This cartoon in Picture World, December 1915, shows the thoughts of a little boy thinking back over the previous twelve months wondering if his behaviour will have been good enough to warrant a visit from Father Christmas. Ringing doorbells and running away; tying cans to a dogs tail; overflowing the bath and scaring the maid are just a few of his misdemeanours. But despite this catalogue of naughtiness in December he is pictured with angel wings and a halo looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and with the conclusion “What a Good Boy Am I?”
Anticipation and Realisation – the Christmas edition of Birmingham’s Picture World led with a full page spread about a ‘bonnie little Birmingham boy’ who dreamed of the good things he hoped Father Christmas would bring. He wanted an engine and a football and other toys and hung up his stocking by the fireplace in anticipation. (I’m trying not to be too judgemental about the complete lack of a fireguard as the wee lad peers into the fireplace!) And sure enough his dreams are ‘gratified’ and he’s pictured on his bed with his new gifts from Santa. They could be images from any early 20th Century newspaper were it not for the strapline above the title: ‘Kaiser’s Christmas Greeting: German Airman’s Bomb on Dover.’
Liz Palmer with thanks to Marian Hall for finding the images on microfilms of Picture World.