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Not only are these vintage hankies precious as gifts. They're earth-friendly!

My best holiday memories were the Christmases we shared with my Dad’s sister and her Italian husband in St. Louis. When Uncle Roy’s relatives descended upon the house, the volume increased several notches. Our eyes were practically bugging out of our heads when his sister Ann, his Mom (Mary) and his Aunt Lena began to argue in Italian, snatching things out of each other’s hands and making huge scenes. We thought they might come to blows at any time.

On their best behavior, the Russos lobbed insults at each other in ways they thought a kid wouldn’t catch. Aunt Lena repeatedly bellowed out a phrase using intonation that sounded a lot like “Merry Christmas!” It wasn’t really a holiday greeting; it was more of  a play on words issuing an instruction to Mary. I really shouldn’t print it here, but I suppose there’s nothing wrong with providing a hint: it was a four-word phrase which contained the following words:




*A three-letter word which I mustn’t use here. (It is also another name for a donkey and begins with the letter ‘A’.)

String those words together using the same intonation that you’d use to wish someone a Merry Christmas and you can see how clever Aunt Lena was. Other things I remember about the Italian clan: 1) Aunt Lena helped me translate an Italian song I was learning to sing and 2) they always gave me frilly hankies as Christmas presents. If I’d kept them, they’d be vintage by now. I never see a hankie that doesn’t remind me of the Russo women.

Our Etsy store  is featuring a lovely collection of 30 or so vintage handkerchiefs from the estate of a depression-era lady who had tucked them safely away in a drawer. The tags are still on them! Over the next few days, I’ll be posting them here for your delight. They are scalloped, embroidered, crocheted, and in some cases, monogrammed. (M’s and H’s) I can hardly imagine a more suitable (or affordable) gift for some sweet girl on your list. No proper lady should be without a classy hankie. These will be sold exclusively on our Etsy site.