PUT CHRISTMAS GIFTS IN SURPRISE PACKAGES
Suppose instead of doing up your Christmas parcels in the regulation white tissue paper and red ribbon this year, you have a little fun with your friends and get up a series of surprise packages.
The exterior of the package must give no hint of the interior. Last year a jolly little lady who is devoted to the family Christmas tree received a book she had been longing for during the past six months, but so dainty and pretty was the package in which it was enclosed that she uttered a cry of delight when it was given to her, tho she had no idea it contained her wished-for book. The package consisted of an oblong box, just the length of the book, and about twice as high. This was nearly covered with bright holly, red crepe paper, put on with photograph paste, and the cover was treated in exactly the same way.
But the beauty of the box consisted of a little Christmas tree mounted on the top of the cover. This was made of a tiny branch of spruce (any evergreen could be used instead) pushed thru a little hole in the center of the cover, the end then split with a pen-knife and the two portions fastened securely with a needle and stout thread.
The little tree was then decorated with stars, crescents and diamonds cut out of tissue paper. These Christmas tree boxes can be easily made to contain any kind of presents and give great delight both to children and grown people.
An amusing Christmas package is three or four handkerchiefs done up in the mottled brown paper that comes from hardware stores and some butcher shops, and made to resemble a string of link sausages.
Handkerchiefs can also be wrapped to look like the snapping crackers that are used at children’s parties by rolling them in oblong bits of tissue paper fringed at both ends.
Of a man’s four-in-hand tie you can make a doll-baby by giving it a face drawn on note paper, putting on a bonnet of white tissue or crepe paper and making a dress of the same convenient material.
A walking stick will make the most comical paper doggy the eye of man ever chanced to light upon. First, twist some heavy wire around the stick near each end, and turn the extremities up for paws. Put another piece of wire on the bottom of the cane for the tail, and cover the whole with brown crepe paper, using the handle for the head and supply eyes of white pins stuck in the paper and long dropping ears, and behold, you have a veritable German dachshund.
Small articles can be done up to look like snowballs in cotton batting, with just a sprinkling of silver dust, or they can be concealed beneath the leaves of paper roses, put in paper pies or hidden in tiny boxes. Inclosed in half a dozen others; put in papier mache apples, oranges, Christmas turkeys, etc., of which the shops are full.
Dozens of other ways in which presents can be disguised are sure to suggest themselves to any one who gives the subject a few moments’ thought.
Do not be afraid that the parcels will look silly. Remember that Christmas, above all other times of the year, should be a season of merriment and if your little gift causes the recipient to laugh it has fulfilled its object.
Novel Ways to Give Money.
There are occasions when it is best to give money instead of articles; even then there may be a pleasant mystery about receiving it. One son who always remembers his mother by the coin of the realm, has very original methods of doing it. Once the greenbacks were folded in narrow strips, sewed on a fan, which, when opened, disclosed the peculiar manner of construction. A bow of gay holly ribbon was tied to the handle and a little note accompanying the fan box “hoped that she would enjoy a few weeks in southern lands wafted there by the fan.” Last year he wove his banknotes into a pretty conventional pattern, bordering it with red and green ribbon, thereby making a small mat. He sent it with the tag of a well-known rug dealer’s attached and “hoped that the design on the inclosed rug would soften the pathway of life.”
A father who was obliged to be away from home on Christmas sent word to his wife to hide twelve silver dollars throughout the house, and every time the clock struck beginning at 8 in the morning until 8 at night his little 10-year-old daughter was to hunt for another gift from father. He could not buy the presents, but she was to make her own selections. In this way the mother said the interest in the day was keen until bedtime and the father was by no means forgotten. Putting money in small coins in pill boxes is a good stunt, with a physician’s prescription blank filled out to “take one daily until gone.”
The Minneapolis [MN] Journal 16 December 1906: p. 3
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The most delightfully novel method of presenting a Christmas gift that has ever come to Mrs Daffodil’s notice was created by the manager of a large American department store for a gentleman who wanted a special present for his mistress. The manager selected a large Waterford crystal vase and in it arranged several cashmere sweaters, in delicious shades of caramel and chocolate, topping the “sundae” with a confection in creamy white to represent whipped cream. He then added a ruby brooch in the form of a cherry. The final bill was a lavish one, but the recipient was most appreciative.
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, holiday tips, and historical anecdotes.