The doll house had been lovingly built. It was made of wood. It had doors that would open and shut. Fancy trim on the shingle roof. Even a bow window and a front porch. But it had fallen on hard times. And as it is in the adult world the house was deemed “not good enough”. The house had been replaced by a larger more spectacular mansion. It was made of plastic, but it had a hot tub and a stair case and a chandelier in the front hall. After all even in the doll world one must keep up appearances.
The contents were thought to be shabby. The wall paper dated. The pictures on the wall old-fashioned. No one wanted a hand-made wooden doll house. The house was stored in the darkest, dreariest, farthermost corner of the garage and forgotten. Over the years it gathered neglect and dreary dust.
The forgotten doll house sat quietly in the dark corner and remembered. It thought of the many dolls who it made it their home. They had tea parties and sleep-overs. Entertainment for visiting doll friends. The house filled with giggles and joyful delight. Happy memories of by gone days. Then one day the house was taken from its dark hiding place and put on a display in a shop that welcomed cast off toys. Time passed. No one was interested in the shabby doll house. The lonely house thought of its broken shutter. The peeling wallpaper. The scratches, dents and missing pieces. “No one will want me. No one will buy me. No one will love me.”
There are those who see hidden beauty in imperfection. Who search for the unusual, the unexpected. Who see potential where others pass by. When she saw the doll house she thought “how absolutely wonderful”. It just needed a little loving care; some carpentry work, lots of snow white paint and a exotic group of inhabitants. It would be the perfect Christmas house.
The roof was repaired. The shutters replaced. Every inch of the house was painted the dazzling white of freshly fallen snow. Tiny diamond bright lights adorned the house, inside and out. The windows were cleaned. And the house even had a chandelier.
The invited guests gathered for a Christmas party. The dolls house was filled with excited guests.
The conversation was brilliant.
The Christmas party continued far into the night.
It was adults who lingered long. Peering into the rooms. Recognizing nostalgic and familiar toys from the past. They were swept up in the magic of this little house. The house gave a sigh of contentment for it was not to be forgotten. Not to be boxed and put away for another Christmas. It would have its place in this new home. To be enjoyed everyday by the very young and the young at heart. The doll house would live happily ever after.
Writer’s Notes: I found the sadly neglected doll house in the Thrift Shop in Ladner Village. It is an amazing experience – this shopping at the Delta Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. Everyone is a volunteer and all moneys raised support the Delta Hospital. I am proud to be a member of this amazing organization.
24 thoughts on “THE CHRISTMAS DOLL HOUSE . . . a tale of rejuvenation and delight.”
I LOVE this renaissance story! You’ve outdone yourself with this holiday makeover…and what a charming cast of characters. Thrift stores are so intriguing, and so needed these days.
Dear Gayle, I thought when I brought the house home I would just give it a little paint. My husband fell in love with and became the general contractor. He spent hours fixing the roof (it was badly damaged), doing all the painting, and then putting in the lights. It was a joint project and we had a lovely time bringing the dolls house back to life. Cheers Virginia
This story has all the makings of a delightful children’s Christmas book! Come on Virginia, you know people in high places. Louise
I thought You would appreciate this treasure from our most very favorite store.,Louise. Cheers Virginia
This made my heart smile (and my face too!) It looks exquisite!
Smiling hearts are the very best kind, Olivia. It is a sweet little house and I plan to keep it up all year ’round. There will be new inhabitants coming and going. And I will take the star down after Christmas but the Eiffel Towers look perfect on the porch roof. Keep well Olivia. My heart is with you. XXXOOO Virginia
What a treasure! You have restored it beautifully. I envision many stories from you with these special dolls and their visitors. In one photo I see a doll with pink feathers on the body and perhaps white feathers in the hair that reminds me of what I would call cuipie (spelling?) dolls found a carnivals as a child. Thanks for the magic! You are ready for the magic of Christmas.
You have a good eye Jo Nell. That is indeed a kewpie doll from a long ago small town fair. She is having an interesting conversation with a cat wearing a ruffle around his neck and leather boots. My husband did all the restoration work. Even took over my job of painting the tiny rocking chair on the front porch and the shelving unit in the tiny room. It was a joint venture of enormous enjoyment. I am quite in love with the doll house and am planning to keep it on display after Christmas with a new cast of characters. XXXOOO Virginia
I feel…..if I wait just long enough….. these characters will come to life. They are simply waiting until everyone is safely asleep,so they can continue their conversations and merriment. What a party they are having! And then, they will cleverly return to their “make-believe” positions – before Peter Rabbit awakens and peers in their window at sunrise. If only the world slept long enough, they could party for days on end in their restored home!
Everything is calm and quiet, dear Wanda. Then Lar turns on the lights. The music begins, and I noticed the cat wearing leather boots, in the small room, is romancing the kewpie dolls wearing the outrageously scanty feather outfit. A second rabbit joined the party today. I am a tad concerned because you know these rabbits. They know how to party. XXXOOO Virginia
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Dear Virginia, what a fantastical re-do project. A supreme make-over. I’m getting a little weepy. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop scrolling through the magical post. And what a party list. I spotted two little Troll Dolls, and Frida Kahlo, too. I missed the cat. Plus two Eiffel Towers! How did my eye not catch the cat? I’ll look again. A second party? Any updates? This is exactly what I needed to read after a very long week. Thank you! Big hugs, Theadora (I also love the before and after shots.)
Theadora, dear girl, I woke up this morning to find the chandelier down and two of the party goes laying outside the house. It must have been some night! Lar explained the chandelier had come unfastened and knocked the dolls out. I don’t believe him. Other illustrious guests include Queen Elizabeth the First sitting on the golden chair and Mary Queen of Scots standing beside her. Miss T we badly need this whimsy, this art of playing and letting our imagination take wings. Our poor world is going through the most difficult of times. All of us are longing for inner peace and calm. The doll house was very much a joint venture. My husband spent hours repairing and painting and installing the lights. We both loved the process. It was definitely the journey not the destination. I am going to keep the house on display when the Christmas decorations go back into storage. I have The Nutcracker ballet very much in my mind. I have Clara in my keepsake cabinet and I am sure I can create the rest of the characters. XXXOOO Virginia
Oh, my goodness! What a night, indeed! Any updates? Are the party cats okay? New guests? I’m ready for the next chapter. The lighting is magnificent, please tell your husband. And yes, it’s all about the process. I completely agree. Big hugs, Theadora
Anther rabbit joined the party and guess who? This is Oswald’s favorite time of the year and he absolutely enjoyed the enormous bowl of vegetables. More photographs of the party to come. Take care dear Theodora, Virginia
Oh Virginia, this should be a Christmas Classic told every year.
You did a wonderful artistic job.
I always wanted a doll house. I never had one, but now I do.
Thank you for this beautiful Christmas gift! xoxoxo
Dearest Resa, This is a doll house for everyone of us who never had one as a child. And it is to be played with and enjoyed. I am quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupery “All grown ups were once children but only a few of them remember it.” Here’s to remembering our childhood. XXXOOO Virginia
Cheers to our childhood! XOXOXO
May it live long and prosper!
Dear Diane, Shadow and Simba would be very interested in the pair of mice attending The Christmas Party. Cheers Virginia
Your blog is so good. i like your blog thanks for sharing
That is so very lovely. I had a doll house my father had built him self and I adored it.
Doll Houses must contain the most joyous memories, Cornelia. I simply couldn’t put my house away after Christmas. The right decision for me and apparently for most of my friends. Occasionally I will find a new resident. A visitor has added to the those who inhabit this house of enchantment. So very many happy wishes to you and all you love for a happy holiday and a very good New Year. Cheers Virginia
Thank you Virginia, indeed it carries memories for my life time. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.