I absolutely cannot believe that this is our 5th go-round! Thanks so much for participating every year, and making it fun!
I shop for the Giveaway throughout the year–it’s fun, cheaper, and low-pressure that way. Holiday shopping? Not so much. There’s always the pressure to come up with the right gift, and at some point, my inner accountant develops apoplexy. This year, it was also a little sad, as I realized that this was likely the last year I would buy actual toys for my children. The decade between three and thirteen goes so fast–no, really, it does–and while they love getting gift cards, in order to pick out their own things, I would rather buy them a bunch of Fisher-Price toys for at least another ten years.
If you celebrate a gift-giving holiday, do you remember when you made the switch from toys to more practical presents, like money and clothes? I remember when the book I’d get from my grandparents became a $5.00 bill. It was very generous of them–but I couldn’t unwrap it. There was no danger I wouldn’t like it, of course, but for a few years (until I got a job and could buy gifts for others), something was missing.
Hopefully, though, you’ll find this year’s initial prize a bit more magical! It’s a set of coins, dating from the 19th century up to 1940, from Great Britain, Canada, France, and India–all countries mentioned in the Canon. They’re not very unusual, nor are they super valuable, but they are fascinating to handle and think about. Who used these coins? How did they earn them? What did they buy with them? Were any ever stolen? Did one of them reach the coin purse of Arthur Conan Doyle? I once collected stamps–which were more accessible than coins–but a stamp is used once, and then sits and waits in a box or a drawer. Coins are always moving, from place to place, person to person, hand to hand. If you can answer today’s trivia question, the next hand they reach will be yours!
This year, I decided to go with a theme: “Literary Allusions in the Canon.” It’s not a hard category, but I hope you have fun with it. Our first question is this:
Where in the Canon does the following quote appear, and what does it mean?
“Populous me sibilat,at mihi plaudo,
Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplar in arca.”
Feel like exploring some numismatics? Then send your answer to me via blog comment, Facebook PM, or Twitter DM! I’ll be drawing a winner on December 25th! Have a wonderful holiday!