Hundred-Year-Old Holly Centerpieces

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

Sunday, December 21, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this morning. Spent the day in a lonesome way, any how this afternoon seemed that way.

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

Sounds like a boring Sunday. Did Grandma consider making of the holly centerpieces featured in the December, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal?

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26 Responses

  1. I wonder if she and her sister were talking now. Maybe some leftover angst?

  2. Is it lonesome because she and her sister are not talking to each other, I wonder? Love the little pair of scissors in the first illustration.

  3. Holy cow–those centerpieces are amazing–the detail! Poor Helena . . . I hope she makes up with Ruth soon.

  4. Sheryl, your Grandmother’s post have been melancholy lately. Perhaps the time of year, in addition to the fight with sister? So many people struggle this time of year (perhaps that’s the healthcare provider in me making assumptions, though)

    • It makes sense to me that she might have found these winter months difficult. People won’t have known about Seasonal Affective Disorder back then, but it seems like the few hours of daylight in December would have affected their moods and lives as much or more back then when compared to now.

  5. I love the nature-inspired centerpieces! Awesome. And the sugar-cube walks are so cute!

    Quite interesting, that Grandmother feels lonesome this time of year. I don’t think they had all the fuss nor as many gatherings as we have these days. A little bit of “lonesome” could be a welcome thing right now.

    • I like how they used materials that were readily available to make decorations back then.

      I agree–a little bit of lonesome can sometimes be be good. :)

  6. Love the holly. We use it a lot in the UK for natural decoration at Christmas time. Usually as garlands or wreaths. Nice to have it as a table centrepiece too.

    • When I was a child we had a very large holly bush in our yard. The pictures bring back warm, fuzzy memories of how at Christmas we used to always cut holly and put the branches in a couple large vases.

  7. Wow. Fancy smancy center pieces!

    Maybe Helena felt left out from her circle of friends on this day?

  8. Sounds like Helena is trying to “find herself” and doing a little too much thinking and worrying. I hope she can relax and enjoy Christmas. Love the idea of holly in a center piece.

  9. Beautiful centerpieces (too bad holly doesn’t last too long indoors). I think all of your readers worry about Grandma when she seems “down”….

  10. I’m always worried about plants being poisonous to my cats (holly can be toxic to cats), but once I get past that, these are gorgeous. The Christmas Park one is almost outrageous! :)

    • Until I read your comment I hadn’t realized that holly can be toxic to cats. I’m always amazed how many things I learn from comments like yours.

  11. I love all the articles you post from the old magazines :)

  12. I love the old articles you post as well! Its nice to look back and see how resourceful and creative we have always been! Happy Holidays to you and your WHOLE family! xoxoxox

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