Sometimes a small, chance event will spark my imagination. When I returned to work on December 27th, I found that an unlucky little girl left a new baby doll behind. In my offline life I manage a convenience store open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, a brand new Christmas gift was left behind. The sad little doll now has no home. I can’t bring myself to throw it out.
As a child, I adored baby dolls. Christmas was not Christmas without a new baby. Even at age 31, I still own the dolls that meant the most to me throughout my childhood. I could even tell you some of their names, origins, and stories. Once, the prized doll in my collection, my Samantha American Girl doll, became lost for the better part of a decade.
It began innocently enough. As I headed off to college, I assumed that Samantha was safely put away in her trunk along with all of her clothes and accessories. Little did I know Samantha was nowhere to be found. My little cousin Mackenzie, visiting my parents’ home for Christmas, wanted to play with Samantha. Who could blame her? She is a beautiful doll that even starred in her own set of books. Mackenzie and I searched my parents’ entire home. We could not find her. The same scenario played itself out year after year. It became tradition for Mackenzie and I to search for Samantha, even long after Mackenzie outgrew dolls herself.
And then it happened. She appeared. On a beautiful spring day I visited my parents’ home anticipating a visit with my Mom, my sister E, and her new baby boy W. I was in for a surprise. I found the house appearing empty only to find all three in the basement. My Mom and sister were having a blast sorting through our childhood toys as my little nephew slept in the baby swing nearby. After discussing the issue of our childhood toys for close to a decade, the time was finally right to go through it all.
While sorting through everything underneath the basement stairwell, my Mom and sister finally found long-lost Samantha. What a pleasant surprise! We spent the rest of that wonderful afternoon going through Barbie dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids, and more. I came across so much I had forgotten. At age 30, it felt amazing to feel 10 years old again, even if only for a few hours.
I discovered that I still love homemade dolls – and dolls period. I hope one day to adopt a little girl to whom I can pass along my collection. As a child, I never fully understood why my Mom would love to smell our new baby dolls at Christmas. As an adult, I understand completely. There is something about the smell of a new doll that will always remind me of Christmas.
If the owner of the little doll left in a convenience over Christmas doesn’t claim her, I will just have to pass her along to some little girl who will love her. No little girl should go without a doll to love. No doll should go without the love of a little girl.
- Christmas and the Cabbage Patch Kid (jumblerant.blogspot.com)