I started another new project, but I am going to keep working on it today since we have a friend coming over for dinner and I've been cleaning all day. (Must call cleaners!) I'll show you that new start tomorrow.
I did promise also to share with you some interesting nineteenth century ideas about the new year. We were perhaps wondering where all the presents were on Christmas...but we find them instead on New Year's Day.
On New Year's Day not only the children, but ladies, young and old, receive presents, not only from their relatives and friends, but from all their acquaintances. And these presents are not merely fanciful trifles, but articles proportioned to the wealth, refinement and taste of the persons who receive them. They vary from Brussels' lace and Cashmere shawls to a simple but elegant bonbonniere--a beautiful paper box, filled with sugar plums. "That is a matter of a few cents," think some of my readers; but they are mistaken. They cannot buy a decent thing of the kind under a Napoleon--and some costs as high as a hundred francs...
The day is nevertheless a great gala, and serves to rekindle many a feeling that lay dormant during the year, and would have died entirely but for their resurrection le jour de l'an. Friends and acquaintances remember each other, and shake hands; women are pleased to look with complaisance on those who make them presents and men are made aware, (if they forgot it during the year,) that women are dear creatures, who expect to be made happy at our hands...The French, like all southern people, are eminently a people of the senses; their impressions are vivid, and received directly from nature or the things that immediately surround them, without passing through the magnifying lens of the imagination. The northern people of Europe may keep Christmas eve, and feast the living and the dead; the French have "a happy New Year." They express their wishes to each other in direct language, shake hands, kiss, embrace, and make merry for the rest of the evening. "Christmas and New Year in France and Germany," Francis J. Grund. Godeys' Magazine and Lady's Book. January 1848; 36 p 8