Friday, December 6, 2013

An American Girl Christmas

I was probably 10 or 11 when the first American Girl Doll Catalog showed up at our house. An extra large glossy magazine with these beautiful dolls with interesting stories in them. The pictures of the dolls spanned two pages so you would have to turn the magazine and hold it open to see it. I think it’s because it was showing the actual size of the doll, I don't remember. I was enthralled. Coming from a family of three girls it seemed perfect as there were {originally} only three girls, Molly, Kristen and Samantha. My parents got us each a set of the books and I read them all.

Molly was my “doll” an I loved her stories and everything about her. She was growing up during World War Two and had a tenacity and spunk that I loved. It helped that she had freckles (like me) and glasses (like me) and was kind of a nerd (like me).  I begged, pleaded and asked again and again for a Molly doll to no avail. The truth was probably that my parents could not afford a $125 dollar doll for all three of their daughters and how could they possibly buy one for me and not for the other two. I was repeatedly told that I was too old and they would not spend that kind of money on something that would just sit on a shelf.

American Girl Christmas
Fast forward many years and I have my own daughter now. The year she was turning one the doll of the year had her name. Grandma stepped in and got it for her, although we held onto it and she didn’t get it until 5 Christmases later. She loves that doll. Now at age 6.5 (yes I know below the age recommended) she plays with it daily. She loves dressing her in matching outfits and taking her doll with her whenever she can. We have read her book and while her story is not as good as Molly’s (in my opinion) she loves it anyway. I love getting to watch her experience something I never did and see so much joy from it.

Mia Doll
My daughter and I were talking about “mommy’s” American Girl Doll one day and how we would have to go to the library to get the books for her to read. She asked me why I never got the doll and I explained that I was older then she was, nearing the end of my doll playing days and that my parents simply could not afford the doll. We talked about how fortunate she was to have hers and how I enjoy watching her with it. She thought about that for a moment and tilted her head and said matter of factly “mommy I’m going to ask Santa for a Molly Doll that way you can get your Doll. “ I almost cried in the car on the way to school. She is not my most empathetic child and for her to say that was so heart warming.

Then we heard the horrible, no good news, Molly was being retired.

That time I did cry.

She would be retired and I would miss out on my chance to finally have my Molly Doll.

When BlogHer rolled around in July I was invited to the American Girl Store for the relaunch of the Bitty Baby. I was so excited.  I told my husband that I was going to buy myself Molly that night. I would give it to my youngest daughter since my husband didn’t want our 6 year old to be spoiled with two dolls and thought having it sit on a shelf in our bedroom would be creepy.

He said no, I can’t. After the shock wore off and I stopped stomping around the house like a toddler he told me why.

He had one already, it was going to be my Christmas present.

Oh friends the tears that day. That he had understand the significance of that doll, as opposed to tall the other dolls they have. That he listened to me bemoan the retirement. That he remembered the name of the doll and ordered it!

This is what American Girl is about. Making positive connections and memories between girls and their dolls, and their mothers. The magic of American Girl surpasses generations. It’s not about what the doll looks like or what era she’s from. It’s about finding a friend, someone that’s maybe like you, or someone who is like what you want to be and having that outlet to imagine, live and learn through her.

There will be two American Girls under my tree this year. Molly for me, and a new Bitty Baby for my toddler. PBtoddler loves her baby dolls, but she wants PBgirls American Girl, there is just something about her. She climbs up on to her sisters bed to steal her when she is at school and she is so careful with her. All the other babies we have are tossed around haphazardly, and discarded naked at a moments notice. Not the American Girl, no, even at 2.5 she understands it’s special and treats it as such. I can’t wait to see the magic and sparkle in her eyes when she gets her very own, picked out to look just like her. It will be a magical morning for sure.

Merry & Bright

If you have a little girl on your list check out the American Girl Gift Guide and make her Christmas Merry & Bright.

Each order through December 31, 2013 includes a promo code for a FREE 8x8 photo book designed by Shutterfly exclusively for American Girl.

Do you have or does your daughter have  an American Girl Doll? Will there be one under your tree?

The Sticky: I received an new Bitty Baby doll for attending the launch in Chicago back in July. I was not compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

Ivy will be getting her very first American Girl doll this Christmas! (she has the Bitty Baby but just asked for the bigger doll that looks like her!)


Unknown said...

They are retiring Molly?!

How sweet of your husband to do that for you. I too was at the end of my doll caring days when I begged my parents for a Josephina doll. She's still sitting on my old bedrooms shelf for a little girl to play with her. If I don't have a girl myself I hope to pass it along to one if their daughters.