Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Antique Christmas Board Game

What better way could there be for a Victorian child to while away the days until Christmas than by playing this board game? The Game of Merry Christmas, or, What Will Santa Claus Bring, was produced by the J.H. Singer Company of New York in 1890.

The beautifully lithographed box cover depicts Santa, clad in a fur trimmed suit and with the stump of a clay pipe clenched in his teeth, about to head down a chimney with a sack full of toys.

Inside, the board features an illustration of Santa about to deliver his gifts below the Christmas tree. A rocking horse is already in place.

The game itself is a simple numbered track. Players roll the die and then move along the board. If they land on a space that is labelled with a gift, that's what they'll be getting for Christmas.

There are some wonderful items listed: a Punch and Judy show, a hobby horse, a doll, and a box of tin soldiers are just a few of the options.

But lest we assume materialism is an exclusive feature of our modern Christmas, note that "a pocket full of money" is one of the gift possibilities.

There are also some present pitfalls to be avoided: I can imagine no one wanted to land on "a box of corn salve," or "some good advice."

I hope Santa brings you just what you want, and no corn salve! May you have space number 114 this year and always. Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Hi Tracy--
    Just a note to say that I love your blog, especially the vintage board games, vintage Fisher-Price, and occasional sci-fi items you throw in, which make for a great variety. I have a blog that focuses on my collecting as well that you might enjoy! The main focus is classic Godzilla items and ephemera, but I often get off track and cover vintage superhero and animation toys, and other interesting stuff. This week I am spotlighting my collection of vintage Beany & Cecil items! You can check it out at
    Thanks again!

    1. Thank you! I wish I had more time to post: I have so many more vintage board games and Fisher Price to show and tell. And Weebles...and monster toys....and and and! Glad you're liking what I've managed to get up, anyway.
      I enjoyed browsing your blog at lunch, and I notice we both also collect old gumball machine prize display cards, one of my very favoritest things!
      As far as Godzilla: I have the 1970s Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla. Still has his projectile fist, flaming tongue, and all. He hangs out with my Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Bigfoot. Will try to post him (and them) eventually.
      Hope Santa brings you lots of toys for Christmas!

  2. this is a beauty! I was just looking at old board games at this site today:

  3. I’m reading your blog since a long time. I never commented before, but now I just wanted to say hi and let you know how much I enjoy your interesting archives! Looking forward to see what Santa brought you this year! Anca

  4. Thank you! Christmas stuff coming soon!