Christmas Table Decorations and Centerpieces a Hundred Years Ago

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

Wednesday, December 25, 1912:  Xmas: I got a few presents: a purse, one dollar, an apron, a pinholder, a book, a bow, and a pair of slippers. Aunt Lizzie and Uncle George were here and Mrs. Besse to be sure.

We had a turkey and some ice cream. At present I feel like a stuffed toad from too much gourmandizing of a lot of good things. Guess I may call my Christmas a happy one and hoping everyone else has enjoyed the same likewise I’ll bring my entry to a close.


Click on picture to enlarge. Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1912)

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

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Grandma got the De Luxe slippers in her favorite color. :)

slipper a hundred years ago

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1912)

Nice gifts, good food, family. . . It sounds like end of a perfect Christmas day.



33 Responses

  1. Sounds like a great Christmas.

  2. Wow, that’s quite the table. Those figure remind me of my snowbabies. Sounds like your grandma had a good haul. Hope Santas good to you too.

  3. She did list her gifts! Yay!! And she got both an apron and slippers plus other things. Sounds like she had a good Christmas. I’m glad.

    • I was glad, too. It seemed like it ended up being one of her happiest holidays since she began keeping the diary, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  4. Like everyone else I am glad she listed her presents…glad she had a good day and was like a stuffed toad!! ;) Those slippers sure do look comfy and FYI one of my prezzies I also got slippers but 100 years later I can put them in the microwave to warm up and so ease my aching toes!! :) ahh progress is good for some things!! LOL

  5. Sounds like she had a Merry Christmas indeed … and she hoped the same for others … a nice close to her Christmas diary entry.

    • Thanks for the insightful comment. As a teen-ager, Grandma often was so focused on herself when she wrote the diary entries.. I hadn’t really thought about it until I read your comment–but it was a really nice how she was thinking of others.

  6. Oh, I love the tablecloth you have a picture of at the top of the post. I found one similiar to it (round in shape and delicately embroidered with tatting around the edges) in my mother’s cedar chest after she passed. Dad had’t seen it either and we came to the conclusion that perhaps it was one used by her family in the early 1900’s. It’s still in remarkable condition and it will grace our table today. The fabric doesn’t seem to have a weak place in it. Your grandmother’s diary is providing me insight into some of the treasures I continue to locate that could possibly have been used on a daily basis by my my mother and her sister Hallie.

    • Wow, what a find! Thanks for the nice note. I enjoy researching the posts, and it’s nice to hear when someone found one particularly useful.

  7. Wow, that’d be some table setting. Those figures almost remind me of my snowbabies. I’d like all the gifts your Grandma got. I plan to do a bunch of gourmandizing today too I think. Maybe I should look that up first..LOL. Have a super duper Christmas.

  8. PS….affirmative on the gourmandizing…LOL

  9. Beautiful table decorations :-)

  10. Merry Christmas!

  11. Wonderful post Sheryl – both yours and hers! :)

  12. Playing catch-up…love this post & Merry Christmas! Also interesting to me that Christmas is written as “Xmas” by Helena–something I probably imagined didn’t start happening until later in the century, and not by a church-going young lady :)

  13. That is quite a centerpiece.

  14. […] Christmas Table Decorations and Centerpieces a Hundred Years Ago […]

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