Thursday, December 3, 2015


   This is from www.scapcationgetaway.blogspot.com .  Children would get a real kick out of this one.

Grinch Pills --Free Scut File

Here is one of my favorite projects I've done so far! I just love these! I am dying to make more! I designed the little tic tac holder in my SCAL program and saved it as a scut file. You can download it below. I've made it very easy for you! I've even included the design that I put on the front!

Right click on the image below to save. Then all you have to do is print!


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Mid Victorian

Christmas cards and crackers

'If there is one thing inseparable from Christmas in general and the little ones' seasonable gatherings in particular, it is - a cracker. With what a delightful look of expectation they have waited for it to go "bang", and how they have screamed as they scrambled after the surprise which came in response to the explosion ...'.

   So observed a Victorian writer about one of the two real Christmas innovations of the period: the Christmas cracker.
   The story of the Christmas cracker is really a testament to one man's ingenuity and determination. Tom Smith was a confectioner's apprentice in London in the early 19th century. On a trip to Paris in 1840, he admired the French sugared almond bon-bons, wrapped in coloured tissue paper, and decided to introduce them in London. These bon-bons were popular, but not quite as Smith had hoped.
   For seven years he worked to develop the bon-bon into something more exciting, but it was not until he sat one evening in front of his fireplace that his great idea came to him. Watching the logs crackle, he imagined a bon-bon with a pop. He made a coloured paper wrapper and put in it another strip of paper impregnated with chemicals which, when rubbed, created enough friction to produce a noise. He knew that bangs excited children (and were said to frighten evil spirits) - and the mottoes and poems he inserted inside the crackers amused adults.
   The combination of innovation and tradition which is a hallmark of the Victorian period also marked another creation of the 1840s - the Christmas card, an altogether more pragmatic 'invention' than the cracker.
   Sir Henry Cole, burdened by the amount of seasonal correspondence he felt obliged to write, first conceived of a dedicated Christmas card in 1843. His idea was to print a seasonal greeting card which would save hours of handwriting, and he engaged his friend, the artist John Horsley, to design nearly 1000 hand-coloured lithographs.
   The standardisation and lowering of postage rates in 1840, which made letters easier and cheaper to send, contributed to the rapid spread of this new custom. Designs featured Christmas scenes, including Father Christmas, robins, evergreens and snow scenes but also a range of non-Christmas designs, much like Valentine cards.

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Late Victorian

Father Christmas

'He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot ... His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry ... He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.'

   The lines above are from a poem called A Visit from St Nicholas written by Clement C Moore in1822, although it did not become well known until it was depicted in a series of engravings by Thomas Nast in the 1860s. By the Edwardian period, it was almost universally accepted as the definitive description of this important representative of Christmas.
   But do these words describe Saint Nicholas or Father Christmas or Santa Claus? There were several forerunners to this chubby, elderly gentleman with a snowy beard. The Norse God Odin was one of the early figures, who rode through the winter world, bringing either gifts or punishments, as appropriate.
   Odin wore a blue-hooded cloak, and had a long white beard. Because he was able to read hidden thoughts and watch from afar the behaviour of those he visited, he was both loved and feared. A much later figure was the 4th-century Bishop of Myra, also known as Saint Nicholas, famous for his kindness to children and generosity to the poor. After the Bishop died, the legend of Saint Nicholas grew and he is still remembered in some countries on 6 December.
   In medieval England and for centuries afterwards, the figure of Father Christmas represented the spirit of benevolence and good cheer. In the 19th century, his role changed to something more like that of the European Saint Nicholas. At about the same time, Dutch emigrants took the story of a legendary gift-bringer called 'Sinterklaas' to America, where he eventually became known as Santa Claus.
   The names may be different, but there were enough similarities between all these symbolic personages to allow, by the early 20th century, Father Christmas, Santa, St Nick and others to merge. And the resulting 'right jolly old elf' is now the universally recognised symbol of Christmas.

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Early 20th Century

Gifts and shopping

   Gifts have been exchanged at Christmas and New Year for many centuries. By the early 20th century, the availability of a huge range of gifts for both children and adults had increased dramatically. The streets of London thronged with shoppers in the days up to Christmas, and the shops were open and ablaze with a riot of light and colour even on Christmas Eve.
   Manufacturers and shopkeepers both large and small were keen to capitalise on the commercial potential of Christmas. Gamages, a vast department store in Holborn, offered nearly 500 pages of gifts in their Christmas Bazaar catalogue of 1913.
Children's gifts proved a particularly lucrative market, and the sheer variety of games, toys and other gifts thrilled Christmas shoppers. Some gifts were considered suitable for both sexes. These included rocking horses, wooden farmyard animals, board games, picture and adventure books, magic tricks, Noah's Arks and mechanical or stuffed animals.
   In 1911, Gamages filled its window with stuffed animals made by Steiff, including the teddy bears which were hugely popular and became a symbol of the period. Other toys and games were targeted specifically at one sex or the other. For girls, skipping ropes and, of course, dolls were available in huge variety. Boys could expect toy soldiers and train sets.
   Some of these gifts were left under the Christmas tree, but small treats could be left in a stocking to be filled by Father Christmas. This custom was derived from a Dutch tradition, whereby children fill their shoes with straw as a gift for Saint Nicholas's horse, in the hope that sweets will be left as a reward for their thoughtfulness. If they were deemed to have been naughty, they received nothing.
Stockings were generally hung by the fireplace but were also left at the end of beds, as one boy living in Shoreditch, in East London, described in 1881:
'Woke up early in the morning ... found a crammed stocking hanging helplessly over the side of my bed, for the next 10 minutes busily engaged in ransacking its contents which were 2 bags of sweets, a pocket knife, oranges, almonds and raisins, packets of sweets and 2 jockie's caps ...'.

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World War Two

Making do
'In the present circumstances many people are asking, ought we celebrate Christmas at all? There can be no doubt that this is the very year when we should think, not less, but more about Christmas - not only as an escape from the horrors of war, but as a remembrance of nobler ideals.'
   So wrote the editor of the Picture Post in December 1939. People were encouraged to spend available money, either on National Savings Certificates and War Bonds to support the war effort, or on everyday goods to support commercial traders. Where possible, this seems to have been taken to heart, and although Christmas during wartime was a greatly reduced affair, the spirit of the season remained strong.
   Children regularly wrote to Father Christmas, and some families extended hospitality to those less fortunate than themselves. Their hope and kindness in a trying time proved that this exhortation from the Picture Post fell on receptive ears:
'And if we are merry at Christmas, we shall be showing the Nazis that we are winning the war of nerves, and maintaining the gallant spirit which has overcome the adversities which are no novelty to this windswept isle.'

   Good cheer abounded, but the Blitz did disrupt both Christmas celebrations and seasonal travel. Travel to family gatherings and even short shopping trips could be difficult. Rationing and the general lack of both luxury goods and daily foodstuffs meant that food preparation required patience and imagination. Sugar, butter, and eggs could only be acquired in small quantities, so substitutions, such as using grated carrots instead of sugar to sweeten cakes, were made.
    Home-made decorations, such as paper-chains, and any available artificial decorations were used to enliven the home and offer cheer - despite the constant threat of bombing. A small artificial tree was a great asset, as it could be easily transported to the bomb shelter as required. One East End family had one made of goose feathers, which could be decorated with tinsel and paper decorations.

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Magazines and the hostess
'Parties ... owe much of their success to the thought expended on food and drink. Even the impromptu need not take the hostess by surprise if the store cupboard is kept well-stocked with pastry shells in airtight tins and good supplies of canned and bottled delicacies.'
   So ran an article in Ideal Home in 1956, reflecting the general societal view that an ideal homemaker was also a gifted hostess, always prepared for visitors and a party and always wearing a gracious smile.
   The image of the housewife as 'happy homemaker' was powerful in the 1950s, and at no time was she under more pressure than at Christmas. The pressure to produce not only a perfect Christmas dinner but also several days' worth of festive meals and snacks was enormous. Advice came from all quarters: 'helpful' parents and in-laws, household manuals and popular magazines.
   Magazines such as Ideal Home and Good Housekeeping suggested ways to save money, short-cuts designed to enable the hostess to cut down on preparation time, and ideas for making entertaining both more exciting and easier. Despite this, playing the perfect hostess on top of other domestic duties was, it seems, a strain and the hostess often spent most of the party in the kitchen and most of the holidays exhausted!
   Cocktail parties were especially popular in the 1950s, and Christmas was a favourite time of year for such events. Drinks such as those seen in Hollywood movies were accompanied by inventive nibbles and hors d'oeuvres. The woman was expected to plan and organise these 'sophisticated' parties, prepare all the food and yet appear unruffled as the guests arrived. The man of the house had but one serious responsibility: to stock and run the bar.
   Larger parties with full meals were also expected and in 1959 hostesses were encouraged by Good Housekeeping to:
'... study recipe books. Not half an hour before a meal, but study them in odd moments just for pleasure and ideas. Look out for two or three culinary masterpieces to add an inspired, professional touch to your meal planning.'