It's 1902 and you're rich. What do you give your friends, siblings, spouse and or employees?

It’s kind of hard to think what would be appropriate back a hundred years.

Sister gets a fabulous mink coat.
Brother gets a new Cadillac.
The friends get an assortment of smoked meats cheeses, a bottle of cognac and a box of cigars.
The workers get a party with beer, food and a band.

Your turn for whomever you wish. Just stick to the period.

What do you give for Christmas?

I shall give all of my servants a pineapple along with their Christmas bonuses. Probally add a bottle of booze for butler and cook, and maybe a sherry for housekeeper.

Am I rich in money, or love (aka poor)?

If money, am I rich or filthy rich?

Usually, I would think, if I were rich my sister and brother would also be. Thus, they would appreciate a gift that was more thoughtful and personal than expensive.

Also, in 1907 a car was a hobby, not transportation. Only a very few people would actually want one. Not unlike a Model 1907 Cadillac would be today.

I am giving my sister a book that I really enjoyed and that I would like to share with her. I think she will like that better than a fur coat.

I started this post thinking about what Lord Peter Wimsey would give to Gerald and Mary at Christmas. I doubt if it would (necessarily) be expensive. I can’t imagine it would be fur coats and automobiles–he does give a fur coat to an informant once.

Stock in Standard Oil, across the board.

I can see you’d be terrible at buying gifts for my family. My brother would be into cars because that’s what he’s like. I have to admit I’d have no idea what to get the servants, but you weren’t telling me to get them something different.

Money. You can’t afford to buy a country. You’re not that rich. I didn’t say your relatives had any money beyond normal, and never intended them to be rich. You get to be generous.

I would have my curvy, starchy-yet-sexy English secretary ask them what they want, and then give them that. Then look into autogyro flights to Siam.

1907? If I had some connections I would pull some strings to get them all some nifty plastic doodad, maybe a plastic candle-holder or something.

Reno Nevada brought up 1907. This is Christmas 1902. It’s nice to plan ahead, but five years ahead is a bit much.

Like most rich people I’ve known have given to me, I’d give them advice on how to get rich, followed by “That’s how I did it and if I can do it, anyone can.”

Everyone gets to leave their jobs in my steel foundry and button factory a full thirty minutes early on Christmas Day. They will make it up with an additional hour labor on the 26th. This is not optional.

An onion for their belt. That was the style back then.

No, that was much later, about Nineteen-Dickety-Two.

A crate of oranges. My mother was born in 1913, and she and her siblings used to get oranges in their Christmas stockings. She said they were a rare treat back then. An entire crate would be an expensive luxury.

Or how about a ride in a biplane.

Oranges, pineapples and baked goods make a nice buffet for a Christmas party. But you know this year I want to do something really special.

This year I am going to borrow (or rent?) a couple of nice railcars and take everyone to Palm Springs.

Eccentric and expensive, but I am just sick of all the snow and cold.

The Wright Brothers didn’t fly at Kitty Hawk until 1906, so a biplane ride in 1902 would be out of the question.

Considering similar tastes in my family members then as today, I would get my father a set of golf clubs. My mother would get a painting of a religious nature. My brothers and sisters would receive wristwatches, My servants would each get a $10.00 gold piece. My employees would receive Christmas day off with pay.

So they’d have to take a hot air balloon ride instead.

Alot of people don’t realize that people had to say “dickety” bach then as the Kaiser had stolen the word twenty.

First class accommodations for everyone on the maiden voyage of the RMS Carpathia.

Good thing for my near and dear that it’s 1902. By 1912, they will have all tired of ostentatious transatlantic travel and they’ll be at me for automobiles, prairie houses and stock in AT&T.