Dreaming of a Silver Christmas: A Holiday Shopping Guide by Irving J. Silvertoad

Written by  //  December 8, 2009  //  The Dormitory  //  3 Comments

There is something I have that distinguishes me from all others. That something is my extraordinary taste. Also my dashing looks, incredible verbal abilities, great wealth, and nearly tangible sexual appeal. But my amazing taste is what I would like to display today in deference to the season. Many of my friends and acquaintances ask me every season how to shop for their loved ones and those they feel obligated to shop for during the Christmas season and I thought I would make my advice open to all readers of these pages.

Firstly, if at all possible, have one of your servants do all of your shopping. I would never allow them to choose anything themselves, as the taste and abilities of the poor are barely above those of the common house dog who gladly devours his own waste. I instead supply them with a very specific list of exactly what I need for whom and I am certain to include clippings and drawings of the various items so that they need not be reminded of their inability to read. Occasionally, I will include a note for the shop keep’s benefit to be sure that my servant does not ruin the wares or get the wrong size or some other way allow the filth under their fingernails blemish the joy of the season.

If that does not work for whatever reason, whether one does not have adequate servants or if they are ill-equipped for anything other than dipping matches and shoveling coal, I will suggest sending out one’s wife to do the shopping. I tell my friends not to hesitate to send their wives out to buy gifts that will be eventually given to them under the gentle boughs of the Christmas tree as women do not have minds which are capable of remembering anything of consequence for more than a very short span of time. They are also naturally not very curious or inquisitive and their minds are unable to grasp that the sewing machine they bought under instruction is the same one they are unwrapping.

Having said all of that, let us speak of specific gifts.



There is little women love more than something useful that helps them to feel as if they have a purpose beyond pleasing their man. I find that giving them a new needle and thread kit will not only bring them joy and something to consume some of their ample free time but will also help them to mend their dresses and aprons so that they do not have to dip into our pockets for new clothes.

I have also been suggesting friends purchase their brides a new rug beating baton. This is a practical and wondrous gift that not only beats rugs ably, but it is also ideal for disciplining children.

There is a marvelous new chemical wonder called chloroform. This wondrous elixir is gently blotted upon a lace handkerchief and then set upon the nose for a peaceful rest. One so treated will absolutely submit to anything a husband desires in his God given privilege without complaint. It is a gift that continually gives year round.

One can also ask a woman what they want for Christmas. However, their wistful small minds will undoubtedly suggest something superfluous and frivolous like a necklace or a warmer coat. These triflings are not to be supplied or encouraged. After all, a woman who is given jewelry for Christmas will begin to believe she is entitled to such things on her birthday as well. And a warmer coat? Perhaps if she used that rug beating baton more vigorously that would warm her up!



One should keep a similar philosophy as when shopping for one’s wife. There is nothing children love more than a gift that suits them and their personal potential. I insist that we give our sons as many toy guns and Greco-Roman wrestling manuals as possible to prepare them for the rigors of Manliness.

Little girls do not require gifts.



I often give my servants gifts and those gifts are the fact that I allow them to stay in my employ despite their intellectual and evolutionary defects. I have taken to giving them bottles and jars of inexpensive perfumes and ointments. They tend to find these gifts actually quite wonderful. Little do they realize with their tiny minds that these are ultimately gifts for me! The more they use the ointments and perfumes the less I will have to smell them!

Servants are also, during the holidays, given access to my personal table scraps and clothing which I now find hideous to the eye. These are lessons I have taken directly from Christ, our Lord, who showed us that to be charitable is divine. And I am nothing if not a little bit more like the divine than my servants. The least I can do is let them pick at the bones of my Christmas goose. Speaking of charity . . .



I pay taxes. They support and help to build the poor houses. I feel this is adequate.



Christmas at Donnybrook Manor, Last Year

There is no one better to show your love and generosity to than to your close friends. This year I am giving each and every one the most precious and valuable gift I can think of and I advise all of my friends to do the same. I have told various things I want ranging from a new gold fountain pen to an ivory laid pocket watch to a case of Chateau Lafitte 1894. My advice to them is not one sided as this year I will be giving each of them a bound selection of my writings, each one signed by myself personally. Or, if not personally, I will train one of my servants to imitate my signature and that will suffice for friends who give me lesser gifts.



If there is one thing I know about mistresses it is that there is little more they like than being told little white lies like that you love them. I heap these small gifts upon them amply. After all, they cost nothing!

For those unfortunates who have contributed a bastard with these ladies, I suggest giving the child a small memento that they will treasure and keep forever. Perhaps a pocket knife or an engraved time piece. For real fun, however, have the gift engraved and then signed with the name of one of your friends! This is a lark that will present itself years later as they track down their “father” and you will be able to laugh and chortle knowing the truth!

Mistresses also like chloroform.

About the Author

Irving J. Silvertoad

Irving J. Silvertoad is Donnybrook's man-about-town: bon vivant from the 1920’s and vehement hater of Robbie Bowman.

View all posts by

3 Comments on "Dreaming of a Silver Christmas: A Holiday Shopping Guide by Irving J. Silvertoad"

  1. Irving J. Silvertoad December 8, 2009 at 10:27 am · Reply

    I can’t help but notice that Angora’s picture is at the end of this column, implying that a woman wrote it. Two questions: first, how could any woman write something so wondrous and second, how did she manage to do so when I specifically remember sending her a case of chloroform?

  2. Father Guido Sarducci IV
    Guido Sarducci IV December 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm · Reply


    “Perhaps if she used that rug beating baton more vigorously that would warm her up!”

  3. Sid Pink January 8, 2010 at 1:01 am · Reply

    I have no idea how I missed this, other than it went up on my birthday…? That’s a lame excuse.
    This is, naturally and as expected, brilliant.
    Hear! Hear!

Leave a Comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

comm comm comm