Friendship calendars are nice gifts
by Ruth Cameron
A most charming gift for an exile came to my attention the other day.
About a year ago, I suggested to you a friendship calendar made up of daily quotations, written or typewritten on little slips for a Christmas gift.
This is much along the same line. The difference is that this friendship calendar is to be gotten up by many friends instead of one, and is to be made up, not wholly of quotations, but also of little greetings, jokes, nonsense rhymes; pictures and sketches.
This calendar which came to my attention was being gotten up by a jolly young crowd in a country town for one of their number who had been sent away to an other climate to fight the white plague [tuberculosis].
The pad used was about five by eight inches. The date was written at the top, then the leaves were distributed among the girl’s friends — one or two her more casual friends, and three or four of those who had been nearest to her.
Some of the young people pasted snapshots of themselves, the crowd, or familiar spots on the leaves. Others, who were clever at jingles, wrote nonsense rhymes. The artistic ones did little pencil or watercolor sketches. Some simply contributed cheery quotations or wrote letters telling, the girl how much they loved her and missed her.
The plucky little exile received the calendar for Christmas. I don’t know her at all personally, but I like to think about her, and think what a factor in the fight for courage that friendship calendar must be. I like to think how she will try to decide whether to take this daily bit of excitement at breakfast, at twilight or just before she goes to bed, and how much the thought of this friendliness will sometimes mean to her when she is in the homesick or the “What’s the use anyway?” mood?
If you know any one for whom you think you would like to get up a similar calendar, may I make one or two suggestions? In the first place, don’t wait until just a month before Christmas, or even two or three months before. Such an undertaking, if it is to be well carried through, needs much time. The winter months are a bad time to ask people to do anything like this. The summer months are much better. And don’t think this is too early to sow the seed of your undertaking. The chances are that you will be still gathering in your sheaves in November and December.
In the second place, in order to get other people to share responsibility with you, why not follow somewhat the scheme I once suggested for the money collection? Get a dozen of the girl’s nearest friends to act as months. That will mean that they will contribute four or five days themselves, and be responsible for the balance of the days in their month. They in turn can appoint weeks, who will have to be responsible to them for the seven days within their province.
To any one who attempts this scheme, I wish the very best of luck. If you care to, send to me and I’ll be proud to contribute a leaf.