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New Toys From Old

Sleighs and reindeer give way to
trucks and motors, as thousands
of modern Santa Clauses every-
where take over the joyful task
of scattering Christmas cheer!

mending and toy-distributing campaign just before Christmas. A description of the ways in which these volunteer "Santa Clauses" work in several communities will be helpful to those groups who want to see that every child has something in his stocking on Christmas morning.

Washington Is "Toy-Minded"!

They say that too many cooks spoil the broth, but numbers of cooks contributed to the Playground Santa Claus Shop in Washington, D. C., last year, each mixing in his own special ingredient to make a perfect dish.

At the outset the Department of Playgrounds, of which Sibyl Baker is Director, and the Congress of Parents and Teachers were designated by the Council of Social Agencies to collect, repair and distribute toys to needy children. The gifts. were to be distributed through requisitions from the Central Christmas Committee.

and clothing. At many of the stations firemen mended and painted the toys before delivering them to the Santa Claus Shop. The toys were delivered to the Shop from the firehouses in trucks, and the Premier Taxi Company visited over 1,224 homes in a toy-collecting campaign. In order to assure the sanitary condition of the toys, the Arcade Sunshine Laundry disinfected and cleaned over 200 cloth dolls and animals.

The toys collected from homes and from the firehouses were not the only sources of gifts. Various individuals and companies contributed money and toys; children from one school sent 21 dolls and 191 other toys, while another school donated 100 dogs and 100 dolls. Girls on the District playgrounds dressed 250 dolls for the Toy Shop. At the peak of the work of repairing dolls, a group of WPA seamstresses spent two weeks dressing dolls, and two generous volunteers each dressed fifteen dolls in exquisitely made clothes. Fifteen men from the WPA sorted, repaired, painted and shipped toys.

Through the toy matinee conducted on December 12th at Loew's Capital Theater with the cooperation of the Washington Post, the Play

The H. L. Rust Company lent a building to ground Santa Claus Shop received approximately house the toy

shop, which was supervised by the playground engineer and his assistant. The Washington Herald installed four telephones and arranged for gas and electric service. Fortyfour fire stations acted as receiving stations for donations of toys,

staple foods

Courtesy Pasadena Department of Recreation

2,500 toys, dolls and gifts. The People's Drug Store put boxes for donation in their stores and

the Terminal

Taxi Cab Company collected them and brought them in. The drug company also sent in 105 broken dolls out of which the repair crew made 50 good dolls.

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The Midnight Treasure Hunt, conducted by the Washington Herald Globe Trotter, in cooperation with Station WOL and RKO Keith's Theater, furnished a great deal of fun to participants and produced approximately 300 toys, 700 articles of staple foods, 300 cakes of soap and much used clothing.

To supplement the donations of the city, the Playground Santa Claus Fund received donations amounting to $1,800 from the Washington Herald, $410 from the Washington Post and $39 from other groups. These funds were expended for clothing and gifts for boys and girls over twelve. Dolls also had to be purchased as donations alone do not fill the city's needs.

All requisitions for toys, either to families or to agencies, were cleared through the Christmas Registration Bureau of the Council of Social Agencies. The Council forwarded requisitions for toys for 2,229 children to the Toy Shop, the toys to be distributed through hospitals, recreation centers and various other agencies. Other persons and agencies submitted names to the Shop, including directors of playgrounds and recreation centers. A number of generous people asked to be allowed to carry Christmas to some individual family and many volunteers helped in the work. The playground staff also gave all its free time during the month of December in carrying out the program.

To distribute the gifts required the services of a fleet of trucks and volunteer cars working from December 15 until late on Christmas Eve, but when Christmas Day came, the Playground Santa Claus Shop was able to say that nearly 2,600 families representing 8,150 children had been served with suitable gifts and a Christmas greeting and every request referred to it had been met.

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shops were set up. Working materials were solicited from industries, stores and homes, the Relief Administration provided instructors, and the Community Fund sent out 15,000 notices inviting families to come to the nearest shop to make use of its facilities and materials in making Christmas gifts for their families. Tools were borrowed, rented or brought by the families that used the shops. Schools and civic clubs lent their aid where needed, and cooperation with the Family Welfare Society was fundamental.

Fathers and big brothers made bookshelves, sewing cabinets, children's desks and doll houses. Mothers made gingham dogs and cats, special articles of clothing and new outfits for their little girls' old but mended dolls. Everybody, including the children, made toys. Boys and girls enrolled in the agencies were used for a variety of tasks in organizing and operating the shops, which were managed by group leaders under a joint committee. The crafts and vocation training of the Boy and Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls and Girl Reserves was used effectively to interpret their program of community service. Boy Scouts with merit badges in printing printed the invitations; others, working for their merit badge in photography photographed them at work, making excellent photographs for news pictures. Girls taught other girls at the "Putter Shops" to crochet or knit simple gifts for Christmas, or demonstrated the making of inexpensive candy or cookies. Boy Scouts repairing and rebinding books would make a good exhibit at any season.

Collecting Toys for a County

Each year in Westchester County, New York, hundreds of boys and girls, through the Recreation Commission, contribute Yuletide gifts to their less fortunate neighbors. Since early summer discarded playthings have been piling up in the workshop where they are to be repaired, for boys and girls are urged to make a thorough search of their attics and playrooms. All manner of toys, large or small, but especially dolls and wheel toys, are welcomed in no matter what state of disintegration they may be. Amateur carpenters and seamstresses, supervised by skilled workers, will have so transformed the old playthings as to make them look and work like new.

The project whereby children in institutions and boarding homes are made happy each Christmas is conducted jointly by three agencies: the Westchester County Recreation Commission which col

NEW TOYS FROM OLD

lects and reconstructs the old toys; the Westchester Children's Association which provides necessary materials and other assistance, and the County's Department of Child Welfare which takes care of the distribution. Local recreation commissions conduct similar projects in a number of county communities.

When Christmas Eve comes around a corps of trucks and private automobiles will carry about 3,500 presents to the county's underprivileged children.

A "Mile of Dimes"

The Public Recreation Commission of Cincinnati, Ohio, raised about $3,500 for Christmas toys for children in relief families with a "Mile of Dimes" campaign. A portion of downtown Government Square was set aside for the purpose and everyone passing was asked to add a dime to make the mile. A mile equalled $3,000, so the goal was more than reached. Approximately 20,000 children were provided with toys, about 15,000 of which were received from the Board of Education, the toys being made by children in the upper grades and high schools in the manual training and domestic science classes. "It was a real thrill to us," writes a staff member of the Commission, "to help distribute some of the toys and see the joy of the children when they received the beautiful dolls, wagons, kiddie cars and other toys which were to be theirs. Some of them had never before had a toy."

A Community Toy Stack

The distribution of toys in Palo Alto, California, was carried on under the name, "The Times-Community Toy Stack." School nurses, doctors, the Red Cross, the East Palo Alto Relief Association, the Menlo Park Red Cross, ministers, and neighbors were responsible for the list of families. The Toy Stack had the packages delivered to the homes as they came from the store, each package marked with a child's name. Practically all the work was voluntary, money given being used for materials for repairing and for gifts suitable for older children. Many toys were put in repair by the firemen of Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Hundreds of Thousands of Toys!

A trip around the country with the WPA last year would have shown hundreds of workshops rivaling that of Santa himself. Altogether

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30,000 workers and 725,000 toys were involved throughout the nation. Let us look into one of the states to see what was done.

California had a machine shop to make parts for mechanical toys which were broken. WPA trucks collected broken toys from tops to tricycles, which, when mended, were like new. A professional costume designer planned native European costumes for some of the dolls.

In the District of Columbia, WPA workers assisted the Department of Playgrounds in repairing toys for Christmas.

In Indiana, sewing projects employed 120 persons in making soft toys. On sixty-two recreation projects workers made toys of wood, metal and rubber. Merchants donated boxes, paint and upholstering material to make toy furniture. Women workers stayed after hours and cut patterns to make toys at home for their own children.

One hundred and one workers in Minnesota made and repaired a total of 16,600 dolls and toys for Christmas. Expert doll repair work was carried on in a project at St. Paul. The project even boasted a curling iron which was used to transform straggly hair into delicate curls. More than 1,000 sleds were donated to the toy mending project.

The toys made and mended by approximately 900 workers in Mississippi were distributed from Community Christmas trees planned by the Federal Music Project and the Recreation Division. Parents helped in selecting suitable toys for their children.

In Texas more than 100 men and women, most of them past 50 years of age or physically handicapped, were given temporary employment on toy projects.

Wisconsin specialized in educational toys and

dolls.

In an article in the December 1936 issue of the Kiwanis Magazine, Dr. Irving E. Miller suggests the principles involved in selecting toys for little children. They should be gay-"the bright and rapidly moving things that delight the eye; the noise-making things, however crude, that excite the ear; the host of simple things that provide abundant opportunities for touch and muscle sense." Playthings must involve activity-activity in which the child participates, in which he gets the joy of being a cause, and experiences the power of control.

Preparing for Christmas Celebrations

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USIC, DRAMA, pageantry and dancing-each will play its part in the Christmas celebrations to be held in large cities and small hamlets throughout America. Many civic groups and city officials are looking for material to help them in preparing for Christmas observances which may be elaborate or very simple. Here are some sources of information which may be helpful for community groups.

Christmas Plays, Pageants and Festivals

The Boy Who Found the King by Marguerite Kreger Phillips. A Christmas play in three episodes, adapted from the story of the same name by Raymond McDonald Alden. 10 men, 5 women, extras. A play that exemplifies humility. A beautiful story which has been converted into a striking play. Samuel French, 35¢. Royalty $5.00.

Christmas and the New Year by Nina B. Lamkin. A book of usable program material for these two holiday celebrations, including a brief historical background of Christmas and the New Year, also the dramatization "Christmas Through the Ages," a program in which the holiday customs of six different countries are dramatized and the carols of these lands are sung. Samuel French. 50¢.

The Christmas Caravan by Edith Wathen. An interesting festival which will meet the needs of those looking for a holiday production introducing music, songs and dances, calling for large groups of children of different ages. The story centers around an elderly man who travels around the world with his puppet children in a gaily painted cart. The Christmas Crêche is the culmination of his puppet master's art. The author has included notes on the various phases of production—costumes, properties, music and the like. Walter H. Baker Co. 35¢.

Christmas Pageants, including (1) "The Old, Old Story" arranged in a series of shadow tableaux which are presented to the accompaniment of appropriate Christmas music and the reading of Bible verse. This pageant has great possibilities and is suitable for presentation by adults and young people. (2) "A Christmas Pageant," in which the narrative is carried by familiar carols. Music and lighting play important parts. May be given by children of all ages. (3) “A Christmas Carol Comes to Life," an easy pageant for children to give. (4) "A Christmas Ballad" to be acted in pantomime by young children. Service Bureau, Woman's Home Companion. 15¢.

The Lighting of the Christmas Tree adapted from a story of Selma Lagerlof by Josephine Palmer and Annie L. Thorp. 3 men, 2 women, 2 small boys. A beautiful legendary play. For experienced players. Samuel French. 35. Royalty $5.00.

The Little Princess Who Traveled Far to Worship the King

by Dorothy R. Schenck. A nativity play in one scene. 6 men, 2 women, unseen chorus. Womans Press. 35¢.

No Room at the Inn by Esther E. Olson. A one-act drama. 2 men, 1 woman, 1 child. The story of a child's handmade crooked-mouthed lamp which lights the way for the Christ Child in the lowly manger of Bethlehem. Walter H. Baker Co. 35¢.

On Christmas Eve by Constance D'Arcy Mackay. A short fantasy in one act for young people. 11 characters. On Christmas Eve a lonely child is visited by story-book people. Samuel French. 30¢. Royalty $2.00.

A Painting for the Duchess by Marion Holbrook. A Christmas play in one act. 5 men, 5 women and 6 children. Basil, a young artist, who is asked by his patroness, the Duchess, to paint a picture of the Madonna, neglects his assignment. When she calls and finds nothing but a blank canvas Basil is saved from ruin by a miracle. Dramatic Publishing Co. 354.

Santa Claus' Busy Day by Z. Hartman. A play in one act. 13 boys, 11 girls. The toy makers who go on strike a few days before Christmas are persuaded to go back to work in time to get the toys ready for distribution. Fitzgerald Publishing Corp. 25¢.

The Star Gleams by Florence Lewis Speare. There are often inquiries for Christmas programs calling for large casts of characters and few rehearsals, which are simple, dignified and moving in nature. Here is a pageant which meets many of these qualifications. The old story is told entirely in pantomime, with singing by choristers and the audience. The scene is laid before the doors of a church or some other suitable building. Complete notes for production have been included. Samuel French. 35¢.

Three Christmas Pageants of Other Lands by Helen P. Curtis and Jeanne H. Curtis. A collection of three children's pageants based on typical Christmas customs of France, Italy and England, presented in outline form, and depending entirely upon pantomime and music to carry the narrative. Adaptable for simple or elaborate production. Music suggestions included. Woman's Home Companion. 15¢.

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"'Like that first great Christmas carol
sung amid the stars above the plain of
Judaea, some of its sweetest echoes on
earth have sung in the open air,' so
writes Harold Vincent Milligan. Stroll-
ing bands of minstrels and troups of
little children going from door to door,
in the streets and highways of Old Eng-
land, scattered these songs throughout
the land, and from the high tide of their
popularity in the days of Richard Coeur
de Lion till the Reformation, down to
the present day, songs and singers have
voiced the joy of the holiday season."—
Alfred C. Hottes in 1001 Christmas
Facts and Fancies.

The Wandering Artisan by W. Marlin Butts. A simple play in two short scenes. 4 men, 2 of whom are boys around fifteen years of age. The story is based upon the legend of the Christmas Child who visits one who is worthy to receive Him on the night before Christmas. Offers great possibilities for special, yet simple, lighting effects. W. Marlin Butts. 35¢ single copy, $1.00 four copies. Production rights granted with purchase of four copies.

What, No Santa Suit! by Mary Cunningham. A short oneact comedy. 3 men, 3 women. When Henry finds that he is unable to rent a Santa suit he im

PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS

provises one. His expedients are desperate and funny. Dramatic Publishing Co. 35¢.

The Woodcutter's Christmas by Linwood Taft. 2 adults, 5 children. A play in 3 short acts, centering around a woodcutter's family at holiday time. A strange child is found in the woods and accepted by the family. On Christmas morning the child mysteriously disappears, and in just as mysterious a manner the woodcutter's children find the gifts they wanted most. Eldridge Entertainment House. 25¢.

The Woolly Lamb of God by F. Fraser Bond. A play in one act. 14 men, 2 women, a boy of 6 or 7 and a little girl. A well-written play treating the nativity story in a new and interesting way. The story centers around the small son of a Shepherd who goes with his father to adore the Christ Child and gives Him his own toy lamb. Samuel French. 35¢. Royalty $5.00.

Yuletide in Other Lands and the Hanging of the Greens. Two ceremonies for Christmas time. The first is a series of tableaux bringing in customs of many countries, with carols and hymns in which the audience may join. The second is a ceremony to use when the Christmas greens are hung. Womans Press. 20¢.

Yuletide Wakes, Yuletide Breaks by Dorothy Gladys Spicer. A Christmas revel centering around episodes in which eleven nationalities are represented. The author includes full directions for production. May be as elaborate as one desires. Womans Press. 35¢.

Source Material for Original Pageants
and Programs

Christmas, a holiday rich in stories and legends, celebrated by every country in its own way, offers great possibilities for the writing of original pageants and festivals based on these interesting and traditional themes. A few references for such source material are noted.

Carols, Customs and Costumes Around the World compiled by Herbert H. Wernecke. A collection of 32 carols of 21 peoples, with music. In addition information has been included on the Christmas customs of these people together with a number of pictures and descriptions of several native costumes. Old Orchard Book Shoppe. 50¢.

Old World Christmas Customs compiled by Marian Schibsby. A 13-page mimeographed bulletin offering fairly detailed and interestingly written information about the holiday customs and rites of people of Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Syria, Ukrania, Yugoslavia and the Scandinavian countries. Also includes traditional holiday greetings in each language. This bulletin would be of considerable help to anyone preparing a Christmas program or pageant centering around any of the countries noted. Foreign Language Information Service. 25¢. 1001 Christmas Facts and Fancies by Alfred Carl Hottes. A comprehensive book on the subject of Christmas offering a wealth of authoritative material for pageants and holiday entertainments. Includes in its contents chapters devoted to the Story of Christmas, Personalities of Christmas, the Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Legends, Other Legends of Christmas, Christmas Around the World, as well as many other chapters. A. T. De La Mare Co., Inc. $2.50.

The Story of Christmas by R. J. Campbell, D.D. A book presenting the Christmas story in both its ancient and modern settings. The author has included information about old Christmas customs, the origin of the Christmas tree, and holiday stories, carols (words) and verse. Macmillan Co. $3.00.

Christmas Carols

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A few suggestions are offered regarding Christmas carol collections which may provide helpful music material to be used in connection with pageants or festivals based on the holiday customs and music of other countries.

Christmas and New Year Songs compiled by Florence H. Botsford and reprinted from "Folk Songs of Many People." A good collection of holiday songs from more than 25 different countries. Includes both English and foreign words, with music. Womans Press. 254.

Christmas Carols from Many Countries by Satis Coleman and E. Jorgensen. A collection of 85 carols, inIcluding old favorites and many others that are less familiar, in various arrangements for unchanged voices. Thirteen carols in original foreign languages. Suitable for use by children of grade or high school age. E. C. Schirmer Music Co. 50¢

Christmas Songs and Weihnachtslieder compiled by Herbert H. Wernecke. A collection of songs with the English and German texts, with music. Including Brahms' "Cradle Song," "O Tannenbaum," the original of "Away in a Manger," and others. Old Orchard Book Shoppe. 25¢.

Fifty Christmas Carols of All Nations by Edwardo Marzo. A collection of carols which may be sung in unison or in part. Nations represented by a number of old favorites are England, Germany, Holland, Bohemia, Alsace, Austria, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Willis Music Co. 604.

Folk Song Carols for Christmas, a collection containing Five Basque Noels, 12¢; Bohemian Folk Song Carols, 15; Five Christmas Carols of Old England, 154; Traditional English Carols, 124; Old French Carols, 124 Old Christmas Carols, 10¢; and Russian Carols, 124. Carl Fischer, Inc. 75¢ for collection, or separately at prices indicated.

Music Suggestions for the Christmas Season by Marion Peabody. Anyone confronted with the problem of locating appropriate music for girls' and women's voices for the Christmas season will find in this 27-page bulletin a wealth of information and material. In addition to a bibliography listing Christmas oratorios, carols and carol collections, dramatizations, hymns and hymnals and suggestions as to music for different instrumental arrangements, it includes information as to the historical background of the carol, suggestions for the "Hanging of the Green," a glossary of Christmas terms and other helpful information. Womans Press. 40¢.

A Few Publications

The Christmas holiday publications noted below are obtainable from the National Recreation Association.

The Christmas Book, a treasure chest of holiday program material including "A Devonshire Christmas," a celebration for Merrie England; "A Christmas Frolic"; the "Saint George Play"; "The Perfect Gift," a pageant; "A Christmas Carnival in Carols and Pantomimes' "Stories of the Christmas Carols"; a play for young children; "A Christmas Kaleidoscope," introducing a large number of children in folk dancing; a list of Christmas plays and pageants and a list of Christmas music. 50¢.

A Candle-Lighting Service by Marion Holbrook, Free. Play Lists. A letter noting complete information as to your holiday play needs will bring you special bibliographies and additional suggestions. Free.

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