The Perfect Christmas eighty seven years ago

Sealing Wax Set

Sealing Wax Set

More advice taken from Rose Henniker Heaton’s

The Perfect Christmas (London, 1932.)

Presents for Schoolgirls

Stuffed Comic Animal

Extra long-legged Doll

Own Tea-Set

Fitted Pencil Case

Note-paper with initial

Book (if carefully chosen).

Watch or Clock

Purse with money in it ( notempty)

Bright Scarf

Hockey Stick

Autograph Album

A Diary and Confession Book.

A ticket for herself and a friend ( to be chosen by herself) for a play

Travelling Photo Frame


Sealing-wax Set.

Jewel Case with secret drawer

Gramophone Record

Chocolate Drops covered with hundreds and thousands.


Presents for Schoolboys


A pair of Handcuffs (most popular).

A Silver Watch

A Knife

A set of Meccano

A Kodak (with year’s upkeep).

Fountain pen

Book on their special subject

Pistol with caps

Small rifle Continue reading

Christmas advice from 1932

The Perfect Christmas by Rose Henniker Heaton was a companion volume to the same author’s Perfect Hostess and Perfect Schoolgirl. Published in 1932 by the eighty something Australian-born widow of an illustrious Conservative MP, its distinctly barbed humour has hardly dated. In addition to the many jokes and riddles (one of which defeated Professor Einstein) are some handy hints. The following still has value today.

How to Ruin Christmas

Grumble at everything and everyone.
Moan at the mention of presents.
Scramble wildly at the last moment for people you dislike, rather than be left alone.
Do nothing for anyone, and expect everyone to wait on you.
Eat too much, and drink far too much. 
Spend too much, and grumble while spending it.
Spend too little, and grudge even that.
Leave everything to the last, and sit up until 4 a.m., tying up parcels, and decorating madly.
Start a family quarrel. 


What to do with Rubbish Christmas presents

Once again, Rose Henniker Heaton, our no nonsense Australian hostess from 1932, comes up with some timely suggestions as what we should do with that ghastly piece of raffia from the Village Craft Fair or that horrible vase from the High Street charity shop. Take it away Rose.

Never,  never, never give away as presents rubbish or monstrosities you have bought at bazaars.

“That will do for old Aunt Susan”, you say as you look loathingly at a plush handkerchief sachet; or, “The very thing for Uncle Albert “, as you seize a dust-catching newspaper stand.

The only thing to do with rubbish is:

(A) Put it in your Ideal Boiler
(B) Send it to a Jumble Sale
(C) Give it to the Rag and Bone Man on his next visit

Note.--if anyone sends you rubbish as a Christmas present, put it in the fire, and send a telegram of thanks. If that doesn’t make them feel ashamed, I don’t know what will:

Ex---“Thousand thanks for shell pincushion stuck on pill-box.”


Reply paid: “Gilded pinecones safely received; what are they for?”

Note---Present giving is not a question of money but of common-sense.