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Best Christmas Ever

I’m trying to re-spark the holiday spirit.  So, I’m going to talk about the past today.

I don’t remember anymore what year it was.

I was about 6, maybe 7 years old, and I wanted a doll house in the worst way.  I wanted… yes, I wanted the Barbie dream house.

With its 6 rooms, and a WORKING ELEVATOR that went all the way from bottom to top, it was the epitome of coolness for me.  One of my best friends had one, and I was so envious, I wanted to go to her house, and play with it all the time, to the exclusion of even spending time with the friend!  I had barbies galore, with tons of accessories, but no dollhouse.  I pined, I yearned, I burned for one.  I circled it in big black marker in the JcPenney’s catalog – toy section, so that my parents would know the only thing I wanted was a dollhouse.  A Barbie dreamhouse.

Well, Christmastime rolled around, as it is wont to do, toward the end of December that year.  I was good.  I was so good, I think my bedroom floor sparkled, even covered in carpeting as it was.  Well, I guess that could have been the glitter I’d spilled making my makeshift halo, but whatever.  I was a darling angel of a girl that year, hoping beyond hope that Santa would grant the one wish I had and fulfill my wild dream of the condo from heaven.

Christmas Eve at my house was always a night of anticipation.  We went to church, and when we returned, we were allowed to open 1 gift.  1 small, insignificant gift that Mom was allowed to pick out for us to open.  Everything else had to wait.  I have no idea what that present was that year.  I couldn’t have cared less, frankly, because it wasn’t the dream house.  I went to bed, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Big Man.

In the morning, I awoke to the sounds of jingling bells and ho-ho-ho-ing emanating from downstairs.  I leapt from my bed, wanting to race down the stairs to find my dreams had all come true, and Santa loved me. 

I found my mother standing guardian in the doorway, watching both my brother and I.  She forced us to get dressed and comb our hair before we were allowed downstairs. 

“But SANTA’S WAITING FOR US!”  I cried. “HE’LL LEAVE IF WE DON’T RUN!”

“No running in the house.”

I was the racehorse at the gate, waiting for my stupid brother to finish getting ready.  I trembled, I shook, I wrung my tiny little hands in anxiety and anticipation.

And finally, Mom sprang us.

I could hear male laughter drifting up from the main floor, where I just knew that SANTA was waiting.  I could hear my dad, and my uncle Hal, chuckling in the kitchen as my brother and I fought for pole position on the way down the stairs. 

Herds of elephants stampeding across the veldt of Africa were quieter.

Get out of my WAY! SANTA'S HERE!

Tasmanian Devils were less outspoken.

And when we finally made it to the bottom of the stairs, we were both stunned and awed at what awaited us in the kitchen.

Santa had left the building, obviously, as he was nowhere to be found.  Instead we found our dad and uncle Hal seated at the kitchen table, kicking back with a cigarette and some “orange juice”.  Yes, I’m sure that’s what it was.

My brother got something like the picture to the left, except on a smaller scale.  What?  Of course, I don’t have pictures of the actual workbench, I was a kid, a girl kid.  Workbenches were for geeky boys.  Ewww.

As for me?  Well, it wasn’t a Barbie condo, but it was a dream.

3 stories of ALL MINE was written in every room.  A matchstick railing used to run around the top of the townhouse (it was later eaten by mice – pet mice – of mine).  White in color, it was clean and sparkly and beautiful.  There was even a little family that fit into the rooms.  Because of course, it was much too small to fit Barbies.  But I didn’t care.  Honestly, this magnificence was more than enough to make up for not having some old cardboard barbie house.  This was quality plywood, folks! 

We didn’t make it to the tree till much, much later.

I wrote my name in orange crayon on the inside of the doors, staking ownership for all time.  It’s still scrawled there, my feeble attempt at interior decorating.

Over the years, I’ve acquired more furnishings for the dollhouse.  There was a period of my pre-teen years that was absorbed with buying mail-out kits for furniture.  Things were lost, including the plastic family.  But more things were gained.  My best friend in high school had a dollhouse that her grandfather had made for her, and she had made many of the intricate beautiful things inside.  When she moved away, she bequeathed the treasures to me, and they still have a place of honor in the dollhouse.

I have since given the dollhouse to my YoungerDaughter, who has yet to “make it her own”.  It just doesn’t have the same appeal to her that it held for me.  But that’s ok.  There will come a day, after it’s been refinished and refurbished, when some little girl will look up and say “Really?  For Me?”

And she won’t regret not getting to see Santa either.

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15 thoughts on “Best Christmas Ever

  1. Great post. I think we all have a memory of that one Christmas present that the world stopped for. Some of us got it and some of us never did. Either way, the anticipation made for great memories and stories to share.

    • I’ve got more, that I’m planning to post in the next few days. 🙂 It used to be the best – back when life was still simple – because I was still young enough, and my younger years were fairly innocent and good. Back before life started to get complicated.

      I’m trying to get back to that.

  2. What a fabulous story, and you tell it so well that I can completely envision it in my head! That part about you and your brother jockeying for position reminded me of that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie runs over Randy trying to get down the stairs Christmas morning.

    What a lovely gift, and memory to pass down to your kids and your grand kids!

    • Ohmygod, I never could watch that movie much to my friend “SamIAm”‘s dismay!

      This dollhouse needs some serious rehab, I think. LOL, when I went down to take the picture, I opened it and couldn’t bear to show the inside! Most of the treasures are still boxed up, waiting for a refurb. Project for next summer with the girlie, I think!

  3. YOUR DOLLHOUSE!!! Geez, I remember that thing PERFECTLY – I’m am soooo excited that you still have my old dollhouse stuff…I worked so hard on it; I’m just not a saver. I remember the mice too…cute little buggers. We were a tad odd weren’t we…lol

    • And the X-mas tree, and your handmade presents, the towels and the tiny FOOD! You know, I ended up getting so much inspiration from you. The woman that taught me how to tie a perfect bow, and how to duck!

    • Thanks! It needs some repairs and refurbishing, lots of years between Santa and here… but I got a lot of joy out of it.

  4. Great post Brea! Merry Christmas morning! I hope you and your family have a wonderful and memorable day! Luv ya! 🙂

  5. What memories this roused! I loved my doll house as a child! It was my favorite Christmas gift. It was metal and none too sturdy, but I would buy a piece of furniture for it every Saturday at the dime store and spend hours rearranging it in the rooms. Yours was magnificent!

    I still love to look at miniature settings.

    Merry Christmas. . . and a very happy 2011!

    • Oh, me too! There was a time when my ambition in life was to be an interior decorator… but just for dollhouses! 😀

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