a tent. The other quarter should be left open, so that one may look inside and see an immense cornucopia covered with silver paper, with its opening toward the front. As though emerging from it, the Christmas fairy (a wax doll), sparkling in robes of white and silver, should be poised. A frosted wreath should crown her golden curls, and in her hand she should hold a long silver wand. The cornucopia should seem to be emptying itself into the glittering train for the good fairy. Aberdeen [SC] American 20 December 1910: p. 3
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The tradition of fairy dolls topping Christmas trees is a late-19th century one. Mrs Daffodil has always wondered why they are fairies and not angels. Mrs Daffodil recommends a charming book called The Fairy Doll by Rumer Godden, chronicler of dolls-who-come-alive. According to her family, young Elizabeth is clumsy and stupid. Elizabeth’s mysterious great-grandmother puts the unhappy child under the protection of the Christmas tree Fairy Doll, who brings out the wonderful talents Elizabeth never knew she possessed.
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes
You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.