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Santa Claus Letters and Memories of Childhood Dolls
Merry old Santa Claus
Mail Those Letters now
Christmas will come along soon. It is important to get those Santa Claus letters out and remember your own childhood memories when a little one hands you a letter to mail. As parents around the world begin to think of the horrors of Christmas shopping, their children are thinking of the magic, the elves, the snow, the bright shining Christmas trees and what they want for Christmas presents. The Santa Claus letters and childhood memories come rushing back to the elders who watch their grandchildren glow with excitement.
I remember writing only one letter to Santa Claus. I gave it to my father to mail. I am sure I wrote other letters in other years, but this one was special. I was seven years old and printed my letter as neatly as I could. Mama helped me spell some of the words because I wanted the letter to be perfect. It had to be perfect because I was very serious and specific about what I wanted.
Peggy, my Perfect Doll
You see, I had only one little doll. She was very cute and I adored her. She was a vinyl doll, with molded hair, which I brushed anyway, pretending it was soft and fine. She did not have any clothes and her eyes were painted on, so did not close - her arms and legs were movable and that made me happy. I would make diapers for her from old handkerchiefs and wrap her in a scarf. Although I loved her, I was embarrassed to play dolls with my friends. All the other girls had big dolls, with beautiful hair, clothes, socks, cute little shoes, bonnets and coats. I so wanted one like that, but mine was so little and different.
With six kids in the family and another one on the way, my parents could not afford much in the way of toys for all of us. We each got one new toy for Christmas and several little homemade gifts of necessity. We had our stockings stuffed with fruits, nuts, candies, and pennies. Christmas was always magical and beautiful all the same for us because Mama and Dad made it so.
That year I asked Santa for a doll with long red hair in ringlets. I wanted a pretty dress on her, with a slip and lace trimmed panties, white socks and white shoes -- and, of course, a little coat and bonnet. I do not know how Santa managed to get the elves to make her so perfect, but there she was Christmas morning in my gift box. She was exactly what I wanted. I named her Peggy and introduced her to my old dolly, Jenny, who just stared at the lovely new doll.
Lovely Doll Like Peggy
Peggy, my Constant Companion
A few years went by and Peggy went every where with me. She was never out of my sight. One day, in the back seat of the car on the way to Grandma's house, one of my brothers decided he was sick of that doll always in my arms. He grabbed Peggy's head and tried to pull her away from me, saying he would throw her out the window. I held on so tight and started crying. When Peggy's head was pulled off, I was horrified and cried the rest of the day. Mama took Peggy and put her away when we got back home, meaning to fix her, but I never saw Peggy again. I never forgot Peggy and still wish I had her with me.
I took my old dolly out of my dresser drawer and slept with her that night after Peggy was broken and every night after that till I grew up. I never asked for another dolly again. When I got married and had my two children, I made sure they always had the toys they wanted -- nothing extravagant, but at least they had the ones they liked. My little girl had several dolls, one that looked so much like Peggy.
Is it any wonder I eventually became a doll maker?
Now that I am much older, my children grown, and I am retired, I have time to make dolls and their clothes. I also have rescued my daughter's dolls, made new clothes for them and keep a few out at a time, sitting on an antique trunk. They create a wonderful place of memory for me - memories of times past. My daughter's first doll sits always on the trunk with other memories - she looks just like the first doll I had. She has a diaper made of flannel, and I crocheted a lovely dress, coat, bonnet and booties for her. She is my sweet memory of childhood and a reminder to appreciate what I have.
What would I wish for Christmas now if I wrote a letter to Santa? I would wish that every child could have the love, joy, and care they so deserve and their wishes granted.
If you could, for maybe just a few minutes, go back in time, be that child you were again in the magic of Christmas, what would you ask Santa for?
Old Doll With new Crocheted Outfit
When you were a child did you write a letter to Santa?
Christmas Stockings Hung With Care
Note From Author
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Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor
© 2010 Phyllis Doyle Burns