Here's a little tidbit from Success with Flowers ©1898 and below is a tidbit from "The School Journal" ©1898
For home decorations individual taste may be freely indulged in. Use plenty of green Cedar, Pine, Holly, or any that is obtainable. Partridge berries, branches of Holly, and Bitter-sweet berries are lovely for decorative purposes. An unused fireplace may be very effectively banked with evergreens. Place branches of them in large vases and over pictures, mirrors and doors. Always arrange them artistically, so that the effect will be entirely pleasing.
Bunches of red and white berries or everlasting flowers may be worked in with the evergreens to advantage, but be careful not to use too many of them, or they will cheapen the appearance of the decorations very unpleasantly.
A drawing-room which held a beautiful Christmas tree last year was so exquisitely decorated that it looked a veritable woodland bower, yet so simple and natural did it all appear that one could quite easily imagine all of the lovely greenery had grown just where it was.
Above the door was the motto "Merry Christmas" in scarlet letters on a white ground, with an edging all around it of Holly leaves. A rather wide band of evergreens went all around the room over the picture moulding; from each corner a rope of the evergreen was festooned to the middle of the room, and the four pieces united in the center under the chandelier. From this hung a branch of gleaming Mistletoe. Another
branch of the latter hung from the draperies which shut in a cosy little retreat in the bay window, a bright fire glowed in the fireplace, and an evergreen band formed a graceful arch around it. The high mantel was gracefully festooned to its top. Palms, Ferns, small cedar and little Arborvitaj trees were banked together in front of the Oriental portieres draping the cosy corner of the room, forming a beautiful green archway to the tempting little recess revealed within. On a small table in the corner of the room most remote from the fire was a mound of dark-green Moss, from which tall slender spikes of exquisite white and purple Hyacinths swung their delicate waxen bells and filled the room with fragrance.
True, such decorations will doubtless be much too elaborate for the majority of homes, but possibly some one may obtain a hint that can be effectively worked out in a more humble manner.
The Christinas spirit of peace and good-will should be in every heart, and it is fitting that we should decorate our homes in a manner suitable to this sacred and joyous festival.— Mary Foster Snider.
Our Christmas Tree.
By M. E. Stone, Providence, R. I.
We have a forest of pine trees on our board in the back of the room. A week before the Christmas vacation we choose one to be transplanted to the front blackboard. It looks very pretty. We think how green it is while other trees -are bare. We read the story of the "Discontented Pine Tree." We have a snow-storm and like to see the white snow cling to the pine branches.
What a beautiful Christmas tree it would make! Let us trim it.
What shall be put on first? Why, our Christmas star, that we have been drawing and cutting. That must be put at the very top. Now we will buy a box of candles. There are a dozen in a box. Three are red, three white, three blue and three yellow. While we are at the store, let us get some of those pretty, shiny balls to hang on our tree. Half a dozen will do; red, blue and yellow, two of each. How much are they? The candles are a cent apiece and the balls are two cents each. I have money enough to buy the candles. Who will buy the balls?
I have now real candles and balls, and our brown circular tablets we use for money. The children always call them pennies unless I tell them some other name. Usually, however, I have drawn the box of candles and of balls, and the children copied them with pegs or colored crayon on paper. We thus practiced the horizontal and vertical lines and circles of our regular drawing work. Material is also afforded for a review of nearly all the combinations of number included in the fall work. For instance, the balls are arranged by twos, that we may talk about two twos or three twos, and the candles by threes for a similar purpose. There is one star having five points, and we make three candy-bags and four cornucopias. We make real cornucopias of colored paper by lapping and pasting two adjoining sides of a square. This may have a loop of thread, worsted or ribbon at the upper corner with which to attach it to a real tree. If sewing is in the first grade work, the candy-bags can be easily made by overcasting together with bright worsted, the edges of a piece of coarse muslin, cut in the shape of an oblong by the teacher.
One of the prettiest cutting and pasting lessons can be given in making a paper chain. Give the children four inch squares of various colors and let them cut the papers into strips a quarter of an inch wide. Have these arranged on each desk in rows (vertical, horizontal or oblique, if the drawing program calls for those words and directions) so that two strips of the same color will not be near each other. Then allow the children to paste the strips by lapping one end over the other, slipping the next strip thru this ring and pasting as before, being careful to take up the strips in the order in which they were laid on the desk. This will be new to the children, if old to the teacher, and can be done by the smallest. The picture presented by a roomful of smiling children festooned with these bright chains is good for the teacher to see.
We trim the blackboard tree day by day by proxy, carrying home the real stars, bags, cornucopias and chains. The children are delighted to decorate their chandeliers, mirrors, picture-frames and even the knobs on doors or bureaus if they have no tree on which to hang their handiwork. They make more at home, show other children how, and give to the ones too small to do such work.
Santa Claus comes during the night before the last day of school, and hangs horns, drums, dolls, jumping-jacks and other toys on the tree, and puts boxes of tools and dishes, tables, chairs, beds and bicycles near it. The children appear to enjoy the presents as well as if they were real and belonged to them. Often something has been left out that some child wants very much, but if I draw it he will be well satisfied. One little boy wanted "music" this Christmas; another, a train of cars. 1 draw everything asked for, whether I know how or not. I try to
find out how afterward, to be prepared for emergencies.
After vacation, when we must have the board room for other work the children are sorry to say good-bye to the Christmas tree.