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 thoughts on “Christmas Table Decorations and Centerpieces a Hundred Years Ago

    1. 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.

  1. 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

    1. Your slippers sound wonderful. My feet got wet and cold yesterday when I was walking around in rain and slush–and it would have felt wonderful to slip on a pair of warm slippers last night. 🙂

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 🙂

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