Playing with the Christmas Doll

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

Saturday, December 26, 1914: <<no entry>>

Dolls waiting for turn to wash-up at sink

Source: Ladies Home Journal (January, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some suggestions in the January, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal that addresses an age-old problem on the day after Christmas. What do you do when the children don’t play with the toys that Santa brought them?

Well, Ladies Home Journal had some fun suggestions for creating scenarios that would make it more interesting to play with dolls:

Playing with the Christmas Doll

With a new doll at Christmastime little girls are made the happiest of happy little beings, since the newcomer frequently adds one more to the collection of other years, and now there is quite a family for the little mother to train.

dolls in a classroomWhat fun it would be to have a school in a corner, if only someone at home will provide a few tables and benches which might easily be fashioned from boxes.

1914-01-29 c“Let’s play ball” is suggested by the wee mites in the picture.

Christmas Picture on Farm Magazine Cover

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

Thursday, December 24, 1914: <<no entry>>

Cover of December 15, 1914 issue of Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine

Cover of December 15, 1914 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer

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

Even farm magazines got into the Christmas spirit a hundred years ago. Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for today, I thought you might enjoy this old Kimball’s Dairy Farmer cover.

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!

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