Un tres Joyeux Temps des Fete a Tous!

A thank you to all who have been dropping by the Dusty Victorian, it's been a real pleasure exchanging a few words with you. I'm not sad to leave 2011 behind, it's been a difficult year for the planet, economically and environmentally.
Let's all wish ourselves a better New Year.
À bientôt!

Almost Ready for the Holidays

Okay, all names have been checked off from my gift list, almost all gifts have been wrapped, and our Christmas cards have been mailed off. Of course, there will be the usual, "Oh my gosh! We forgot so and so!" and, "Did we send a card to so and so?"

The indoors Christmas tree has been placed outside again this year
because of our male dog, Chaz.

This year, our big pot is host to a spiral evergreen.

Our front entrance does not need much decorations, it's already in the spirit...

...just needed a "corsage".

And we are ready for Santa.

Make your holidays really meaningful this year, don't forget your local animal shelter. Most animal shelters have a wish list you can view on their website. You would be surprised how many unnecessary things we accumulate in our attics, basements, garages or closets that could be useful to an animal shelter.

Timeless Gift Giving Suggestions from a Century Ago

A few weeks ago, Brian came across an old magazine from 1911. A Christmas issue, it has advertisements for anything and everything a household during George V's reign could ever need - along with numerous holiday gift suggestions. The magazine is exactly 100 years old and is in pitiful condition, but has to be quite rare since these publications were not meant to last. It has no monetary value, but to me it's priceless since it offers a fascinating and accurate glimps at the lifestyle of the time.

Surprisingly, several of the Christmas gift suggestions still
apply today, as you will see below. Perhaps it will help you with your Christmas shopping.

In 1911, books were very, very popular, this magazine used eight pages to advertise books from different publishers. One hundred years later, books are increasingly replaced by electronic devices offering instant gratification. Books are now similar to luxury items, bought by a minority - the weird thing is that book buyers are not necessarily rich.

Holeproof Hosiery? I don't know about the "holeproof", but socks and Christmas go together whether you like it or not.

Gloves are also very popular today. I personally must have lost hundreds in my lifetime, so a new pair is always welcome.

Ahhh, Birks... the Canadian Tiffany & Co.

Lovely toiletries... an excellent, reliable choice when in a quandry.

Men's grooming kit... classic.

Glassware... crystal or tableware are still very popular.

The phonograph is, of course, long gone, but today's electronic equivalent is probably the most popular gift under the Christmas tree for the 12 to 35 age group.

Here is the exception. When I turned the page and saw this ad, it seemed weird to advertise a bookcase for Christmas. To my surprise, there were two more ads for bookcases. In 1911, our tiny town of St Marys had two thriving bookstores on our main commercial street. Imagine how many more there were in big cities across the country. If books were very popular a hundred years ago, it's only natural that bookcase would be as well. Sadly, although beautiful, I think only this suggestion would truly be a thing of the past.

Adieu ma tante Jesus

In the popular conscience, death is so often accompanied by pain, drama and horror. To me, it was a dreadful mystery until I saw it happen before my eyes.
My aunt Angeline, also known as tante Angie and ma tante Jesus when we were kids, passed away softly, simply and peacefully, the same way she lived her life.

I always dreaded the coming of autumn, but being a witness to her passing was very much like seeing my garden slowly die - very naturally. I think I will see autumn, winter and death very differently from now on. Thank you tante Angie.