Tag Archives: Christmas

Mrs Daffodil’s Holiday Greetings: 2019

Mrs Daffodil wishes her readers all the joys of the holiday season

and every good thing in the New Year!



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.

Mrs Daffodil Sends Holiday Greetings

Mrs Daffodil wishes her readers a very Happy Christmas

and all good things in the New Year!


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.


“Blind man’s bluff is little better than an insurrection:” Christmas Games: 1900


Why people should celebrate Christmas by playing games, is at first sight by no means plain. What possible connection is there between the Christmas anniversary and the noise, confusion, and laughter of Christmas games? When the Queen’s birthday arrives we do not feel it to be necessary to have our hair cut, or to sit on our top-hats and smash them. The recurrence of Whit Sunday does not bring with it an irresistible desire to break the household crockery or to kill the cat. Yet it would be quite as rational to do these things on the anniversaries just mentioned as it is to play games at Christmas. What, then, is the explanation of our universal custom of celebrating Christmas with games?

It will be noted that an invariable characteristic of Christmas games is their noisiness. The game with which the mistletoe is associated is necessarily noisy; Sir Roger de Coverley involves more or less uproar of an alleged musical character; and blind man’s bluff is little better than an insurrection. A quiet Christmas game is apparently never played. We thus see that noise is an essential feature of Christmas games, and this fact will probably give us a clue to their origin.

The savage has but two ways of celebrating any important event—either he over-eats himself, or he makes a horrible noise. If he can do both, so much the better. When Christmas arrives we imitate the savage with disgraceful fidelity. We gorge ourselves with roast goose or roast turkey, and we play the noisiest games that can be played outside of the football ground. Of course, we are unconscious that we are imitating savages; our conduct is simply the result of heredity. Thousands of years ago our remote ancestor, the cave man, celebrated his chief holiday— say the anniversary of the day on which he killed and ate his worst enemy—by feasting on boiled leg of rhinoceros, and by subsequently drumming as loudly as possible on the upturned and empty kettle. In these days we are not cannibals, but at Christmas we approach as closely as possible to cannibalism by eating too much roast goose. We no longer take pleasure in beating on the bottom of a copper kettle, but we feel instinctively that our greatest festival must be celebrated with noise. Thus we can explain, by the theory of heredity, the origin of our two chief Christmas customs. And the explanation is doubtless right, for, as we all know, heredity is now the correct scientific explanation of everything—from the shape of our skulls to the way in which we lie in our beds.

While we can thus account for the noise of Christmas games, we have not yet accounted for the games themselves. Why, when there are so many ways of producing noise, do we select games as the appropriate method of producing a satisfactory Christmas uproar?

What are the conditions necessary to Christmas games? They are—first, the presence of a large number of persons of both sexes, and second, their desire to endure one another with decency. Take twenty people of assorted sexes and shut them up in the drawing room on Christmas night, and each one feels that he must do something to enable him to live through the evening. To sit still and reflect that the quiet and secluded corner, which the safe digestion of the Christmas dinner so imperiously demands, is unattainable, and that the evening must be spent in conversing with uninteresting people upon tiresome themes, is something that no man will willingly do if there is a possible alternative. Games are intended to supply this alternative, and to enable the Christmas sufferer temporarily to forget his sorrows. Probably they accomplish this end to some extent, but it may be fairly questioned whether the remedy is not worse than the disease.

The supposition that there can be any pleasure derived from playing Christmas games cannot be for a moment entertained. We all know that it is not true. Take the ceremonies of the mistletoe — ceremonies which have no real title to the name of game, although they are arbitrarily classed under that head. Can there be any pleasure in kissing the wrong girl under the mistletoe? Of course, it will be said that you may kiss the right girl, but if she is only one among a dozen girls, the proportion of undesirable kisses to the one desired kiss is preposterously large. Then, can a man take any pleasure in seeing the girl of his heart kissed by other men? No matter how heavily he may have drugged himself with roast goose, the spectacle is one which fills him with secret and inexpressible rage.

There may be a sort of mild pleasure in seeing a man whom you cordially detest groping around the room with a bandage over his eyes, and occasionally abrading himself against the sharp corners of the furniture, but it is a pleasure wholly unworthy of a Christian man. The game of blindman’s bluff is exhausting, undignified, and certain to involve one in difficulties with the girls whose dresses are torn by the unconscious feet of the blindfolded man. It is true that there are redeeming points, even in blindman’s bluff; for is there not a case on record of a man who, while blindfolded, caught the family cat, and in his excitement mistook the cat’s fur for the back hair of his maiden aunt? His triumphant proclamation that he had caught Aunt Jane induced the latter to change her will the very next day, thereby depriving the blindfolded nephew of a comfortable legacy to which he had looked forward for years. Still, poetic justice seldom overtakes the man who consents to be blindfolded, and those occasions when a Christmas guest finds it possible to extract even the feeblest pleasure from blindman’s-buff are extremely rare.

Mr Fezziwig's Ball, British Library

Mr Fezziwig’s Ball, British Library

Sir Roger is simply an athletic exercise, falsely called a game. It is as tiresome as golf, and nearly as exhausting as cycling. And yet even middle-aged men who have within an hour or two eaten a Christmas dinner, are made to engage in the violent inanities of Sir Roger on Christmas evening. On the following day, when in the agonies of abdominal remorse, a man is ready to take a solemn oath never again to meddle with that fatal sport, but as sure as the next Christmas sees him still alive, he will end Christmas evening with the inevitable Sir Roger.

It may be unhesitatingly asserted that no one enjoys Christmas games who is more than ten years of age. It need hardly be said that children of that age should be in bed on Christmas evening instead of being permitted to infest the drawing-room. Their enjoyment of Christmas  games is, therefore, no excuse for the latter. We might as well excuse bull baiting on the ground that it gives pleasure to the dogs. We play Christmas games solely because an hereditary custom compels us so to do. Nobody who has arrived at years of discretion enjoys them, and ninety-nine people in a hundred detest them.

When we think of the quiet, comfortable games with which Christmas might be celebrated, the objectionable character of our present Christmas games becomes the more apparent. There is the delightful game known as ” Two in the Conservatory.” It is played by a young man and a young woman. The two retire to a quiet corner in the conservatory where they are concealed from view by flowers and vines, and there discuss in a low tone such pleasing themes as the Best Route to the North Pole, or the Kinetic Theory of Gases. Any number of young men and young women can play at this simple but charming game provided a sufficient number of quiet corners can be found in the conservatory. It can even be played on the stairs almost as well as in the conservatory, and the same young man, if he is a sufficiently accomplished player, can play a half a dozen sets with half a dozen different young women in the course of a single evening. The enormous superiority of this game to anything that is done under the mistletoe must be apparent even to the most careless observer. It involves none of the publicity, the romping, and the other disagreeable features of the latter game, though it must be confessed that, in some instances, the loser has had good cause to regret that he ever attempted to play it.

Then there is the pipe game. This is played only by men, but, perhaps, that is one of the advantages of it. The player withdraws to some quiet place, either within or without the house. Having seated himself he fills an ordinary brier-wood pipe with good tobacco, and lights the tobacco with a match. Almost any match may be used, but as a rule the wooden match is used by the best players.

The player can either finish his game in one innings with the pipe, or he can refill it and enjoy another innings. Men who habitually play this game assert that it is peculiarly adapted for Christmas evening, especially if the Christmas dinner has been a good one.

That it is vastly preferable to blindman’s-buff, or Sir Roger, is admitted by nearly all medical men; except, of course, young practitioners, who are anxious to add to the number of their patients, and look upon the usual Christmas games, with their subsequent harvest of sufferers from dyspepsia, as something especially designed for the good of the medical faculty.

I may mention one more admirable Christmas game. It is called Bedfordshire, and is one of the earliest games with which we make acquaintance in our childhood. The player retires from the drawing-room about an hour after dinner is over, and just before the orthodox Christmas games begin. When he reaches his room he removes the greater part of his clothing, puts on his night-gown, and after extinguishing the light, gets into bed. There he remains until half an hour before breakfast time on the following morning. This game ought to be a great favourite, and when a man has once learned to play it on Christmas evening, he can never be induced to play any other.

I have suffered much from Christmas games. I have played blindman’s-buff and caught the corner of a particularly hard pianoforte with my forehead. I have undergone the toil of Sir Roger, and caught pneumonia in consequence of being overheated. I have been compelled to kiss girls under the mistletoe who, I am certain, did not want to be kissed by me, and whom I certainly did not want to kiss. On the other hand, I have the memory of one delightful Christmas Eve which I spent in a rational manner. I was nearly seven hundred miles distant from my home, and I went to dine with a bachelor uncle who warned me that he detested the practice of giving Christmas presents, and uniformly refused to accept any. There was no one at the dinner-table except my uncle and myself, and about eight o’clock that excellent man said to me, “Now, nephew, I’m going to bed. There is the port, and there are the cigars, and you’ll find plenty of books in the library. Good-night!” The port and the cigars were admirable, and in the library I found a volume of Guy De Maupassant which I had never previously seen. I went to bed at ten o’clock, and I have ever since considered that my excellent uncle’s idea of entertaining Christmas guests was worthy of universal imitation.

Cassell’s Magazine, Volume 20 1900: pp 68-71

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: The Sir Roger de Coverley is one of the oldest and most popular country-dances. Two lines of dancers face one other and when the music starts, dash into the centre aisle, twirling their partners round about, and then dashing back to their places. Depending on the tempo which the musicians set, it can devolve into a rout. The Mistletoe Game (which has, Mrs Daffodil believes, an American cousin called “Spin the Bottle”) is equally fraught with danger.

Mrs Daffodil thoroughly approves of the game of Bedfordshire and wishes that she could play it more often in the busy holiday season. She also applauds the Liberty Hall philosophy of the narrator’s bachelor uncle, although she does not mind receiving Christmas presents—in a rational manner, of course.

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.


The Sybaritic Sentries: 1870s



Raymond P. Sanford, a robust and healthy undergraduate of Cornell, lives for scientific purposes on 85 cents a week, his food, including buttermilk, lentils, peanuts, raisins, cabbage, peppers, oatmeal and apples.

“I thrive on this fare,” Mr. Sanford said the other day in Ithaca. “I admit, however, that to stick to it takes will power. I have to govern my sybaritic propensities. I must not imitate the young sentries.

“There was once a Christmas masquerade ball, you know, and a squad of young sentries stood guard out in the snow.

“Well, as the ball progressed, the conduct of a certain guest, disguised as a Santa Claus, astonished and perplexed everybody. This Santa Claus would dance with the prettiest women for fifteen or twenty minutes, and then, hurrying to the buffet, he would drink a bottle of champagne, and eat lobster salad, ices, caviar sandwiches, truffled turkey—everything in sight.

The host, after several hours of such gluttonous and intemperate conduct on the part of the Santa Claus guest, conferred with his butler, and to his amazement learned that the offender had, by actual computation, devoured forty sandwiches, sixty ices and eight quarts of lobster salad, while he had drunk thirty-one bottles of champagne and ninety glasses of punch.

“It seemed incredible! Yet there he was, as vigorous and fresh and sober as ever, now whispering compliments in a pretty matron’s ear, now rushing to the buffet for more wine and more lobster.

Puzzled and vexed, the host took Santa Claus by the arm and led him into a recess.

“’Show me your invitation card,’ he said.

But Santa Claus had none.

“Then unmask.”

“Dolefully the spurious guest obeyed.

“’Why, you’re one of the sentries!’

“’Yes, sir.’

“He was, indeed, one of the sentries—one of the squad of sentries stationed outside in the snow.

“These young men had hired a cheap Santa Claus make-up, and, donning it one by one, had each enjoyed a brief but delightful share of the Christmas festivities—the dancing and lobster and champagne in the ballroom.”

Idaho Statesman [Boise, ID] 31 December 1912: . 8

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil knows a great many mauve-faced Colonels who have grown old and sportive on a diet of lobster salad and champagne. Were Mrs Daffodil to serve lentils and buttermilk here at the Hall, there would be mutiny, if not outright murder. And what is Christmas without its Groaning Festal Board, its smoking roast beef and flaming plum pudding?

The young Mr Sanford received much coverage in the press for his scientific experiment in domestic economy. One suspects that he did not understand the difference between a moral recommendation and an amusing anecdote told over port and cigars. Mrs Daffodil observes that the freshman-ascetic (who, frankly, one cannot imagine having any sybaritic propensities whatsoever) later became a minister and was zealous in the cause of social justice. He had originally enrolled in Cornell as a student of agriculture; perhaps the fasting inspired him to a higher calling, although someone has to grow those lentils and cabbages.

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.


A Baby in the Snow: 1872

A porcelain Victorian snow baby figure. http://www.ornament.ch/rubrik.php?rubnum=SB&res=1024

A porcelain Victorian snow baby figure. http://www.ornament.ch/rubrik.php?rubnum=SB&res=1024



A Railroad Man’s Story of a Cold, Stormy Night Over Twenty Years Ago, when the Snow Was Piles in Banks Along the Railroad Track

A Christmas Gift.

“Every time I think of Christmas I think of the year 1872,” said an old trackwalker. “That’s more than twenty years ago, isn’t it? Twenty years is a good long stretch. Lots can happen to a man in twenty years. He could get rich and spend it all and get rich again in that space of time and still have lots of time to spare. But I haven’t. I’ve just stayed poor right along.

“But as I was saying, speaking of Christmas always reminds me of 1872. I was trackwalking then for the Vandalia line on a section between Terre Haute and Farrington, in the state of Indiana. That Christmas night was a corker, I’ll tell you. I heard at noon from the section boss that the thermometer was 10 degs. Below zero, and as night came on it seemed to get colder and colder. It had snowed the day before—one of the deepest in that year—and the engines had had a pretty tough time of it plowing their way through in the morning.

“After they did get by my section the snow was banked up seven or eight feet deep in some places, by the side of the track. I was so cold that I wrapped coffee sacks around my feet before starting out, just to keep them from a frostbite. You bet I hated to start out, but I did muster up the courage after awhile. It was about 9 o’clock when I started to go back to Farrington, and the wind was in my face. ‘It’s a durn poor Christmas for me,’ I thought to myself as the wind caught me a belt in the side of the head. ‘Here I’m fated to walk this cold track until midnight without even a kind word from anybody to say “Merry Christmas to you.” It’s pretty tough. I guess track walking is just about the worst trade a man who loves company can adopt.’

“As I was stamping along thinking like this, away off ahead of me I saw a sparkle. ‘It’s the St. Louis express,’ I said to myself, ‘and she’ll be rumbling over me at about sixty miles an hour. You had better go out in the snow, old man, unless you like being ground into little bits. Boo! But that snow was deep. Way up over my waist. But when I got down off the track and snugly tucked away in the drift, I was a heap warmer, because the wind couldn’t reach me. And the old train came right ahead with a buzz and a roar, and her old yellow headlight getting brighter and bigger every second. It was a train of six or seven passenger coaches. All were lit up as bright as kerosene oil could make ‘em. One, two, three, four of the cars whizzed past me. But the fifth seemed to stop. It didn’t, of course, but the sight I saw seemed to nail it to my eye!

“A man and a woman. They stood at the rear window. It was open. I saw the man with his arms put out, supplicating like. The woman had a bundle in her arms. Then she didn’t have it. The man gave a cry of horror that rang out high above the clamor of the wheels and the rattle of the rails and the creaking of the coaches. Something shot down just past my head and landed in the snowdrift beside me. I shut my eyes, but still saw the woman with the bundle and the man with outstretched, pleading arms. When I opened my eyes again the train was a quarter of a mile away, with her rear green light sinking swiftly into a dot and then disappearing. The wind cut me sharp on the cheek, and five miles off I heard the church chime in Farrington tolling the quarter hour. ‘That sight was a dream, old man,’ I said to myself as I pulled my legs out of the drift. ‘But the bundle,’ I exclaimed. Involuntarily I looked down in the drift and saw another hole in the show, not the one I came out of, but a smaller one.

“Maybe you’ve guessed the thing by this time and maybe you haven’t. Well, sir, that bundle was just as cute a 20-pound kid as I want to look upon. Hurt? Well, I guess not a little bit. When I found him he was laughing contentedly as you please and chewing a chunk of snow for a sugar cake.”

“Who did he belong to?”

“You tell. I can’t. I never knew and never expect to know. He had good clothes on, and the odd little collar of lace he wore was marked with a pretty silk T. He was fat as a Christmas turkey and the biggest eater you ever saw.”

“Why didn’t you find his parents?”

“Didn’t I try my durndest? Didn’t I spend half my wages for the next month advertising in the newspapers? But no answer did I get to any of them. It seems to me that the man ought to have come and got the child, for he evidently didn’t want to see it fired off like that. His outstretched, supplicating arms showed that. But perhaps he only wanted to prevent its being killed. Who knows? Perhaps he was glad to get rid of it, and when he saw that somebody had it all right he was glad enough to leave it to its chance fate.”

“What became of the child?”

“Named it Tom after myself. Tom McCormack is a pretty good, solid sort of a name, you know. My family may not be very stylish, but none of them have been hanged anyway. And, you see, the kid’s collar had a T on it. I almost had to name him Tom.”

“Where is he now?”

“Trackwalking on the Vandalia, not more than twenty-five miles from the very spot where his little baby head plumped into that snowbank Christmas night, 1872.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune [Knoxville, TN] 26 January 1893: p. 6

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil must say, despite the unpolished American vernacular of the narrator, that it is refreshing to read a Christmas story in the popular press that does not contain a ghost, a reformed burglar, or a dying child.  A “track-walker,” incidentally, is one who walks up and down the railway lines, looking for damage or obstructions. It was a thankless, but necessary task. Despite Mr McCormack’s frigid Christmas, he seems to have derived considerable satisfaction from the events of the day.

This story simply cries out for a sequel published in a later Christmas number where the gentleman on the train found his lost boy, recognised the collar with the silk “T,” fell upon his neck, weeping, and left him his entire fortune.

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.


“Be home for Christmas!”: 1914


A postcard sent by King George and Queen Mary to British servicemen overseas in 1914.

A postcard sent by King George and Queen Mary to British servicemen overseas in 1914.

I have watched, here and there, the leave-takings. When a regiment goes to the Front there are no relatives to see them off; secrecy, dense and unfathomable, shrouds the whole military game as played now in Great Britain; the leavetaking is done at home. But there are exceptions now and then. I sailed from Folkestone, en route to Brussels, in the early days of the war. I found aboard a Red Cross detachment, a group of British officers, and an army chaplain or so; their women, fine, tall Barbarians of charm and breeding, had managed by favour to go down to the boat with them. I should not describe the good-bye embraces of these women as cold, there was a suggestion of fire underneath; but at least they seemed casual. You knew that, once alone, they would cry their eyes out, but not there, where the situation called for a stiff upper lip. The officers, the Red Cross Corps and the chaplains waved at their women until we rounded the Folkestone pier head. Then, just for a second, one of the chaplains opened his mind to me.

“It’s taking your life into your hands, isn’t it ?” he said. “And I suppose they know it!”

I sat in a cafe in Havre, when that city was an English base, beside an English officer and his mother. I confess that I eavesdropped shamefully. She had some “pull,” I suspect; someone, for sake of her mother heart, had rent the fog of war long enough to let her know that her boy would be a few days at Havre. They were to part there, at the cafe; he must go back at six o’clock to quarters, and in the morning to the Front. They chatted of the dog and the automobile and the neighbours; he got out a war map and tried to explain the situation. I doubt if she took in a word of that; her eyes were devouring his face as he looked down at the map. I was not shameless enough to watch them as they parted; but I heard him say, in almost his ordinary tone:

“Good-bye, Mumsey—it will soon be over!”

And she said:

“Be home for Christmas!” No more but that.

Men, Women, and War, Will Irwin, 1915

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  Many thought in those early, optimistic days of the War, that it would all be over quickly and that the combatants would be home by Christmas, 1914. One wonders if this young officer ever came back to Mumsey, the dog, and the automobile, for Christmas—or ever.

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.




Surprising Ways to Wrap Presents: 1906



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.