The December 26, 1874 issue of Punch offered its holiday-weary readers a list of “Christmas Hampers” (written by “a Growler”), among which were found the following seasonal drawbacks:
The Christmas Snow and Rain in the streets
The Christmas Coals
The Christmas Rates and Taxes
The Christmas Country Cousins
The Christmas Nightmare after
The Christmas Family Quarrels, Buried Friendships, and Mournful Memories
A long list of Christmas-induced migraines, indeed. Toward the bottom of the list appears, however, a hamper apt literally to give the merry maker a splitting headache: “The Christmas Champagne of economic dinner-givers.”
Much better to serve a spicy punch, like this one from Mrs. Norton’s Cook-Book (1917), if one seeks to be both economical and hospitable.
Juice of six oranges, six lemons, two grapefruit, one grated pineapple, two cups of sugar melted in one cup of hot water then cooled, one cup of strong Ceylon tea; when all is chilled add four quarts of water turned over a block of ice in the punch bowl. Drain a small bottle of maraschino cherries, and float them on top with a few candied mint leaves.