Christmas Dinner - 1920


Our Christmas Dinner, Forecast Magazine, December 1920, p. 377.

Our Christmas Dinner, Forecast Magazine, December 1920. GGA Image ID # 1d16ac300c


Menu of Our Christmas Dinner

  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Celery Salted Nuts
  • Roast Goose with Potato Stuffing
  • Baked Apples and Currant Jelly
  • Creamed Onions
  • Dixie Sweet Potatoes
  • Jellied Tomato Salad
  • Cheese Straws
  • Plum Pudding
  • Grape Sauce


Christmas Day is the best of all the days in the year that call for feasting and good cheer.

Roast goose is the symbol of the Christmas dinner, as turkey is of Thanksgiving, so we have chosen it as the piece de resistance of our meal and planned the rest of the menu around it.

A shrimp cocktail is a change from oysters or clams and may be made of either fresh or canned shrimp, thoroughly chilled and arranged on plates around a small glass of any good cocktail sauce. Garnish the shrimp with a small white lettuce leaf. If desired, the sauce may be put in small cups of lettuce leaves, and the shrimp arranged around it.

Serve the celery in a dish partly filled with cracked ice. The goose was stuffed with mashed potato and chopped peanuts, seasoned with minced onion, salt, and pepper, and moistened with beaten egg and milk. 

It will be garnished with thick slices of apple sprinkled with brown sugar, baked until tender, then cooled and garnished with a cube of firm, tart, currant jelly.

The red and green of the jellied tomato salad make it especially suitable for a Christmas dinner. It is molded in small, deep cups and turned on crisp green lettuce leaves.

Each mold is garnished with circles of green pepper and served with mayonnaise. The cheese straws are piled log cabin fashion on plates and passed with the salad.

The pudding has been made for at least three weeks and set aside to ripen and gain flavor. It will be reheated in boiling water for an hour, then put on a pretty platter and garnished with a sprig of holly.

The grape sauce is incredibly delicious with a plum pudding. It is made of grape juice diluted, thickened slightly, and seasoned with a bit of lemon juice.


Christmas Dinner Table, Showing Lobster Cocktail Service, With Graham and White Bread Sandwiches.

Christmas Dinner Table, Showing Lobster Cocktail Service, With Graham and White Bread Sandwiches. The Boston Cooking School Magazine, December 1913. GGA Image ID # 1d16aca5e0


The table decorations must be simple, as this is a home dinner. Holly was chosen because it is so decidedly a Christmas green. A low woven basket is filled with selected pieces of holly for the centerpiece.

Strings of narrow red ribbon extend from under the basket to the top of each place, ending in a place card or a small green basket filled with salted nuts.

These baskets may be made from crepe paper or woven reed but must be small, at most two or two and a half inches in diameter. A sprig of holly is tied to each basket's handle with a small piece of narrow red ribbon.

Place cards cut in the shape of a holly leaf from dark green cardboard, which are attractive and carry out the decoration scheme. The person's name and the following verse are written in red ink:

May you partake in dinner here
A portion of good Christmas cheer
To keep you happy till next year.

Another scheme for table decoration is that shown in the illustration. Either a decorated crepe paper cloth or a linen one may be used. The centerpiece is a plum pudding from brown crepe paper crumpled and pasted on a cardboard foundation.

Raisins made from black crepe paper are realistically stuck on the pudding, and the whole thing is painted with very thin shellac to give it a shine. A sprig of holly is fastened on the top as a garnish.

Small favors tied in Christmas style are placed under the plum pudding. Each favor may be labeled with the person's name for whom it is intended or connected with a narrow red ribbon extending to the place card under the pudding.

The place cards may be small plum puddings cut from brown crepe paper and pasted on cardboard or small white cards decorated in the left-hand corner with a small sprig of holly. Use the same verse that was suggested above.

A large snowball made of cardboard and covered with white crepe paper may also be used if this idea is better liked than the plum pudding. The top is made so that it can be lifted off and give access to the favors inside.

Holly and a bow of red ribbon decorate the snowball. The jolly snowman with his gay red hat is especially suited to the children's table. It also is made from crepe paper pasted on a cardboard foundation.


A Paper Table Cloth Makes a Gay Background and Grotesque Paper Ornaments to Never Fail To Amuse Big and Little Folks Alike.

A Paper Table Cloth Makes a Gay Background and Grotesque Paper Ornaments to Never Fail To Amuse Big and Little Folks Alike. Forecast Magazine, December 1920, p. 378. GGA Image ID # 1d16d5b18d


A Christmas tree made with a trunk of twisted brown crepe paper and branches of wired green crepe paper fringed to represent the needles may be very realistic in appearance and can be used for several years.

It can be planted in a small pot or stuck in a miniature stand such as is used for the regular tree, or made to stand erect using a bit of rolled cardboard in the shape of a cornucopia and covered with green or brown crumpled crepe paper fastened to the cardboard with library paste.

Select small ornaments for the tree's decoration or let the kiddies take charge of this tree, decorating it to suit themselves. There are many things that they can make without the homemaker's aid if they are given some tools like paper, cardboard, popcorn, cranberries, beans and peas, nuts, cotton, tinsel, etc. 

Small balls of soft paper or cotton covered with white crepe paper make excellent snowballs, or gold and silver paper-covered balls add glitter to the tree.

Necklaces and strands of cranberries and popcorn are the most effective tree decorations. When using popcorn, it is better to use pink and white to add to the color scheme.

Tiny Santa Claus figures cut from stamped crepe paper and mounted on cardboard, and small birds, flowers, or butterflies in gay colors cut from paper and mounted help to make pretty and attractive tree ornaments.

A spool of gilt and one of silver tinsel help the young ornament makers produce pretty ornaments, as a bit of the tinsel tied to each ornament and used to suspend it from the tree helps give the Yuletide emblem a brilliant appearance.


Delights of Christmas Time. Woman's Favorite Cook Book, 1902, p. 132.

Delights of Christmas Time. Woman's Favorite Cook Book, 1902, p. 132. GGA Image ID # 1d16a10408


Children are naturally very restless at Christmas time and are prone to get into mischief unless they are kept busy. Making these ornaments not only helps the mother in her duties as a bringer on Christmas but expends a lot of surplus energy and gives the mother time for other duties than "making the kiddies behave themselves."

Cunning little baskets made of twisted red and green or red and white crepe paper can be easily made by the kids for favors not only to use on the home table but to help make poor kids in the hospitals happy on Christmas morning. It is lovely what well-directed little hands can do.

Chubby little hands may not be able to produce any works of art. Still, they can be taught to try to create and be little helpers with their ten fantastic fingers to make a Real Christmas dinner of great rejoicing.

Other favors may be made out of lollipops dressed in paper dresses. Some represent Mrs. Santa Claus, others with faces of the good old Saint cut out of the stamped crepe paper and pasted on the paper that covers the lollipop.

Little paper bags hung about the necks of these lollipop saints can be filled with small candies or nuts and placed at each place for favors and helpers in serving dessert.

The skewers of meat may be used to fasten cardboard Santa Claus figures, which can be stuck into the ice cream to make it more attractive in appearance and amuse the children.


Christmas Dinner Table, Dessert Service.

Christmas Dinner Table, Dessert Service. The Boston Cooking School Magazine, December 1901, p. 219. GGA Image ID # 1d174aeee9


The ice cream on Christmas should be white to represent snow. The Santa figures, however, will look just as attractive stuck into the plum pudding if served in preference to ice cream, which is the children's favorite dessert.

Another way of suggesting Christmas with a unique favor is to cut out small sleds from green cardboard and fasten them over a small pill box where little peppermints or cinnamon drops of a bright red hue are placed.

The sleds can be ornamented with tiny pictures of Santa that can be bought in any stationery store along the line of Christmas seals. These little sleds are handsome and delight little folks when they discover they can pull out the pillbox.

All kiddies love the paste pot and scissors. I have seen remarkable place cards made by very little folks who were told the actual use of the paste to fasten figures on cards and not to smear all over the cards and themselves.

Some of the most straightforward place cards for Christmas are made by using a ticket punch (another tool that every child adores) to punch holes into small cards, placing a bit of real holly in between two holes, and running a red ribbon or bit of tinsel through these holes, tying the ribbon in a clever little bow knot. With the assistance of the paintbrush or a box of colored crayons, the names of each of the diners can be printed or painted on the cards.

The holly is even more effective when using red cardboard, and green ribbon should be used instead of red. Black Good Luck symbols like those used by the Chinese may be painted with Indian ink on the cards and made most effective.


Christmas 1920 Scene by the Fireplace with Child and Dog.

Christmas 1920 Scene by the Fireplace with Child and Dog. Forecast Magazine, December 1920, p. 369. GGA Image ID # 1d1766111a


Tiny silver and gilt stars like those used in kindergarten supplies help make place cards. Names may be formed from these stars, and so can stars and other designs that suggest Christmas and give a holiday air to the festal board.

Imaginary icicles can be made by the smallest of children if the little ones have some crepe paper and a pair of scissors and are shown how to cut the piece into narrow strips so that it can be hung with tinsel or Christmas bells from the chandelier. These icicle decorations hanging from the side lights are the most effective.

With brown crepe paper instead of white, the wee kiddies can make plum puddings by pasting the crinkled brown paper over small cups or a wire-like drawer and finding candy hidden within.

Very cunning reindeer can likewise be made by cutting out a reindeer's head, giving it to the children to duplicate, and placing these heads on a banana for the body, using bent toothpicks for the legs.

Jolly-looking Santa Claus faces are sometimes formed with apples decorated in paper hoods and legs and arms made from toothpicks covered with crepe paper.

The kiddies can use Almost any fruit to make Christmas table ornaments, though these fruit favors should be made the day before Christmas.

One mother gave her children a basket of fruits and vegetables with nuts, prunes, cloves, etc., the day before Christmas and asked them to surprise her on Christmas morning by making some strange favors for the Christmas table.

When this mother arose on Christmas, she had a glorious surprise seeing the Christmas table all set and decorated with wonderful reindeer, Santa Claus figures, fairies, etc., all made from the materials she had given her little ones.

"Our Christmas dinner was just delicious. It was the nicest dinner that anyone in the whole wide world ever had," said one of the enthusiastic youngsters who helped to make these favors.

His joy was far keener because he had given his help in setting the Christmas table and surprising his mother than if the mother had done all the work and tried to provide nothing but surprises to her children.

Nearly any child can make a place card by cutting out figures emblematic of Christmas from crepe paper and pasting them on bits of cardboard or by pasting Christmas seals on cards.

The inventive child often likes to make things. As one begins to think about what children can do to help make Christmas dinner a joy, there are a thousand ways of putting the eager little hands to work and producing ornaments that will please father and mother as well as sister and brother.

Christmas is a kiddie day, and indeed, the kiddies should have something to do in helping to make the Christmas dinner the feast of feast days of the whole year.


Christmas Gifts Made by Children, 1920.

The Gifts That Little Children Can Make Are Sometimes Crude and in Artistic, but They Encourage the Christmas Spirit in Both Giver and Recipient, Making the Holiday More Real for Everybody. Forecast Magazine, December 1920, p. 372.GGA Image ID # 1d182698fe


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