Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas is a time to recall cherished memories

Lisa Littlechap
Penny Bright


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My mind's filing drawers are bursting with holiday memories, Christmas being the primary theme.

I want to write as many out as possible so that one day I will still be able to hold them close even if they are slightly blurred. Much like pulling a string of Christmas lights from a storage bag, they are safe but much tangled. Images from the eyes of a 2 year old, a 22 year old , 49 and many, many holidays along the way.

To categorize and list them would distract from the pleasure of replaying the vignettes, so write now and sort the mess later. I will try to post a few each day for a while, add photos where possible and please feel free to share your own.

I would say that my earliest Christmas memory would have been just before I turned 2 (January 1960), some time shortly after Christmas I am assuming.

I can see myself looking over at my Opa and perhaps my dad, and there is a radio. I recall discussion of the radio not working and that really, I was too young for it, it was not really the right thing to give to a little girl. Perhaps. Perhaps that is why I am so addicted to radio now [if i could run with a 24 hour life soundtrack it would be CBC radio one]. Opa just laughed a bit, no one was mad. It had to be about then since I was old enough to run around and we still lived in the Brownstone in Manhattan.

Another Kodak moment [Coney Island this time, perhaps age 5], near the tree is this wonderful pink and blue (wooden back then) baby doll play pen. I scarcely recall playing with it so I have no idea how long I may have had it but I know it amazed me on Christmas morning.

Dolls and Christmas always belong hand-in-hand. I love (loved then and very much still do now) dolls; all kinds, baby dolls, Toddler Dolls, Walking Dolls, Barbie and her ilk, cloth dolls, mini dolls, paper dolls, any doll.

I recall (many times over a few years) losing my favourite doll shortly before Christmas. She would have been a toddler style doll, plastic, blond hair. And I would be so very happy on Christmas morning to see her under Oma + Opa's tree, all dressed in a new outfit. I am not sure whether I was happier that she was wearing a lovely new dress or just that I had her back. This doll would be the same doll to play in the lovely wooden pink and blue play pen. We were friends for quite some years but I really do not know how or when she was no longer there. I only know that she was eclipsed by my first Barbie doll, a la Jacklyn Kennedy, bouffant bubble blonde hair, jacket, heels and a purse. It was glorious to dress her and that is how I learned the feeling of envy and covet. There were so many beautiful outfits to be had, and they belonged to other girl's Barbie dolls. Oh yes, this began a time of lust and trading and fighting and hiding and absolutely unlimited imagination.

My Barbie had friends, Penny Bright with her red dress, happy eyes and a Beauty Parlour, Tressy whose hair grew and grew when you pushed the button on her belly, Francie (Barbie's flatter chested cousin), Lisa Littlechap - the so-serious-business-suited MOM, Crissy and a few more. My passion for dolls was only matched by my obsession with reading and making things. Barbie however has her own (very short) story to be saved for another post.
And there is the seed for all my sewing. I could not get all the clothes that my dolls wanted so I had to make some. Coopy's (the corner candy & toy store) sold doll clothes kits that went together with special glue dots so you did not need to sew them. you simply cut the fabric into the pattern pieces and pressed them together for your barbie doll to wear. I had a full heavy suitcase of dolls, their clothing and accessories - unfortunately (and I am still not over it) the whole suitcase disappeared.


  1. POPPYJOJO2@AOL.COM6:23 pm


  2. I grew up on 29th St and was there till 1972. Please read the latest blog post.


Thanks for taking the time to visit!