Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Olive Opened, Christmas 1914

Christmas 1914: Among the gifts 20-something Olive opened was a gift record from "Mable and Lydia." In this small paper pamphlet, tied with a red ribbon, Olive carefully tracked all the gifts she gave and received for the next six Christmases, through 1920. Eventually she became a friend of my grandmother, and through various hands passed her gift record until it came to mine this December.

A peek into this slim volume reveals the gifts given to a young woman at the time. Accessories, clothing — or fabric for making clothing — and books were popular, much as they are today. What's not popular today? Handkerchiefs, a plethora of which fill many lines of Olive's list, both as gifts given and gifts received. What else did Olive find under her tree that morning, Christmas 1914?

• An ivory mirror and comb from "Mamma"
• Drawnwork (embroidered) sheet and pillowcases from Grandma
• Dresser scarf from Martha
• Silk hose from Aunt Sophia
• Rambler Rose Waist — in other words, a printed blouse — from Aunt Martha
• Leather writing case from Aunt Mary
• Crocheted collar and cuffs from Aunt Alma
• Ribbon wrist bag from Auntie Hanson
• Japanese print from Marcella
• Henry Van Dyke's popular book The Spirit of Christmas from Thekla
• And a "Good Cheer" calendar from Ida

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