Hundred-year-old Christmas Place Card Ideas

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

Saturday, December 19, 1914: <<no entry>>

Place card figures and rhymes

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

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

Since Grandma again didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll continue telling you how to create a “Christmassy” table. In addition to a centerpiece, Christmas place cards need to be made.

In case you aren’t a creative person, the December, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal included twelve “little people and little rimes” that could be cut out and glued onto tag board to make the place cards.

What fun children making the cards must have had trying to decide who got which rime!

Hmm. . .who should get this one?

1914-12-26 g

. . . and, who is the perfect person for this one?

1914-12-26 f

 

Creating a “Christmassy” Table

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

Ponsietta Christmas Table Decoration

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

Friday, December 18, 1914: <<no entry>>

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy these hundred-year old suggestions for how to create a “Christmassy” table.

It is the little extra touch that makes a table festive in appearance.

The table itself must be Christmassy in its setting and decorations, however simple, and once our eyes have taken it all in we settle down to the enjoyment of turkey and all the “fixins.”

Forest Christmas Table Decoration

Christmas table decorations

Christmas Wreaths a Hundred Years Ago

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

Thursday, December 17, 1914: <<no entry>>

evergreen wreath

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, and to get into the holiday spirit, I thought you might enjoy seeing what Christmas wreaths looked like a hundred years ago.

Christmas greenery including a wreathThe wreath on the wall above the sideboard is decorated with tinsel, and a bright Christmas ball hangs at the bottom.

Wreath with ornaments Pretty wreaths are made by tying small sprigs to circular wire or wood frames.

wreath with red ribbons and bellsCrimson ribbon bows make a most effective contrast with the green sprays.

Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

Grandma’s April Fools’ Pranks

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

Wednesday, December 16, 1914: <<no entry>>

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

Another day with no diary entry . . . sigh. . . so I’ll continue the story about Grandma’s sense of humor when she was an older woman.

My aunt mentioned in yesterday’s post that her mother (Grandma) always enjoyed a good joke or story. She also told me how much Grandma enjoyed playing pranks on April Fools’ Day.

There are several versions of the April Fools story (or maybe Grandma did similar pranks a couple different years). Here’s how my cousin Anne Marie told the April Fools’ day story in a guest post several years ago:

One April Fools’ Day Grandma took an old newspaper from her basement and carefully glued all of the pages together and quietly placed it in our newspaper box. I can still hear Mom laughing when she tried to read the paper that day and it didn’t take her long to figure out who the prankster was.

 

How to Participate in Grandma’s Bake-a-thon

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

Saturday, December 5, 1914:  <<no entry>>

Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons

Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma’s growing up. We’ve followed her life daily for the last four years—but she’s slowly losing interest in writing in her diary, and it ends on December 29, 1914. I’d like to use some of the remaining days of this blog to give Grandma a wonderful send-off to live the rest of her life.

So many wonderful memories of my grandmother are linked to food—and I think that if she was still around that she’d enjoy hearing other people’s stories of a holiday treat that they associate with one of their ancestors.

To celebrate Grandma’s transition to the next stage of her life, I’m organizing an event: Grandma’s Bake-a-thon.

To participate in the Bake-a-thon make an old family recipe, and share the story of why this recipe holds special memories for you.

You may want to tell your family and friends the recipe’s story; or share the recipe on your blog or Facebook page, in your Christmas letter, or by writing a comment on A Hundred Years Ago–whatever is most meaningful to you.

If you’re not a baker, you don’t need to actually make anything—just think about a favorite holiday treat and the person that you associate it with—and share the story.

Let the Bake-a-thon begin!

Memories of Baking Cookies with Grandma

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

Friday, December 4, 1914:  Nothing much doing. More later on.

DSC09647

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

As the holidays approach, I’d like to share a memory that includes both my mother and Grandma.

Mom always organized a cookie-baking party on an evening a week or so before Christmas. Each year my brother and I rushed to finish our farm chores so we could eat an early supper—and then bake cookies. Following the meal, we washed the dishes while Mom went to get Grandma, who lived in a bungalow two miles away.

Soon Grandma would be struggling through the kitchen door carrying a huge basket filled with cookie ingredients—walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, flour, baking chocolate—and her recipes.

We’d sort through Grandma’s (and my mother’s) recipes, and try to decide which cookies to make. Many of the recipe cards indicated that the source of the recipe was a great-aunt, cousin, or other relative.

The decision about which cookies to make required a discussion not only of the merits of each perspective recipe, but also of the person who originated the recipe. Should we make Great-grandma’s filled raisin cookies? (“Dad always loved them.”) . . . or that wonderful Sand Tart recipe that came from someone who was a neighbor of my mother’s 40 years ago (“Don’t know whatever happened to her, but she was a wonderful cook.”) . . .

Ah, the memories. . . I could go on and on.

____

Grandma’s diary ends on December 29. Over the past several months readers of A Hundred Years Ago have made many wonderful suggestions about how to send Grandma off to live the rest of her life.

I’ve decided to go with a Bake-a-thon because baking cookies with Grandma holds special memories for me and I know that the older version of Grandma loved our annual cookie baking party—so I think that she would have enjoyed a virtual Bake-a-thon.

Come back tomorrow—and I’ll share details about how you can participate in the Bake-a-thon.

Making Handkerchiefs for Xmas Gifts

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

Wednesday, December 2, 1914: Am making handkerchiefs for Xmas presents. They are to be real nice and fancy, with edging of my own makings on them.

tatted handkerchief

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

Grandma-

The handkerchiefs sound lovely. Do they have a tatted edging? Tatting is so delicate and beautiful. I have vague memories that your married sister Besse showed you how to tat last summer:

Besse was trying to teach me tatting today. Am awful stupid about it, but still I persist in trying to make the stuff. It takes some patience.

June 11, 1914

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,095 other followers