WHAT shall we give them? As sure as June comes around, thousands of uncles, aunts, cousins and best friends frantically search for shower or wedding gifts and wish they themselves were gifted with second sight. Of course if you can afford to present a new car or a house and lot, you’re all set; but most of us haven’t so much to spend, and welcome a few helpful hints on solving the problem.
Every bride, even the fluffiest, most ornamental of them, is a practical person when it comes to equipping her new home. She’s tickled to death over something for her kitchen, thrilled by appointments for her table, and proud as Punch if her linen closet is well stocked.
So there’s a lead for you—or rather three of them. And here’s a list to help you choose—keeping in mind, of course, your favorite bride’s tastes, preferences and needs for the new home.
Gifts for the Table
TAKE the trouble to find out her favorite patterns in silver, china or glass, and give her what she likes. Then she won’t have to keep your gift on the top shelf to be hurriedly brought down and dusted when she hears you’re in town.
Silver—You can’t go wrong if you give her flatware, anything from a berry spoon to a complete service in a tarnishproof chest. Or she'll love you for any one of these pieces of silver: Tea and coffee service, hot or cold water jugs, trays or platters (any size at any price), entree dishes, carving set with rests for the knife and fork, relish dishes, compote dishes, cake plates, gravy boats, sauce or mayonnaise dishes, fruit bowl, ice bucket with tongs, salt and pepper shakers, teapot stand, rose bowl, dinner gong or bell, candlesticks, place card holders, or a pair of table napkin rings.
China—Top the list, if you wish, with the fine chinas in both traditional and modern patterns, but let's not overlook the less expensive ones which add a smart note to any table. Several of you might like to chip in and buy her a complete dinner, breakfast or tea set, or for an individual gift any one of these would be a hit number: Tray set (for Sunday breakfast in bed), teapot, coffeepot, water jug (hot or cold), odd cups and saucers, after-dinner
coffee cups, cream and sugar set, service plates, cake plates, muffin dish, salad service-bowl, plates and servers, soup tureen, gravy boat, relish disn, jam pot, butter dish, cheese dish or tray, egg cups or table ornaments.
G lass— Nowadays clear crystal is the popular style note for the smartest tables. But if your pet bride is carrying out some special color harmony, glassware in one of the new delicate tones—blue, green, topaz, amber, rose-pink and purple— would be just the thing to complete the picture.
Mother and grandmother had glassware in sets of six or twelve, but the 1940 bride
likes eight of everything. This isn’t too much to store, yet it looks after two tables of bridge or as big a luncheon or dinner party as she’s likely to undertake in today’s smaller dining room. If you’re at all sceptical of her husband’s dishwashing ability or temper, you might give her ten to allow for accidents.
Any one of these would be a four-star gift: a set of goblets, sherbets, tumblers, cocktail glasses, iced tea glasses, beverage sets (for porch or garden use), plates for salad, dessert, bread and butter—even soup—compote dish, relish dish, nut dishes, salts and peppers, vinegar or oil, ashtrays, table ornaments such as candle-
sticks, flower vases and mirrors, coffeepot, teapot, casserole or pie plates of heatproof glass.
Table Linen—If you want the bride to think you’re a grand person, give her linens. Take into account the size of her new home and the amount of formal and informal entertaining she is likely to do. Lovely linens will be a constant delight whether she sets her table for two or for half the world and his wife.
Here’s a wardrobe for the welldressed table, so jot down the list before you start on that bewildering shopping tour.
One fancy dinner cloth (eight napkins to match), large or small according to her needs. Would she like damask, heavy lace or embroidered linen?
Two sets of place mats. She’ll like these because they’re smart on her table and because they’re so easy to launder. They come in lace or linen for the more formal occasions; in novelty cotton weaves, homespuns, cork, fibre, Cellophane, and even waterproofed paper, for breakfasts, lunches, suppers or outdoor meals. The colors are soft or gay, the designs everything from florals to pink elephants.
One or more luncheon sets (napkins to match). Some of the newest cloths are organdie and sheer linens in white and lovely pastel shades.
Two breakfast cloths—for a gay good morning. They come in all the colors of the rainbow—stripes, checks, flowers, all-over prints and all one shade. It’s almost as much fun to choose as use them.
Bridge tea sets (cloth and napkins). If she’s a bridge fiend she’ll never have too many of these. But even if bridge isn’t her favorite indoor sport, they’ll come in handy for Sunday suppers and fireside teas.
One silence cloth or protective mat; asbestos or rubber table mats. These will protect her polished table effectively. Good shower gifts.
Gifts for the Linen Closet
TINENS are the pride and joy of all brides - to - be, and a closet well stocked with the following will give her the feeling that all’s well with the world.
Bedroom Linens—Four sheets for each bed. Don’t let them be skimpy; double bed sheets should be about 90 x 108 inches, single 54 x 108 inches torn length— to allow for shrinkage and tucking in. .
Four pillowcases for each pillow—plain, hemstitched or embroidered. With white or colored borders. Two blankets or quilts for each bed; one spread for each bed—in satin; candlewick, chenille, or the new cotton spreads which come in wide varieties of patterns and colors; two pillows for each bed; one mattress pad for each bed.
Bathroom Linens—When it comes to towels there just can’t be too many. You can get them in all sizes, plain or fancy, white or colored, with monograms, initials,
or the tricky new ones marked “His” and “Hers”—what next! Matching sets consisting of bath towels, hand towels, face cloths and bath mats make smart as well as practical gifts. Here’s what she’ll need.
Six or more hand towels for each person ; six or more bath towels for each person— firmly woven, absorbent and soft; six to twelve guest towels; six to eight fingertip towels; four or more face cloths for each person; two bath mats.
Gifts for the Kitchen
Electrical Appliances—Day-in, dayout gifts these. For they’re used any time from the crack of dawn to long past midnight. Toaster—for the proper degree of crispness and color; coffee-maker—for clear, fragrant, delicious brew; waffle iron —for leisurely breakfasts, for desserts and late snacks; sandwich toaster—another aid to easy entertaining; food mixer—blends, beats and whips, and generally makes life easier; iron—a pretty smooth gift; kitchen clock—no excuse for late meals and a cross husband.
Pots and Pans—“If ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no work for tinkers.” But as they’re not, and as there’s still plenty of work for the housekeeper, here are some gift suggestions to make it easier going in the kitchen—roasting pan, steamer, heatproof glass and pottery casserole dishes, custard cups, double boilers, pie plates, frying pans and saucepans.
For Baking—There never was a bride living who didn’t love a kitchen shower or wouldn’t appreciate one of these: cake
tins, muffln tins, pie plates, baking dishes, mixing bowls, cookie sheets, cookie press, cookie cutters, thermometers (for roasting meat, for deep fat frying and candy making), rolling pin (for baking, not to use on
her husband), bake board, flour sifter, egg
beater, cutting board, meat grinder, scales.
A place for everything and everything in its place is a proverb that needs living up to more than ever in today’s two-by-four apartments. These would be a help to spick and spanness: recipe file, cutlery rack, set of bowls, set of food covers, refrigerator dishes (to store perishable left-overs safely, conveniently and compactly), set of containers for “Sugar and spice and all things nice.” Clean-up gifts are prosaic but useful ; dish pan and mop, dish drainer, rubber sink mat (helps to eliminate noise and breakage in dish washing), towel rack, garbage pail.
Especially for Showers—Paper is appropriate for the first anniversary, but this year’s bride will need these long before that*-waxed paper, paper towels, cookery parchment, shelf paper, memo pads, baking cups, pie plates, recipe cards or book.
Give her gadgets if you want an easy, inexpensive and practical shower. The party can provide a lot of fun, and the recipient gets a lot of value if you give her any of these—measuring spoons and cups, fruit juicers, spatulas and lifters, wooden spoons, pastry blender, pastry brush, pastry tube, vegetable and bottle brushes, openers for cans and bottles, graters, strainers (fine and coarse), potato masher or ricer, rubber dish scraper, egg sheer, scoops (small for melon or potato balls, larger ones for your sugar and fiour tins), fruit corer, string container, vegetable shredder, scissors, tongs, knife sharpener.
Dish towels in gay colors, checks, stripes and quaint designs—she’ll take almost as much pride in these as in her finer linens. We are suggesting for her kitchen: Eighteen dishtowels; six dish cloths; four oven cloths or pot holders; six dusting cloths; two to three floor cloths; one chamois (for the windows) ; linen or paper hand towels.
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