Looking Forward to Christmas Vacation

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 4, 1912:  Will be glad I think when vacation is here. Have ever too many things to do then.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I can read this diary entry two ways.

There’s so much that needs to be done in December, and sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand directions –so it seems like Grandma must have felt the same way. When I first read the diary entry, I thought that Grandma was very busy with school and looking forward to her upcoming Christmas vacation.

But. . . when I read carefully, I don’t think that is exactly what she meant.

It almost sounds like she was bored now, and was looking forward to her vacation when she’d be busier.  . .  with shopping? . . . with holiday baking? . . with Christmas parties?

20 Responses

  1. I will agree with you. I think she was looking forward to a busy time.

  2. I wonder if she was looking forward to teen dating. Has she mentioned having a male suitor? How far from the closest town or city did they live? It’s amazing how many of your pictures look the same as the ones I have from when Hallie grew up and even later.

    • She really liked a guy in some 1911 and early 1912 diary entries, but she didn’t have a boyfriend at this point in time. They lived on a farm about 1 1/2 miles from two small towns. McEwensville was to the east of the farm and it had less than 300 people. Watsontown was to the west, and was somewhat larger.

  3. Wow that photo looks just like Alberta…..3 months ago. I would guess teens back then probably looked forward to school breaks as much as they do now.

    • Interesting, I would have guessed that the farm fields were much larger in Alberta than is typical in Pennsylvania–though I guess the way that I took the picture makes this field look large.

  4. I’m going to guess that she was looking forward to doing something different. Just like my kids today. They cant wait to go to the beach, but then theyre thrilled to be back home in their own beds when its over :)

  5. Seems to me that our Miss Muffly is kind of “at sixes and sevens”… i.e. pleased that school is over but also realising that there will now be lots more demands on her time as Christmas approaches.
    Such a joy to read accounts of her daily life, and thoughts, all those years ago. Many many thanks for the sharing, Sheryl.

  6. Guessing she’s looking forward to preparing for Christmas.

  7. Did she tell you of her Christmas’s growing up? My grandmother told us a little here and there of Christmas at the turn of the century. Her father was strict and so their Christmas was very orderly. How they were able to keep the kids from getting overly excited always baffled me. My kids are in their late 20′s and 30′s and still get excited, shoot, I am over 50 and still get excited like a child!! :D

  8. I too think she was bored and looking forward to the holiday vacation when everything would be a little bit different. Amazing what just her few words can convey.

  9. Sheryl, thanks for liking my site. I’ve visited your site before but didn’t “like” it or leave a comment. It’s really great that you’re posting your grandmother’s diary entries 100 yrs after!! I have my grandmother’s diary but she mostly commented on weather, etc and didn’t write most days so it’s pretty sparse. Sure wish I had a diary like you do!!

    • It’s interesting how different people focus on different things in their diaries. If your Grandmother lived on a farm or was a gardener, the weather probably was extremely important to her.

  10. BTW, I don’t think she was bored. I think she knew that the upcoming holiday season would be busy and she was sorry that things like school were taking up so much time and would be glad when that distraction was over and she could concentrate on the things to be done.

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