No matter what parties the children have throughout the year, the magic of Christmas beats them all. You help the ‘tinies ‘with their cards; scribble loving messages for their gifts; help them to decide what is best for Father and Auntie and show them where to hide the presents from the others in the family.
Christmas Eve is the most wonderful eve of each year for a family – the eve when there is goodwill among all men and God dwells in every heart. To be privileged to be with children at such a time is to experience something touching and holy.
Most youngsters love to make Christmas cards for the family. Use a happy family snapshot for the front of a folded card and get the best ‘printer ‘in the family to print the message. The dainty member of the family can add a ribbon, a decoration and a little greeting inside the card. Small gifts can be fixed inside each card – hair-ribbons for little nieces, stocking-menders for friends, a handkerchief, calendar, notepaper or packet of seeds. In this way the family can make novel gifts for their friends.
Gather twigs and decorate each with pieces of cotton-wool or dabs of red sealing wax, or hang from them posies of coloured wools or thin braid. Make your own table-centre from cottonwool – a giant snowman, for instance, covering surprise presents for each member of the family.
Hang twine across the walls and ceiling and, as the Christmas cards arrive, fold them over the twine. Have a lighted Christmas tree in the window. Its size doesn’t matter, but its welcome to the members of the family coming home is something they will remember for a long time.
Try to have holly over every picture and mistletoe hanging from the hall lamp. Put coloured and decorative shades on the lights – they are quite inexpensive in the multiple stores, or you can make your own. Have festive cake-bands twined in and out of the stair banisters, and decorate the front door with lighting effects if possible.
It isn’t Christmas without the Christmas stockings – I buy net and make my own, sewing them up with coloured wools. To fill them I use all kinds of odds and ends, such as fancy paper hats, crayons, cut-out pictures, a few hanks of embroidery thread, a packet of doilies for cutting out, handkerchiefs, modelling clay, homemade paper fans, packets of stick-on motifs, scribbling pads, left-over knitting wools, empty matchboxes and tins.
If you have guests for the Christinas party it is wise to plan everything beforehand. For instance, a room for coats and hats; aprons for the women helpers; a set of clean tea and guest towels; enough cups, saucers, tumblers and cudery and enough chairs.
Tell the man of the house when he should move the chairs from one room to another, then everything will go smoothly. Each member of the household should have set jobs to do; this relieves the hostess of a lot of worry. Decide beforehand who will wait at the table, who will help in the kitchen and where the guests will sit.
When you bring bottles to the table, have bows tied round the necks. Bring gaiety to the table in little ways like this and there will be lots of fun and happiness.