Miss Abigail’s (timeless) Holiday Gift Ideas, Vol. IV

Trying to figure out what to get that hard-to-shop-for relative? Welcome to the fourth annual collection of gift ideas. This year, more than ever, many are seeking comfort in books, but you’re probably stumped about what your family might like to read. Miss Abigail, nonfiction book wiz, is here to help.

The advertisements following were found in the back of some of my old books.




“Westland’s Tocology for Mothers”: “Indispensible to every wife and mother,” reads the ad, and I’d have to agree. What mom wouldn’t love to read about all of this fun stuff? [ca. 1908]

“Daddy Must Leave Tobacco on Shelf”:Dad, please give the gift of your life and health to your children. Order this pamphlet today and stop smoking before your daughter starts speaking like this! [ca. 1920]

“A Book About the Pet Canary” would be fitting for just about any family member. Junior might not be ready for the responsibility of a puppy, but might enjoy raising a bird, or granny may find comfort in the company of a canary while grandad is off playing golf at the country club. [ca. 1908]

“Dr. Foote’s White Lily Sanitary Tampons”: This one isn’t a book, but what teenage girl doesn’t want tampons for Christmas? Makes a perfect stocking stuffer. [ca. 1908]

“Better than Beauty”: OK, that last one wasn’t fair. Here’s a “blessing” that sis will really appreciate. [1933]

“Hair Culture”: Last but not least, dad or grandpa will certainly enjoy this exciting read. The caption for the illustration above reads “You would not think to look at Mr. Macfadden’s luxuriant growth of hair that at one time he was in grave danger of becoming bald.” Is your father in danger? Get this book at once! [1923]