By Trix Wilkins

Photo by Richard Croft, courtesy of Wikipedia

One of the things I’ve learned from Little Women is the right company and a bit of innovation go a long way! These are my favorite ideas from Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic – fun for anyone, anytime, on a “Little Women” budget…

Set up a “refuge”

And just like Jo, make your own writing hat while you’re at it, so that your family and friends know just when your genius is burning and you’re not to be disturbed. Write a book, poetry about your favorite sister, tales of “high adventure.” Fit it out to be a place for any endeavour of your passion and choosing whether music, woodwork, painting, etc.

Run a secret acting society

Perform the classics or your own plays (or your variation of the classics ;)), go ‘hunting for treasure,’ and make your own costumes from said treasure. Between rehearsals practice sword fighting with your closest friend dressed in boots and a doublet you fashioned yourself a la Jo March.

Start your own secret newspaper named after your favorite author, and adopt pseudonyms just like “real writers”

The March sisters wrote stories, recipes, and short notices for their family newspaper The Pickwick Portfolio. Pepper your paper with outlandish stories, lavish art and creative classifieds.

Take your indoor hobbies/chores outside

Find somewhere with a view and recruit your nearest and dearest into what you call a “secret busy bee society” to lend the venture an air of mystery. Whether it’s pairing socks or doing taxes (or the ultimate luxury – a hobby you actually enjoy!), it’s less tedious in lovely surroundings and friendly company.

Set up a secret post box through which anything goes

Yes, there is a theme: Little Women was big on secrets! As a gesture of appreciation for being admitted into the Pickwick Club, Laurie gifted the Marches with a post box through which passed, amongst love letters, “tragedies and cravats, music and gingerbread, scoldings and puppies.”

Host a dinner party with an adventurous menu

By adventurous, I mean like Jo: cook dishes you’ve never made before (maybe even some you have never seen prepared before by anyone eg: lobster salad). All passion, instinct and thrill at the prospect of serving who-knows-what to your family and closest friends.

Make a habit of doing something to benefit others

Send flowers to deserving women who love them but can’t afford them (Laurie), visit sick neighbors (Jo), bring food and gifts to poorer families (Beth), write notes of encouragement to those you know who have been working and striving tirelessly with little praise (Mrs March).

What are some fun ideas you’ve picked up (and/or ever taken on!) from reading Little Women?

Author and book sale PIC