Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Christmas Story from Deb.

My Carrie ~ Christmas 1989
{she was 18 months old}
Christmas, the year I was 7 years old: Though my memory of this particular Christmas is limited, I remember it better than any other. I remember that we lived with my grandmother in a tiny dark house because my dad was out of work and in hind sight I suppose that wasn't such a good time in our lives, but I remember being happy. I loved my grandmother and was happy to be there, and my mom had a baby in her tummy that would be born the following year. I remember hoping that Santa would know where to find us, seeing as how we were a bit displaced and living with Grandma, and hoped that he'd figure out a way in since Grandma didn't have a fireplace.
 
That was the year I discovered that Santa Claus had the exact same handwriting as my mom. Wow...how could that be?
 
And that was the year that Santa brought me a rag doll, handmade by one of his busiest elves: my mother. Oh how I loved that doll. She was probably about 16" tall, the perfect size for my seven-year-old-self. She had a sweet embroidered-on-face, and hair made of brown yarn with bangs that stuck out and cute tightly braided pigtails on each side of her face.
 
As a child, this toy was my one and only imaginary friend. I named her Suki and I pretended that she was a real girl that only I could communicate with. I loved her so much and took her everywhere I went. {The following year I would take her to school for show-and-tell and accidentally forget her at school, leaving her alone in that dark classroom all by herself overnight - I hardly slept at all that night myself!}

Christmas, the year I was 28 years old: I was so happy to have a little girl of my own. Carrie was such a sweet and fun little girl, and at 18 months old she understood the excitement of Christmas. I decided that I would invest my time in making a pair of dolls for her - Raggedy Ann and Andy to be precise. As I stitched these dolls together I imagined how Carrie would love them - how they might even become her favorite toy - perhaps even imaginary friends.

I went all out - made the largest size on the pattern. I found the perfect box to wrap them in and placed them under the tree. I couldn't wait till Christmas to see the look of sheer joy on her face when she opened that package.

Well, remember, Carrie was 18 months old. And you know the best part of Christmas when you are little like that is the empty box that the gift came in. Wrapping paper was flying and she was busy going from one package to another. When Raggedy Ann and Andy made their debut Carrie was less than impressed. I'll admit, they are rather strange looking dolls - what with their bright red hair and triangle noses. And that big size I made? They were taller than Carrie was at the time.

Christmas, the year I am 49 years old: Suki ended up being torn apart by a puppy we had {it was a horrific sight}, but Carrie still has Raggedy Ann and Andy. She did end up playing with them as she got a little older, and they moved out with her this past year when she purchased her own home. This year as I am busy making Christmas gifts by hand, I am humbled knowing the time spent and love invested by my mom when she made that rag doll for me - living in her mother-in-law's dark house with her fourth child on the way, with handwriting that was just like Santa's. I'm sure my mom had no idea at the time what a lasting impression that rag doll would have on me. I have always loved giving and receiving handmade gifts, and I think that started with Suki.
♥ ♥ ♥

22 comments:

SarahLP said...

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog, Deb! I loved this story.. what a precious gift your mum gave to you with that rag-doll. And it's heart-warming to read of the strong relationship between you and your daughter too.

Sian said...

Deb, what a wonderful, wonderful story for Christmas Club! You painted the picture so well I can see those dolls for myself (and what a cute photo of your own little doll) and I love the way the story goes in a circle - the very best kind of memory I always think :) Thank you for sharing this one with us today.

Liberty :) said...

great story!!! but seriously though, you don't look anywhere near 49!!!! i thought you were about 38!!!

Ruth said...

Just perfect, Deb. I have a lump in my throat. xx

Carrie Rosalind said...

Aww...what a cute story! I am thankful for generations - for a grandma who passed down a love of handmade, to a mom who passed down the exact same thing to me. xoxo

Miriam said...

Oh such a beautiful story and treasured memory. Thank you for sharing it. It has reminded me of something that my mother made for me. I'll share it on Sian's Christmas Club next time x

scrappyjacky said...

Such a wonderful story,Deb....and like Sian, I can visualise that doll!

MarleneMAZ said...

What a lovely story Deb! looking forward to reading your next story.

Mom said...

My dear, you are getting to be an expert at opening flood-gates--both of memories and of tears. The most heart-warming post--thank you so much for sharing it with your blog mates.

I think the moral of these stories is this: You never know what you are going to give or do for your child that will be cherished for years. So as parents, we should make every attempt to treasure every moment and make them all count. Because there is no chance for a re-do.

Thanks for making me feel like I was a much better person than I felt at that time......I love you to the moon and back! xo

Denise said...

Oh Deb - thank you for sharing your lovely story, made me very emotional and I can really see those dolls :-)

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely story! It made me a bit teary eyed. DD Clara loved her dollies so much when she was little (I'm actually posting my Christmas Club story tomorrow and it has a bit to do with dollies).
Henry had a curious George that he carried around for years! And what a pricelss picture of Carrie!
Rinda

traci said...

Your Christmas memories are very sweet Deb. You made me dig into my foggy memory and remember a few of my favorites.

sharyncarlson said...

What a lovely post, Deb! And you've left me feeling like doing some reminiscing, too!

Karen said...

What a lovely story! It made me think of one of Sarah's earliest dolls--Lolly Dolly--not homemade but carried with her everywhere. I wonder if I have a photo of the two of them. Your photo is just as lovely as the story!

Amy said...

Deb, I think your Mum's comment is also what will stay with me - the littles are to be treasured and, truly, they find the greatest joy in the simplest of things. Thank you for sharing such a beautifully written and clearly remembered memory :-)

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

This was so sweet, Deb! I'm sure Carrie will always treasure those presents. And 49? Baby, you look AMAZING!!!

Rachel B said...

This is such a lovely story Deb :)

Kirsti said...

This is just the sweetest Christmas story ever Deb...you are so lucky to have happy memories! Kirsti xx

Alana said...

What delightful, sweet stories. Thankyou for sharing them with us all.

Cheryl said...

Great story Deb and the reindear is soo cute. Me again I have have left an award on my blogg for you feel free to join in the fun if you want but don't feel under any pressure x

cate said...

thank you for sharing your memories

Miriam said...

Hi Deb, I am linking to you in my Christmas story this week. Is it ok if I quote something from your post with a Link back of course?

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