Samantha's Surprise is the third book in the Samantha series.


Only in Samantha's Surprise

Chapter by Chapter Summary

Chapter One: Christmas Wishes

Chapter Two: Presents and a Party Dress

Chapter Three: Decorations and Disappointments

Chapter Four: Someone Very Special

Chapter Five: Exchanging Gifts

Looking Back: Christmas in 1904

Discusses the Christmas season in turn of the century America. Topics covered:

  • How wealthy people made Christmas the most lavish holiday of the year
  • Fascination and imitation of English holiday traditions and lifestyles among the upper class
  • The introduction of Christmas trees during the holiday season by Queen Victoria and common ornaments of the time, such as watches, tops, and glass ornaments
  • Gifts wealthy children might expect on Christmas, such as imported toys from Europe and teddy bears, a popular toy of the time
  • Lavish holidays meals for wealthy families, and common after-dinner entertainment such as singing, games, and puppet shows for children
  • Increased workload for servants of wealthy households during the holiday season
  • Boxing Day, a holiday in which servants would receive their gifts or get a day off from work
  • Charity donations from the wealthy to orphanages and hospitals

Book Covers

Items associated with Samantha's Surprise


  1. In Chapter 2, Samantha mentions to Jessie there are two weeks until Ida's party on the 22nd, and then to Grandmary that it's a week from the coming Thursday. She also has plans that Saturday and it's not the weekend yet, so the most likely day is around Friday, December 9th as the start of the book.
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