Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Bride Doll AND the Saga

Over the years I've written several short vignettes about different Christmas' in my life. Beginning today and going through Christmas, I'll periodically post them in no particular order. Today's vignette takes place in 1957.

I also want to say Happy Birthday to my son, Anthony. Today he's 37. Ooooold Man!

Christmas 1957. I was eight years old. That was the year of the Bride Doll and also the year I discovered the truth about Santa Claus. I lived in a very small town called Hayden, Arizona. At that time, there was a general store in the center of town near the elementary school. Each afternoon on the way home from school, I would rush inside and check out The Bride Doll.

The Bride Doll was the most important dream of my young life. She was two feet tall dressed in a bride dress composed of layer upon layer of white lace. She had short curly blonde hair and a veil. The display box was high up on a shelf so that you could see her the minute you entered the store.

Every afternoon, I rushed inside to check that she was still there. At the time, I don’t think I realized that the store would naturally have more than one in stock. I was sure that as long as The Bride Doll was in the store on Christmas Eve, then Santa would bring me my dearest wish…The Bride Doll.

One afternoon as I trotted down the sidewalk after school, I saw my mother standing by our car in front of the store. Now in those days, kids did not ride in the front seat. The front seat was reserved for grown ups. So when my mother asked if I wanted a ride home, I naturally yanked open the back door even as my mother yelled, “No!”

And lo and behold, there was The Bride Doll on the back seat.

I was dumbfounded. What was The Bride Doll doing in my car? It says much about innocence of that era that it never even occurred to me that my mother had bought it. All I could think was, “Why did Santa bring my doll when it wasn’t even Christmas?”

Well, we rode home in silence. Then, my mother took me by the hand and led me into the kitchen where we proceeded to have milk and cookies while she explained how Moms and Dads were Santa’s helpers. It was vague enough that it took me two more years to finally get it. She explained that my brothers didn’t know about how Moms and Dads helped Santa so I would have to pretend to be surprised.

Pretending and having secrets was almost as exciting as knowing that The Bride Doll would be mine on Christmas Day. I dragged that poor doll around for years. As a matter of fact, fifty years later, she’s still stashed in my spare room. I’m afraid that she’s a bit worse for the wear, but my granddaughters still love her anyway. Her bride dress is long gone. At the moment she has a sailor dress. I keep thinking that I’ll find time to make her a new dress but I haven’t done it yet.

A little over two years later, my mother died. I wonder what she’s thinking now as she peeks down from Heaven? Is she shaking her head over that bedraggled dolly? Probably so.

The picture is my mom and grandpa, now gone many years. Oh, and that's me clutching my Bride Doll.


Do you want to win some fantastic holiday reading? If so come celebrate the Twelve days of Romance with 12 authors from Ellora's Cave, Wild Rose Press, Total-E-Bound and Cerridwen Press. Each day beginning December 8th and running through December 19th one of the twelve authors will tell what their "True love gave to them" on either their blog or website.

Collect all twelve answers and e-mail them to with 12 days of Romance in the subject line to win some great books.

There will be three lucky winners.

The prizes –1st prize--6 books

2nd prize--4 books

3rd prize--2 books

All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.
Tune in on December the 6th for complete details!
Anny Cook Winter Hearts
Sandra Cox Boji Stones
Bronwyn Green Ronan’s Grail
Heather Hiestand Cards Never Lie
Barbara Huffert Deal of a Lifetime
Amarinda Jones Mad About Mirabelle
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Cindy Spencer Pape Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Brynn Paulin Fallen
Jacquéline Roth Access Denied
KZ Snow Mrs. Claws
Lacey Thorn Earth Moves
Fun, right?
Well, let's see... Where did Amarinda leave us on the Saga?
“I could kill you for that but I won’t.” The woman leered at her. “I have been given the task of taking you to Yum Cha.”

Emmeline stiffened in horror. Yum Cha was knife throwing Tibetan anarchist who had vowed to kill her for saving the life of high Chieftain. “I’m not going.”

“It’s not optional, short arse.”
Emmeline calculated her chances of successfully fighting Merle at dead zero. Bribery, however was a distinct possibility. Merle could really use a pair of shoes and a complete make-over. Really, look at those filthy feet and purple toenails were so passé.

“So, Merle,” Emmeline said craftily. “How would you like a make-over? Maybe a new pair of shoes. Some slimming clothes…”

“Why?” Merle asked point blank.

“Well, don’t you want to look your best? I always think that the better you look, the easier it is to win friends and influence people.” Emmeline’s eyes darted around as she looked for the darned peeler. Surely Merle hadn’t smashed the peeler!

Merle noticed the wandering eyes right off the bat. “What are you looking for?” she asked suspiciously.

“Oh, I just thought maybe there was something of Zoltan’s lying around. You know a little memento of the lying rat.”

Lifting her foot up, Merle plucked a metal object from her big toe. “This is all there is,” she observed before tossing the bent peeler to Emmeline. “Now can we get back to this make-over business? How do you propose to do this?”

“Well, we’ll have to go to Hong Kong, of course. They have the best tailors in the business. I’m thinking that you might want a warm red rinse on the hair. Nice and bright and it’ll give your face some color—”

“Hold it right there, sister. First we’ll go see Yum Cha. Then, we’ll go to Hong Kong. For one thing, my sister, Beryl will want to come with us. She likes to go new places and see new things.”

“But—” Emmeline started to object.

“Nope. Yum Cha has a proposition for you. Actually, thats the reason I had to get rid of your man. He would have really been in the way. Yum Cha don’t go for none of them men-ages, you know?”
So where will Kelly take us on Monday? Tune in then to find out. In the meantime, don't forget to drop by Amarinda's place at and Kelly's place at to find out what words of wisdom they have to share. Blessings on your day!


  1. I still have my bride doll too. She would be 30 years old and still as virginial as the day I got her.

    BTW - What a cute kid you were.

  2. Mine was a ballerina doll as big as I was - sadly she was lost during one of our moves. But the most vivid memory I have of Christmas lies not with a toy, but with the day itself. My dad was a cop and Christmas was like any other workday for him, but for us, how the day went depended on the shift he was working. If he was working the graveyard shift (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.), we got to open presents when he got home from work. If he worked day shift (7-3) we got up really early and opened them. If he worked second shift (3-11), we had to wait until 8 or when he got up. In all the years of growing up, I can only remember two years when he actually had the day off. But it was all good. :)

    Vicky B

  3. Anny, I had a bride doll, too and my memory of her looks a lot like yours. The LAST thing I remember about her was that my bratty little sisters had plucked most of her beautiful blond curls out. :)

    My fave doll that I still have is a Dopey Doll. I've never seen another. He's in sad shape, too, but he sits proudly on top of my roll top desk and I can't help giving him a gentle hug now and then.

  4. When I was in the 4th grade, my mother showed me her Bride Doll, and very trustiningly gave her to me. She is still in good condition and last I heard she was packed away with the rest of my doll collection.

    Great picture, Anny:)

  5. I never had a bride doll or any doll. I hated dolls. For Christmas I asked for books and balls. During one of his trip to France, my Dad brought me a gorgeous doll. I was seven. I threw her away. She scared me because I didn't like her porcelain eyes. They gave her to my little sister who was delighted to have two dolls. A few years ago, I saw a Barbie bride doll at my aunt. She bought it to herself and never let any one touch it, but she gave it to my daughter at her wedding five years ago.

  6. What a cutie you are!!

    I've had a lot of dolls but the most dear is the one my mother made for me. Before Cabbage Patch there were "Adoption Dolls" made of cloth, not plastic. My mom would sneak to her room after we'd gone to bed and work on her. She even took a doll making class to sew her together, make her hair and learn how to paint her features. I was completely surprised and delighted and mom painted her eyes blue like mine, gave her freckles like mine, long blonde hair like mine, and even put in dipples where I had mine. I named her Valerie and I still have her. While it hasn't been 50 years, I know she will be with me at least that long.

  7. What a great pic. And you were/are even cuter than the doll. I had one very similiar only she wasn't a bride. But same dress style, only blue and silver, blue eyes that opened and closed and blonde hair.

  8. Want to thank all of you ladies for your memories. They helped make my own more special.

    Kelly, I have an adoption doll. My friend made her for me as a memory when I moved away from Texas.

    Mona, I too had books. Tons of books that I'm passing on to my grandkids. I had lots of dolls as we had many missionary friends that brought them back from foreign lands. When my mother died, we were moving across country and I had to leave most of them behind... all except the Bride Doll. I guess that's why she's extra special to me.

  9. What a beautiful picture and story. I remember having a bride doll. Not quite as tall as yours, but just as lovely. :-)