Dollars from Dandelions

Dollars from Dandelions coverDollars From Dandelions: 101 Ways to Earn Money

Submitter: This book was found at my local public library. It was a great purchase back in 1979, but 36 years later it’s time to let that one go. Nowhere is there the mention of the internet and internet business. Plus the cost and money information is way off.

Holly: According to this book, Santa only made $3 per fifteen minute visit in 1979. He gets kicked, peed on, cried on, begged for gifts, his beard gets pulled, and he’s required to be jolly 100% of the time. That’s worth waaaaay more than $3 per 15 minute visit. There are some good ideas here, but it’s not clear to me if these are meant to be after school/summer jobs for teens or a way for adults to make some extra cash. The information on each job is way out of date, so even if you found one you thought might be promising (as the check-mark-maker for “window washer” did in the table of contents below), you’d be disappointed in the advice the book gave. Or you’d settle for waaaaay less than you deserve.

Dollars from Dandelions contents

Dollars from Dandelions contents

Floating social secretaries

Santa for Hire


  1. Girls can play Santa too, but trying to make their voice deep enough when going “ho ho ho” might be a challenge. I’d rather be Mrs. Claus or an elf, or some other make-believe creature that doesn’t take quite so much abuse. 🙂

  2. Most Girl Scouts don’t sell cookies door-to-door anymore because of worries about strangers, so it’s hard to imagine most parents would be OK with their kid pulling weeds or playing Santa in the homes of strangers. Maybe a current book could address that issue and tell kids how to work their network of mom and dad’s friends and relatives to find clients.

  3. Brings back memories of Mom & Dad getting us kids to dig up dandelions with a kitchen knife back in the 60s. I think we got a penny a dandelion! If only I had kept it up in the 70s! BTW the going rate for good Santas-for-hire is way up from $3 for 15 minutes. Maybe not for 16-year-old Santas, though.

    1. Wow, your parents were generous! Or maybe it was the time difference — when I was occupied this way in the previous decade, we had to pull 10 to get a penny. Maybe that’s why I don’t remember doing it very much.

    1. Assume they mean the cold-applied topical sealant. Not sure that’s a great money-making opportunity for youth either, given that you will ruin the clothes you’re wearing and the tools are effectively single-use as well.

  4. Note pg 84: Running an escort service! I know it is something else here, but I got a flashback to the “Great Computer Dating Caper” on reading that.

  5. I do appreciate that, based on the cover, the jobs don’t seem to be too gender-biased, but I’ll admit I have a hard time identifying the gender from their profiles. Other than that, the book is pretty terrible.

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