The old-fashioned Christmas table

The table itself must be Christmassy in its setting and decoration, however simple, and once our eyes have taken it all in we settle down to the enjoyment of turkey and all the “fixin’s” to appease our appetites without any particular regard to garnishings. When that is accomplished, we are tempted to eat because “it looks so good.”

The housewife’s skill as a fancy cook is shown in the lighter courses that give her a special opportunity to serve dishes that are attractive in Christmas colorings.

It is the little extra touch that makes a dish or table festive in appearance. While all of the decorations and dishes presented on this page may be duplicated exactly by housewives who delight to make things “fixy,” many a housekeeping mother will. we trust. be pleased to select even one of the ideas illustrated and use it to add a bit of festive ornamentation to a more or less plain dish or cake. We are sure she will be rewarded by the pleased exclamations of the children.

The Christmas table - food and festivity from 1914 (1)


To set upon the old-fashioned Christmas table

Poinsettia cake with candles in poinsettia holders

At this woodsy table, luck is invoked by the rite of burning candles

Pine branches and beach-grass baskets filled with dried bayberries form an unusual centerpiece. A pine cone serves as a holder for the bayberry dip at each cover. The dips are to be lighted at the beginning of the meal and allowed to “burn to the socket,” following the suggestion of the old jingle printed on the place-cards: “A bayberry candle burned to the socket / Brings luck to the house and gold to the pocket.”

The candle burning at Yuletide in Old England was very likely to be of bayberry. In our own country, the use of the bayberry candle is as old as the settlements in Massachusetts and Virginia.

Christmas forest cake for the children’s party on the old-fashioned Christmas table

The Christmas table - food and festivity from 1914 (2)


Festive treats and dishes for the old-fashioned Christmas table
  • Four-inch candy yule logs with miniature holly
  • An individual serving of vegetable salad garnished with poinsettia of pimento
  • Ornamented with pistachio nuts and white candies
  • Cranberry pie containing raisins
  • Plum pudding with almonds
  • Surprise frozen chocolate served with fruit-filled whipped cream and little partridgeberry cakes
  • Cheese molds with Christmas garnishings

The Christmas table - food and festivity from 1914 (4)


Festive food for the old-fashioned Christmas table
  • Jellied crab met salad in green peppers

  • Christmas eclairs filled with pistachio ice cream and decorated with cherries
  • Pulled sugar cup filled with ice cream
  • Fruit and nut Bavarian cream for dessert

The Christmas table - food and festivity from 1914 (3)


Decorating the old-fashioned Christmas table to add to the enjoyment of youngsters (1919)

To make the children’s party at Christmas time a brilliant success is not at all difficult. All they need is room to play in, games and pastimes planned ahead to fill up the time, someone to supervise them and Christmas goodies to eat. This last item in the program of the Christmas party means a great deal to them, but they are easily pleased.

The old-fashioned games, “blind man’s buff,” “drop the handkerchief,” “hide and seek,” have unfailing charms for the youngsters, but they will not play at one game long.

A “fishing pond” pleases them and is easy to manage. A lot of toys and trinkets are wrapped in paper and tied up — a sufficient number to provide something for every child. Before the party, these are piled up in some convenient corner and a curtain of some kind hung across the corner to hide them. Fishing poles with lines having a crooked pin at the end are made ready, and each child casts his line over the top of the curtain. Someone in charge of this part of the entertainment fastens a little parcel to the bent pin for each child, and someone else sees to it that each little guest gets one chance at the pond.

A fortune teller’s corner helps amuse the little folks and their brief fortunes all are written out before the time of the party. A big owl, mode of paper, stands on a small bench in a corner with a box containing the written fortunes behind him. His head is made so that it will move in a nod to signify “yes,” or from side to side for “no” in answer to questions. Someone, of course, sitting behind, manipulates the answers and finally thrusts one of the folded pieces of paper forward on the bench or table.

When it comes from time for refreshments, they are served, and from a decorated table containing a “Christmas pie,” each child gets a little bag of sweets or some little trinket to carry away. The “pie” is a centerpiece containing the little gifts. – Dakota County Herald. (Dakota City, Neb.) – November 06, 1919


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Filed under: 1910s, Food & drink, Vintage Christmas

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