In 1934, on behalf of the nation (and The Hoover Company) a certain Madame Schumann-Heink offered every husband in the country a little piece of her mind...
"Now is about the time you men begin to worry. To say to yourself, "Oh my! What on earth will I give my wife for her Christmas Present?"
Well if you have a good wife - and most wives are good- then you should not think of them only at Christmas, or maybe their wedding anniversary. But all the time, because they are your partners for better, or for worse.
So I say to you men, look back over the past year. Have you done all you could for tha good wife of yours. Have you made it easier for her to help raise your family? To make a place nice for you to go when you are through working?
Maybe you will want to give that wife jewellery or perfume. Or a nice new dress. Or a big, soft, easy chair- for you to sit in.
These are fine presents. She will love you for giving them.But there are some other things too which every wife should have. I know what I am talking about because I am a Mother- even a great-grandmother- and I am an old housekeeper too...
I mean those wonderful things that give your wife more time to take it easy and to play with the children, that leave her back not so tired at night and keep out those old wrinkles.
For instance I am wondering if your wife has a nice new electrical cleaner that keeps the house looking nice and clean? "
Well now Madame Schumann-Heink what a lovely idea, but I think you should be aware that I know women who would wrap the Hoover cord round that "thoughtful" husbands neck and stuff him with chives and an onion on Christmas Day if he shoved a present designed to "help her make a place nice for you when you are through working " down her stocking. Some women, you see, Madame, just don't know they are borne...
Now I have in the past been the recipient of both a food blender and a stock pot at Christmas. But here's the thing: I asked for them. It wasn't that said partner took a long hard look at me and thought, what she needs is an easier way of dicing carrots. Nope, No Siree. What actually happened was that I asked for a food blender and he looked at me sadly and agreed to buy it despite the fact that a set of saucy underwear would have been his gift of choice.
No wonder he left me!
So what's your take on this whole matter? Do you daydream about diamonds or a dishwasher? Would you, like my Mum, never again speak to a man who gave her something even remotely practical? Would an iron be a lovely little stocking filler or the height of all insults?
Should modern man listen to our Darling Madame Shumann-Heink or run a little wild at the jewelery counter?