Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Memories

When I was a little girl, my sister and I always received a special treat on Valentine's Day. My mother would come in during the night and put a gift next to our pillows. When we woke up on Valentine's Day, there was a little white box with red polka dots. Inside was a Nancy Ann Storybook Doll. These were the dolls of our childhood. It was an earlier time, before Barbie dolls were invented.

Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls are only about five inches tall, and they have beautifully detailed outfits. They came in many series; a fairytale series, a holiday series, a seasonal series, etc. The ones we received were always the Valentine dolls, all dressed in red and white.

Over the years, we lost track of our dolls. We had two younger sisters, born ten and seventeen years after us, and they played with our dolls. They became misplaced in the process. As we got older we didn't think much about them. Then, a few years ago, I found a Nancy Ann doll as I was browsing on E-Bay. I ordered one of the Valentine's Day dolls, and when it came in its box a wave of nostalgia washed over me. It took me back to my childhood. The feel, the smell of the box, and the doll with its little painted-on shoes, red dress and hat... it was exactly the same as I remembered.

It wasn't long until I was ordering more of them from E-Bay. I showed them to my mom, who was delighted to see them again after all these years. We spent many hours reminiscing over them. Then I surprised my sister with one on her sixtieth birthday. She was as nostalgic as I had been.

Here are a few that I have collected over the past couple of years. Yes, I am at that age when things you played with when you were a child have now become collector's items. I guess it seems silly for a grown woman to have dolls. But these little dolls still have the same fascination for me as when I was little. Their outfits are so old-fashioned and nicely detailed, and I appreciate that.


Natalie said...

They are so dear, especially as they come with a story-Your story.

Jenn Jilks said...

Delightful memories!

anya said...

The girls are so cute, Judy. I don't think girls are ever too big for loving dolls. Several years I had a love affair with the Gene doll. She was a movie star from the 40/50's and the clothes were/are glorious. Around that time I also collected a few Annette Himstedt (probably spelled that wrong) dolls. They are larger and expensive and just glorious!

I don't buy dolls now, but I still have my collection packed away. When I can get to those boxes, Katy and I are going to explore.

Robin said...

When my step-mother was dying she told me about a doll she had loved and lost....a Sonja Henie doll.

She was a keen woman with a business mind. Sharp edges all around. I searched everywhere for a doll like it, for her (or the child inside.)

I never found one.

It's not strange finding an old love to love again. I hated dolls, but loved stuffed animals. Imagine my 52 year old bedroom these days.

Thanks for the story. Found you through Anya.


judy in ky said...

Welcome Robin, I'm glad you found your way here. I remember hearing about the Sonja Henie doll, a long time ago.
I have a lot of stuffed animals, too. I have three little nieces who love to come over and play with them.