The short life of a Christmas tree

by Melinda

The primary theme of this blog and website is to enjoy an olde-fashioned Christmas.  Today’s post shares some holiday traditions and lifestyles from the late 1800’s and very early 1900’s.

Today you’ll read a verse that’s 111 years old and is about the life of a Christmas tree.  This Christmas verse was originally published in December 1900 in the New York Daily Tribune. 

Enjoy this flavor of times gone by.

“His First and Last Christmas”

Trim the Old Year a Christmas tree,
He’ll not be with us very long,
Make his last week a merry one,
With laughter, dancing, and with song.

His tastes are fine, and you all know,
That Pinaud’s Perfumes suit him well,
Let’s give him some of every kind,
Which he loves best we none can tell.

A bottle of Pinaud’s Tonique,
And one of Extrait Vegetal,
And all the perfumes Pinaud makes,
At Christmas time, give him we shall.

Perhaps to others, ere he dies,
These treasures he may give away,
Give to the friends he loves the best,
In memory of this happy day.

Mid blossoms sweet, his head laid low,
The Old Year lies, his work all done,
His Christmas gifts from Ed Pinaud,
Left to the heir, young Nineteen-One.


Pinaud perfume (circa 1891)

To help you understand the verse a bit better, Pinaud was a famous brand of perfume. Edouard Pinaud was a Frenchman with a quest for perfection who became a Master Parfumer.  His perfume products (for men and women) were a household name and he was also a major exporter to the United States. 

From what I’ve read I’m guessing that the working class could not afford Pinaud perfume.  It was perhaps even a challenge for the middle class. 

Anyway, the other Christmas tradition to remember is that in the Victorian era many Christmas gifts were placed in the tree – resting on branches – for people to find.  So this lavishly adorned tree in our verse may have been “presenting” very special gifts of perfume to the family.

Pinaud Eau de Toilette (circa 1900)

Take care and I’ll see you again in June. (Remember: In the “off season” I only post once a month.)

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