There is one style of ornamental gift which must hang on the tree until New Year's Day - the gilded English walnut (Fig. 24). The preparation of these can be made a delightful frolic if there are several young persons in the secret. Crack open the nuts so there will be two perfect half shells to each (Fig. 25). Inside the empty nut place a motto or device which will tell the fortune, or part of it, of the recipient of the gift. Ideas will come to you as the work goes on. As a hint to help a little at the start, cut two hearts of red paper and fasten them together with a dart made of a pin and a piece of white paper (Fig. 26.).
This denotes that the girl or boy who gets it will be the first to marry. Fig. 27, the water-color brush, means that the happy lad or lassie to whose lot it falls will be an artist. Fig. 28 signifies ability to appreciate music. Fig. 29 ensures plenty of worldly goods. One suggestion gives rise to another, and you will easily think of more than enough for all the empty nutshells. After the "fortune" is placed within the nut, glue the halves firmly together. When dry work a tack in the end where the stem grew, twisting it slowly that the shell may not split or break. When the tack seems firmly in place, proceed to gild the entire nut, including the tack; tie a strong string on this and hang the "fortune" on the tree. As all the nuts look exactly alike, no one can tell which is which - not even those who made them will know who receives the different "fortunes" until the nuts are opened and the secrets revealed.
FROM: "CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS, Good to Eat & Good to Look Upon". The Delineator, Dec. 1901.