One of the things that I remember when I think back about Santa Claus is wondering which doll of the many I wanted, that I would get. Being raised as a Navy Brat in the 50’s, we did not have much money at all. Our clothes were hand made or hand-me-downs, and a lot of the time our toys were hand me downs also. One year I wanted a ‘Walking Doll’ very badly. I wanted her more than anything I had ever remember wanting. I knew the chance of getting her was very slim, as I knew money was tight. I think I was 7 that year.
All of my friends in Brownies had a doll that walked. When they walked, their head would turn from side to side and their eyes would turn also. Some of the dolls that Mom pointed out in the stores were nice, also, but I wanted THIS one. She had dark rooted hair, and stood about 20 “ tall. All the dolls that Mom pointed out were the smaller ones like I already had. She said that way the clothes would all fit each other. Nope it didn’t sway me. I wanted THAT one.
I don’t remember ever sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him exactly which doll I wanted but I know I wrote a letter to him.
Christmas Eve Night I went to sleep, quivering with anticipation waiting for Santa to come and leave my doll. I just KNEW she would be under the tree. Phyllis was sleeping soundly and I so wanted to run out and look at the tree, but I knew I could not.
On Christmas Morning, we were told that we had to wait for Mom and Dad to wake up before we could go out and see what we had gotten from Santa. Naturally, It was too early, and we had to wait anxiously for them to decide to wake up. I tiptoed in to peek around the corner, and saw that there were quite a few things under the tree, but I could not see what all was there. I could see that our stockings, so carefully hung by the cardboard fireplace, were full and stretched down almost to the floor. Mom made our socks, and all three of them were exactly alike. Dads, Phyllis Ann’s and mine. All were hand knitted with our names on the top.
Finally after much pestering Mom and Dad got out of bed and we got to go in to see what we had gotten. We had to do it systematically, and not in a rush. There were packages from the Aunts, and Grandparents, and A few packages from Friends of the family. All covering what Santa had shoved under the tree.
After a quick look I did not see my doll, so I knew that once again I was not going to get exactly what I wanted, but I knew I would get others that I would like. I don’t even remember what Phyllis Ann got that year, all I can remember was the disappointment of not getting the Walking Doll, mixed with anticipation of what I did get.
We opened presents one at a time, so Mom could record who got what and we could write thank you cards later that day. Dad was passing out presents, Mom was recording and Phyllis Ann got to open the first one. Then It was my turn, and them Dad’s and then Mom’s. And then back to Phyllis and me, etc. Until all the presents were opened and we could see what all was in our Stockings.
Dad and us kids picked up the wrapping paper and put it in the trash, and Mom handed us down our stockings. We were allowed to go at them together because it was really hard to mix up what Santa brought with what Santa brought. ;) There were always Candy Canes in the top, a color book, and a new box of crayons, a set of jacks, and maybe a jump rope. The toe always had an apple and a tangerine and some Christmas candy. The filled raspberry kind, (Because that is what Dad liked) It was a nice Christmas, and we had to get ready to go to Sunday School and then over to Aunt Margie’s for Dinner.
We were finishing the clean up and my Dad said well what do we have stuck back here? And out he comes from behind the Christmas tree with my Doll! My Rebecca!! My Beautiful Walking Doll. With Rooted Hair, and a pretty dress. Along with her dress, she had a beautiful purple corduroy coat and Beret with a white rabbit skin collar and a white muff. I had just learned about Rebecca in Sunday school and I had liked the name, So that is what I named my Doll. Mom had hand made the clothes from left overs in her scrap box. I will always remember that Christmas and that Doll. My Rebecca! For the life of me I can’t remember anything else that year. But I do remember the Magic…