Christmas gift ideas from 1902 Strawbridge’s catalog
  • A natural Christmas at Longwood Gardens
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    Can you guess what this Christmas gift is?

    The big square gift box still wore its wrapping paper covered in poinsettias and a big red bow. The paper was a bit faded, and the gift looked as if it had never been unwrapped.

    I turned it over and saw that the lid lifted from the bottom, relieving me of guessing the contents since I couldn’t just tear away the paper. The item inside was as new as it was the day it was given.

    Looking at what it was, I knew why. It was a sweet gift, perfect for the time it was given – which I figured was about 50 to 60 years ago. But it was not appealing. It had obviously been warmly made with love, and it came with a card to “Mother.”

    Christmas gift

    A decades-old Christmas gift.

    Mother apparently put it away, either because it was much too pretty to use or it didn’t enthrall her. Now, decades later, it turned up on an auction table where it would soon find out whether anyone else wanted it.

    We all have gotten Christmas gifts that were hand-made by friends and relatives, and we gladly accepted them whether we wanted them or not. Once during my quilting period, I made potholders as gifts. I thought the mixing of fabrics in beautiful patterns was worth sharing (and inexpensive), but I’m not sure if my female relatives ever used them. I didn’t because they were too nice for greasy pot handles. I framed one made of red and black fabrics with gold leaf.

    The gift at auction, though, was too large to frame. The box itself was about 15″ wide and 6-7″ deep. Can you guess what was inside? Click on the tissue-paper photo below for the answer.

    christmas gift


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