Helen Remembers Special Gifts

Special Gifts I Remember
One year Edith and I  received Torpedo ever sharp pencils. They were in the shape of a torpedo, slimmer at each end and fatter in the middle. There was a silken cord with a tassel attached to one end. Each cord was a different colour, so we knew who which one belonged to whom.  It was hard to wait until school opened after the holidays to show off our pencils from Aunt Alice. Our friends were most impressed because they had come all the way from British Columbia!

Another time, we received a mesh bag filled with gold coins  (chocolate wafers about the size of a quarter wrapped in gold foil). We felt very grown-up with our play money.
One year Reggie received a clear glass train engine. Its insides were hollow and filled with small candies. It had a metal screw cap on the cab end to keep the candies from falling out. Later, the glass engine sat on the shelf on the sideboard where it held change – mostly pennies.

One year I received a wooden puzzle. The box held flat squares with coloured designs. On the one side the designs were painted red and white, on the other side the designs were green and white. There were coloured sheets in the box showing different layouts and arrangements that the squares could form.
Another year Kewpie dolls were fashionable. They were made of celluloid, a forerunner of plastic, and wore brief crocheted dresses. We had to be careful as they would dent easily. They were only small dolls but cute looking.

Once we received coloured softwood tablets to create Chinese water flowers. We put water in a small glass bowl or a saucer and drop a tablet into the water. As it soaked up the water the wood would swell up into a flower. It was lovely to watch as the tablet transformed into a lovely coloured flower.

Another  year we received aluminum, collapsible drinking cups. Each had a cover and was in a case that came in different shades of brown. Mine was a light brown leather. I used it at school as we had to bring our own glass or cup. Reggie’s was in a dark brown case and I don’t remember if Edith received one or something else. Lillian would have been too young for a gift like that.
One year, I received a Mother Goose nursery rhyme book which I still have. After three generations of children Mother Goose has lost some feathers. There are a few pages missing from the front of the book and most of the pen and ink illustrations have been enhanced by coloured crayons.