18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, December 24, 1913: Went to Watsontown this morning with Pa on the big wagon. This trip finished my Xmas shopping.
Ruth and I went up to McEwensville this evening to attend the Christmas services in the Lutheran Church. Was pretty dark coming home. Discovered on the way that I had left my umbrella behind me. Hope I get it again.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma generally attended the Baptist Church, but Messiah Lutheran Church in McEwensville apparently held a Christmas Eve service each year that community members attended. Grandma also attended the Christmas Eve services at the Lutheran Church in 1911.
(An aside: Grandma’s future husband, Raymond Swartz, attended Messiah Lutheran Church—though he and Grandma weren’t yet an item when this diary entry was written.)
Christmas is a time for memories. I’m going to reprint part of the post that I did on Christmas Eve, 2011 below. It’s equally relevant this year, and I thought that you might enjoy reading (or rereading) it.
When I was a child I regularly went to candlelight services at Messiah Lutheran Church — the same church Grandma attended on Christmas Eve a hundred years ago. I wonder if the services have changed much over the years.
In the middle part of the last century, I remember singing wonderful old-time carols at the candlelight service —We Three Kings, Joy to the World, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald Angels, . .. . ..
We’d end with Silent Night after all of the lights had been extinguished except for the candles we were lighting.
I don’t know why, but I have strong memories of one year when an elderly woman didn’t extinguish her candle at the end of the service, and took the flickering light out into the cold night.
I remember asking my mother why the woman didn’t follow the directions—and my mother said that the old lady was remembering Christmas’s from long ago and that we should let her be. I looked at the woman and could see how happy she looked as her face was illuminated by the flickering light.
I hope that I have equally wonderful memories of Christamases past when I am her age.