The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)
Our Women's Section
Ideas on Christmas, 1932.
Once again the wail of the waits is heard in the land. Those sinister words, ‘suitable gift’ and ‘very seasonable,’ have crept into the shop windows of Oxford Street and Regent Street. Even the most hardened Scrooges find themselves involuntarily carried away upon the stream of goodwill and donate half-crowns to startled nephews. In fact, Christmas is here again!”
For so many people to-day Christmas means nothing at all except a momentary release from toil—in fact hundreds of men definitely dislike the season of “universal good-fellowship.” But they can't ignore it. They snort derisively at the rotund and beaming “Father Christmases” who parade the cities with their balloons and baggages. They regard the “Magic Cave” with all the suspicion of good citizens in the Middle Ages before a den of some magician. They curse the small boy with his joyful squeaker, the jostling, cheerful crowd “Christmas shopping,” the windows gay with colourful and appealing advertisements, the radios broadcasting carols, the very newspapers full of the thing—even to the degree of ghost stories! In fact, they regard the whole business as if not a relic of barbarism, anyhow a childish and undignified display for a civilised and cultured race.
Yes! Christmas is rapidly losing its meaning for most of us; especially out here in the Antipodes, where the traditions of Dickens and the chimes from historic bells belong to another world. For us there are no carol singers piping the time-honoured exploits of a “Good King Wenceslas,” grouped out there in the snow, wrenching from us by sheer lung power, our praise and our pennies.
Where are the days of holly and mistletoe, of Ye Olde Yule Log, and the steaming bowl of punch? Are we forgetting these things out here in our remote little Pacific island—and is it best that we should? Must we create our own traditions?
Personally, I am sure that the spirit of medieval England breathes here beneath a summer sun, just as it does in London fogs, in Berlin snows, in Paris, in Stockholm, in Vienna; because Christmas, the season of brotherhood, of joy, of giving, is like the mythical Phoenix, and springs into new life and youth from the ashes of its funeral pyre.
If we are accused of being childish—so much the better—let us be happy, let us be simple and trusting and eager to take all that Life can offer us.
Father Christmas is still a very real and very thrilling figure to hundreds of children page 64 —he always will be! Turkey and plum puddings, mince pies, Christmas cakes, stockings—when will all these be forgotten?
While Londoners sleep beneath a softly falling snow, in New Zealand it will be Christmas Day, 1932, and it will be quite obvious that we are not forgetting our heritage.
Your Holiday Wardrobe.
Only a few weeks now and Christmas will be here again—with all its excitement. Soon you will be free—gloriously free for a short space—to dance, to play, to picnic, to be careless and lazy. Most of us are planning a holiday, and already are dreaming of days slipping away on a golden beach somewhere; of hours in the heart of the bush; for New Zealand has so many secrets to share with her children.
To be happy on a holiday it is essential to be looking attractive; the surroundings simply demand that you shall be in keeping with their loveliness.
The problem for the modern girl is a fairly simple one compared with the horrors which confronted her mother before departing on a holiday. Now it is so easy and so cheap to be well dressed, but to achieve this we must give a little thought to it.
The secret is: Don't leave it too late to “fix up” your clothes for Christmas; don't plan everything else first, to the smallest detail, and chance your appearance. The sensible woman of to-day lives not for the moment alone, but with her far-seeing eyes centred upon the future; she knows that success, to most of us, comes only with hard work.
Now, let us look at our wardrobe. The last thing you want to be worried with then will be clothes. You will want to be out all day in the sun, dancing at night somewhere by the sea, sleeping long hours, not to be sewing frantically to have something to wear to-morrow.
This is good advice: Don't take too many things, they are only a nuisance when travelling. The modern girl is fortunate in being able to pack her things into a comparatively diminutive suitcase—she “travels light.”
Bathing suit and beach pyjamas—two essentials. Make the latter from some very cheap, gorgeously bright print, and they will save your frocks from the sun and the sand. A large hat to shelter you is a problem in packing, but linen ones roll up and you will be glad you took it; also a “Johnnie cap” for windy days. Two or three frocks will be sufficient, you will find; and for the train, wear that skirt you made last month, with the masculine slip-on coat of light wool. Remember your feet—light shoes for summer, coloured now with gay stripes; and, as for stockings, they won't bother you, because in Sydney and Paris no one wears them!
Two evening frocks if you intend to be gay! It is fashionable now to have voile ones, cheap and non-crushable. Take a woolly jumper, for you are sure to need it; a scarf, a kimono, and two or three strings of beads. Now you are ready for anything; for the surf and the sun, for the tennis court, the picnic, the tramp, and the dance. You won't even have to think about yourself, if you begin to-day to inspect your wardrobe.
Already you can almost hear the whistle of the train, see the crowded platform, even taste your ham sandwich! The holiday feeling is coming quickly, get ready to enjoy yours.