Monday, November 23, 2009

Paper Dolls

Winter evenings were the perfect time to get my box full of paper dolls out and play with them. It was fun dressing them in their many different outfits and pretend they were real. I would make them go on picnics and fine places in cities. The possibilities that my imagination came up with were endless and I spent many happy hours thus occupied.

One evening cousins Emma and Esther came to play. I had my paper dolls spread out and was in quite  another era when they came. They oohed and aahed about my lovely dolls and then we spent all evening playing with them. It was even more fun than usual, until it was time for them to go home. They helped me put my dolls away and then Mom said. "Mary Ann, why don't you divide the paper dolls and send some of them home with Emma and Esther?"

I looked at Mom, horrified at the very thought of having to part with some of my paper dolls. I loved each one and was sure I needed all of them to be able to play with them properly.

Mom was serious about sharing. I agonized over each doll but finally I chose half of them to send home with them, and gently put my half in my dresser drawer.

I have no idea if Emma and Esther played with their paper dolls but I could no longer enjoy mine. When ever I got the box out to play with them I missed the ones that were no longer there and so I would just put them away again.

I found my half of the dolls last week. They are still as pretty as when I used to play with them and after all these years I still miss the six I gave away.


  1. i do believe those are the cutest paper dolls i have ever seen. i can understand not want to part with any of them!!

  2. I completely understand your feeling! How wonderful that you still have the remaining ones left...I hope they cherished the dolls that you gave them as much as you did.

  3. I found your blog a few weeks ago and I so enjoy reading your stories. I feel like I'm watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie. You are so descriptive in your story telling it just captivates me and makes the stories come to life. You really should write a book.

    And about the paper dolls, I could feel your pain as a little girl giving up something so loved and cherished. I went searching and found these dolls, not sure if they are the same, but very close. Maybe you could get some new dollies to add to your well loved ones...


  4. Ahh, that's so sad. They deserve to be played with...they're so beautiful! I played with paper dolls as a child and remember having so much fun with them. I'm still a kid at heart. Every year I ask for a toy for Christmas, and I guess no one takes me seriously because I never get one! But I AM serious!
    Anyway...thanks for sharing those sweet dolls with us.

  5. I too loved my paperdolls as a child. So sorry you had to give those bright bits of sunshine away. I recently found a site online and printed one out and during a time of stress, cut her and her little blue outfit out.

    I was cleaning before my company come this weekend and laid it aside. I ended up putting it all in a baggy and sending it home with my sweet granddaughter.

    If I ever locate that site again, I will send it your way!☺

  6. This post brought back so many memories. All little girls are protective over their special dollies- it's what made us such good doll mothers! I can still remember my favorite paper doll set which was kept in an old cigar box that was found in an outbuilding. They were so lovely and even now, their loss to time is mourned.

  7. The dolls are beautiful. They are definitely still being sold, although maybe not all the ones you lost. They are called "Dolls from Storyland." Go to the website Tiff gave you (above), and hunt on Dolls from Storyland.

    But, of course, it's not the point. The dolls were a lesson in giving yourself up. As parents, we must strive not to hurt our children while we guide them on the right path.... My parents gave all of my toys away while I was at school when I turned 12. All of them. Luckily my Raggedy Ann doll was under my pillow!

  8. Those are so fun and so pretty! I loved the old paper dolls when I was a girl too.
    Ohhhhh why do mom's make us share sometimes?? So hard! They probably didn't take care of theirs and treasure them like you do.
    It is neat that you still have the ones you have!

  9. Your dolls are beautiful. It must have been very hard to part with even a few. I surely hope your friends appreciated the sacrifice and enjoyed the ones you gave them.

  10. You should ask Emma and Esther for your dolls back.

  11. My husband lost beloved toys to the trash bin by an over-zealous mother on a cleaning spree. Some of those toys would have been quite valuable today, too.

    I had quite the paper doll collection growing up. I no longer have them, though. They fell victim to tears and rips over the years of play. Now that I have a daughter of my own I look forward to getting her paper dolls when she's older.

  12. I loved paper dolls too but the little fold over tabs always wore out too fast.
    I was reading some of your older posts tonight and noticed your husband is a logger. Mine was too and I remember praying for his safety each morning then thanking Heavenly Father for his return each night. I also remember lots of mending!

    About hominy, I don't use it often but when I do I always prepare it how mom taught me. She first fried a little bacon in a skillet, sometime with onion, Then added drained and rinsed YELLOW hominy with a little water and let it simmer about ten minutes so the hominy cold absorb the bacon & onion flavors. I like it that way.

  13. I too have many fond memories of playing with paper dolls. I understand the agony of having to part with them. In today's world of high tech toys and entertainment it warms my heart to see my girls playing with something so wholesome and simple.

  14. This reminds me that childrens attachments run deep, and I need to be constantly aware of this as a parent.

  15. I so enjoyed paper dolls growing up. We usually made our own, my sister and I. But, it was still fun. I only wish I had given thought to getting some for my now teen daughter when she was younger.
    Your blog is very refreshing and I am glad I stumbled upon it!

  16. I love paper dolls when I was a little girl. I so enjoyed played with them all the time!!! Great memories, thanks!

  17. I remember my mom getting McCall's magazine when I was little and there was a paper doll in there every month called Betsy McCall and I SO looked forward to that! I used to make my own, too, out of cute paper or color designs on them myself. What a great memory - I'm so glad you still have some. That is SUCH a treasure!!!

  18. Children are such interesting creatures! This reminded me of the incident Laura Ingalls Wilder recorded in one of her books where Ma made her give her ragdoll to another little girl. Later in the winter, Laura found it frozen in a mud was touching how Ma helped fix the doll and her understanding then of what it meant to Laura. I remember my aunt helping Mom when my sister was a baby... Aunt threw out some of my 'school junk' including a prized paper house of some sort... 33 years later, I still remember it! Love my aunt though! I guess it's a delicate business- teaching children while remembering their sensitivities. You can't do everything right!
    I enjoy your blog... my extended family is mostly Amish (although my parents, siblings and I aren't). This always brings back memories!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.