A Christmas Box Party: 1907

wrapped presents

A Novel Christmas Box Party

“Please come to my box party next Tuesday afternoon at two. Bring a pair of scissors and an apron to protect your gown.”

Well, of all the invitations that from time to time have reached my desk, this was certainly a new one. I responded with keen interest, to find as usual that the clever woman was nothing if not original. The room was literally full to overflowing with boxes of all sizes and descriptions. There were a number of sewing tables, tubes of library paste, and numerous rolls of crepe tissue paper of holly and poinsettia designs. Then there was plain red crepe paper, and scarlet ribbon, and all sorts of Christmas “stickers” or seals.

This was the idea as outlined by the hostess: “Last year,” she said, “I received a number of dainty Christmas gifts—a plate, homemade candy, handkerchiefs, etc., and they were done up in the most attractive boxes. On pricing them, I found the cost almost doubled the original sum expended on the gifts, so I hit upon the scheme of making them. As I hate to do anything alone, I asked you all to help me and each to make one or two boxes for your own use.”

“And that explains why the ‘clever woman’ has fairly haunted the dry goods stores for empty boxes, why the man of the house has appeared with his arms laden with bumptious packages, and why there has been a corner in the market on Christmas papers,” said the little neighbor from over the way. At half after four, I wish you could have seen the array of really beautiful boxes; some were covered with plain red paper, the little seals being used for a border or in a decorative conventional design. One lady said she hadn’t had so much fun since she went to kindergarten. Here seems to be a fascination about cutting and pasting paper that charms not only children, but grown-ups as well.

For refreshments we had delicious tea made in the drawing room, served with a spoonful of brandied cherries in each cup, and the most delectable muffins with cranberries in them. I should think a “box” table at a church bazaar would be a profitable undertaking.

“Dame Curtsey’s” book of novel entertainments for every day in the year, Ellye Howell Glover, 1907

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The hostess was indeed very clever to disguise a work-party as a pleasant holiday entertainment. One hopes that the guests got more than a spoonful of brandied cherries and one or two boxes for their own use for supplying the scissors, apron, and labour. Mrs Daffodil is well-aquainted with the idea of a box party. In England we call it Boxing Day and there is no nonsense about making one’s own container.

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.

Should Mrs Daffodil’s readers prefer to celebrate St Nicholas Day, there is a post over at the Haunted Ohio blog on historic cribs of the Infant Jesus.

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