The problem of Christmas gift-giving (1914)

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Vintage Christmas postcard with Santa

The problem of Christmas giving

Where one has a full purse, the hardest part of the Christmas shopping is eliminated — that of stretching one dollar to cover the purchases of three.

But the majority of us are not surfeited with money, and much time is spent in planning to meet all demands — or what we fancy are demands, upon our friendship.

Many women are now giving only simple little gifts, such as cards, flowers, a box of candy, or an inexpensive book.

One does not like to receive without giving in return, and when a simple, inexpensive gift is received, it is often far more welcome than one which causes us to stop and count our small balance to see how much is left for a return gift.

So many dainty little things can be had at the Ten Cent stores, often for but two or three cents, that it seems one might satisfy every taste and make quite a few presents for a dollar. Beautiful boxes for the home-made candy, or vases for holding the few rosebuds — there are so many things.

>> Also see: Rediscovering the joy of Christmas giving (1886)

And for the children, there seems no end to the attractive toys, while whole Christmas trees can be made a-glitter for a few cents with the offerings that used to call for dollars.

It is useless to give gifts to children that will last but an hour, if one has to pay a big price for it; but where the purchase cost but a few cents, one does not feel so resentful for the allowed destruction.

Useful things for the little tots are seldom appealing. It is the unusual, the attractive, the bright colors. Do not leave the shopping to the last minute, for the stores are always crowded in the last hours, and one has to wait to the point of exhaustion before getting what they want.

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It is better to pick up a few things at a time, here and there, now and then — or better still, to have your Christmas box open all the year, dropping little things in the “slot,” as you come across them, and getting only the particular gifts for the individual tastes as the shopping season opens.

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