Marcy S., age 17, Tennessee

Dear Diary — Nice day. A bit cooler. To Sunday School and in Mrs. McClure’s class since Miss Davis has gone home for Christmas. Few in Sunday School. Ruth and Pan absent. Dixon was in the Men’s Class; I heard Daddy introducing him to some others. The tree and other decorations were still up, which seemed Christmasy.

Between Sunday School and church Ella and I went down to see what was “ailing” the Youngs. Pan had a cold and Rufus was recovering from working till 10:30 last night at the ten-cent store.

Ella and I got back just in time for church. The sermon was on Christmas and was very good. Walked home with Lucille and met Helen just as we were almost there. Teased her about her large hat — tam, excuse me! Had chicken-pie for dinner (from Mrs. McClure).

Helen came down in time to help me with the dishes and about 2:30 we set out on our Sunday afternoon walk. Stopped at Mother Lane’s for June Key’s address and Morton, who came to the door, invited us in. Margaret Washington, Mother Lane’s grandmother daughter (who is beautiful with her grey hair) and her son (I think) were there and she showed us a beautiful brooch and earrings someone had given her. Mother Lane asked me to play for her and I did so — then Morton had me play a carol. Helen played her old standby and we left.

Walked past Rufus’s, and couldn’t decide where to go. Suddenly made brilliant decision to walk over to Mossop. As we were passing behind Mary’s house. she came out the back door and called to us. We met half-way, in the vacant lot next to her house. She had gone to get a drink of water and had seen us passing. We teased and talked and had secrets from one another. I took Mary aside and told her what Mrs. Turner had said. Then she and Helen had a secret from me — something about Earl. We persuaded Mary to walk to the corner with us, and Helen and I got to Christian Education just on time.

Mr. Jones was in charge and Ella had the program — just Clay, Ella, Helen and I there. We were through about 4:30. Mr. Jones left. The church was all decorated for the musical program tonight and the piano had been placed up on the pulpit platform. I sat down and played a few things while Helen jabbered (yes, exactly!) with Ella and Clay. We left around 5:00, Ella and Clay to go to the Christian Church, Helen and I to Episcopal for carol service. I took off my “beanie” ’cause Helen didn’t have a hat. Halfway there Helen said, “There go George and Dixon, on the run.”

Mother, Daddy, Mrs. Julian, Mrs. McClure, Ruth M., George and Dixon were just going in as we got there. I started to sit in with Mom and Dad but they motioned us to sit on the back seat. So I went in next to Dixon and then came Helen. George and R. were in the same row. I noticed that the Mullers were there, on the other side but didn’t look closely. When I had prayed, however, I looked again and Barbara Muller smiled so sweetly and I smiled back. It made me feel so nice.

We first sang a few unfamiliar carols, high ones which were rather pretty. Between each one Mr. Bynum read a portion of the Christmas story. When we finally launched into the dear old carols, I sang with all my heart — and voice. Poor Dixon! I didn’t want the beautiful service to ever end. But it did, of course. Before the last hymn, though, we all knelt and Mr. Bynum prayed for peace, etc. Dixon knelt on the little benches with the rest of us and put his head down on his arm. He seemed such a boy then — it was a sweet moment!

After the service, Helen and I hurried out and were debating whether to walk or ride when Dixon and George came out and decided us in favor of walking. Ruth M. was with them, too. We took all the shortcuts home ’cause it was almost 6:00. Fun teasing. I went up to Helen’s with her to see if she could go to the musical program at the Presbyterian Church tonight. Beat Mom and Dad home.

There was a quiet, cozy, glowing fire in the fireplace and the Christmas tree was lighted so brightly. I felt really in the Christmas spirit. I had just made the preparations for supper when Mom and Dad came in. I managed to wash the dishes before leaving for church. Once I went into the living room where Mother was sitting in the firelight listening to Charlie McCarthy program, on which a boys’ choir was singing at that time. It was beautiful — I love boys; not my age, but little boys, boys in trouble, without parents, or just plain mischievous little boys! Hope I have a whole houseful of them some day!

Left at last minute and ran most of the way to church. Helen had been waiting for quite a few minutes (she had come up from Baptist B.Y.P.U.). The church was almost filled and Helen and I were ushered to a seat way over on the right near the lighted tree. We saw George and Dixon on the opposite as we came in. Almost immediately the ladies of the Music Club (I think) filed in from the side room, all in black evening skirts and white blouses, singing “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” How I love it. Behind us I could hear what sounded like an old man’s voice and wondered who it was.

The ladies had taken their places in the choir and next on the program was Corporal Dan Denny, announced by Mr. Jones, who sang “God Bless America,” accompanied by Marshy. Oh, Diary, the way he sang it — as if it were an operatic number. Helen and I had an awful time controlling ourselves. On the final home, he sang it — “Home – mu” (as in mud) with a great flourish. Poor Daniel!

Mrs. Moore, Miss Staples and one of Mr. Moore’s very handsome brothers came in late. Poor Miss Staples — will she ever hook a man?

The main part of the program was rendered by the choir — with a few (thank goodness!) solos. I wish the big lights had been turned out — it would have been more impressive, I’m sure. Mr. Taylor prayed one of his famous (or should I say infamous) lengthy, all-ground-covered prayers. Mrs. Carroll gave a reading (poem) somewhat like my “Cobbler’s Visitor.” It was all over by 8:30 and Helen and I started the long push (only slight) out. Met Barbara Muller on the way. She was very sweet again and wanted to know how she could get in touch with Mary.

Helen and I finally got out into the night air and were in very good humors. George and Dixon were standing across the street but didn’t seem to be going home just then. However, we hadn’t gone very far when they caught up with us. Helen and George walked together and Dixon and I. It was rather cold. We had lots of fun talking and teasing, and discussing Daniel’s solo. Censored. When we reached Helen’s steps we all stood there and talked (nothing serious) for about twenty minutes. I gave Helen quite a scare once, pretending I was going to tell George about the William affair. Dixon enters right into our teasing — I like him better than Bill. Ditto Helen.

Just as Helen was taking her leave of us Daddy called me. George and I tried to decide on a hike date but couldn’t so said “good-night.” This has been a grand day — Barbara Muller, carol service, musicale and Dixon. Wonderful!