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Victorian Gift-Giving Traditions

December 6, 2011
By Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum , OVParent

Most of us are used to finding our gifts wrapped in festive paper and tied up with ribbons under the tree, and maybe finding some treats left in a stocking. But did you know that more than 100 years ago, the way in which a gift was given was enjoyed just as much as the gift itself? Try these fun Victorian ways of distributing gifts this year.

Cobweb Game

Criss-cross a room with lengths of colored yarn, winding under and around furniture, over top of windows and doorways - the game can even wind through several rooms. Each person follows the colored yarn assigned to him or her, finding small gifts along the way, until reaching a big present at the end.

Holiday Pie

A clever Victorian method of distrubuting small gifts - presents with different colored ribbons attached are placed in a pie dish, covered with sawdust (you can use confetti or fake snow), and placed in the center of the dinner table. Each person, beginning with the youngest, draws his or her gift out of the "pie" by pulling the ribbon that matches the color of the ribbon used to tie their napkin.



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