The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)
Shopping for Others
Shopping for Others.
Strange that we should buy for other people things we covet, but would not waste the money on for ourselves. But it's true, isn't it? That's partly why Christmas has such a nice feel about it. I know each year there seems to be one particular thing I can't bear to give away, though I have bought it for that purpose—but I finally give it, wrapping it up so carefully, and addressing it forlornly. The only comfort is that one gives the things that really appeal to the people that count in one's life. I still remember a few of my best-loved presents. One was a Chinese brass vase; another a butterfly-wing tray; last year it was a book of poems. This year I have embroidered a willow-pattern cloth, marking it in my own mind “to be given away for Christmas,” but now that it is finished I know that I shall have to keep it. I comfort myself by saying that probably no one would get the same pleasure out of it that I will.
“Do Your Xmas Shopping Early” has been placarded before the public gaze for so many years that we ought really to do so, if only to show the influence of advertising. But, as I always argue, if everyone shops early there will be far less of a crush if I shop late, and, besides, I love the Xmas rush. Illogical, of course. We should really consider ourselves and the shopassistants, not to mention our purses, sufficiently to start our shopping in decent time. Let's begin this year. By shopping early, one has a far better choice, and can also take one's time in inspecting and comparing.
Presents for the bride-elect or the woman with a home are a simple matter—gay linen breakfast or luncheon sets; printed cotton bed-spreads, table-covers and duchess sets all matching; cushions, lampshades, pottery, crystal, china; trays, bowls or boxes in poker work. For the bachelor girl one is limited to more personal things—bath salts, perfumes, soaps; charming blouses, lingerie, gloves, stockings, handbags; bathing suits and bags, beach wraps; cigarettes (if she smokes). Men, as gift receivers, may be divided into smokers, and non-smokers. If the former, the type of present is indicated: if the latter, things are a little more difficult. I suggest socks, ties, handkerchiefs, shirts, pocket-wallets, books, pen and pencil sets, tennis balls (if he plays), cuff links and stud sets.
If you are a needle-woman, nothing is so much appreciated as a hand-worked article. Luncheon, buffet or waggon sets in coloured linen with geometrical appliques are quite simple to make. Guest towels, tea-towels, and puff cases are easy to embroider. Handkerchiefs with crocheted edges are attractive. Cushions may be made in gav patterned or striped material, or embroidered with wool. Washable handbags of linen in pastel shades are useful summer accessories. Throw-overs in plain or floral organdie are dainty. Whether you are going to buy or make a visit to the shops, even a glance at the daily advertisements of the big stores, will help you.