THE FORGOTTEN DOLL HOUSE . . . a Christmas tale of rejuvenation and delight.

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   The house had been replaced by a larger more spectacular mansion.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.





Pink camellias are blooming outside my door and we have snow.  First snowfall in three years.  It is beginning to look a lot like  Christmas.   Every year about this time I make two wreaths.  One for our front door and one for my friend and next-door neighbor’s door.

I gather cedar boughs from a tree growing at the foot of the garden.  My husband planted this tree the first  year we arrived on The Farm.  It was an orphan.  One of several young cedars discarded by a local nursery.   They were in poor condition.  Nothing ventured nothing grown so into the ground the saplings went.  Of the half dozen planted one survived.   We do have other cedars growing on the property, but I have special affections for particular cedar.  The branches are soft and pliable and easy to work with. And it is a survivor.

To make my wreaths I use  grape vine wreaths.  I tie single graceful branches on with brown twine.  The pine cones I garthered in a local park.  They covered the ground around an enormous fir.     I dabbed them generously with Mod  Podge (one could use white glue) and sprinkled them generously with silver glitter.  They were fastened to the wreath with brown twine.   I love the simplicity and elegant natural look of these wreaths.    The glitter  reminded me of snow.


The left over branches of fragrant cedar were gathered into pine-cone studded bouquets to welcome holiday guests at the front door.   Pine cones and Paris – perfect!!


I treasure these quiet days before Christmas.   It is when I listen to Handel’s Messiah.  Decorate the house a bit at a time, do holiday baking,  and simple enjoy this season of remembering, sharing and giving.





The big stone fireplace  fills the room with  warmth.

Handel’s Messiah  and The Hallelujah Chorus fills the house with glorious music .

I’ve pruned a cedar tree accompanied by gentle mooing and just a little clanking from  the big cow barn.  Two hundred and fifty milk cows  create their own Hallelujah song.

This is what you need to make your fresh Christmas wreath:

. a wreath form (dried grape vines are the best) but you can use anything.  Even a wire coat hanger.

. pruning shears

. plier cutters

. scissors

. 18 gauge wire

. twine

. fresh greens (cedar, fir, camellia leaves,  left over trimmings from the Christmas tree lot)

. and because you’re in the festive mood and the winter night is closing in – an ice-cold glass of sparkling Proseco.




First cut a goodly amount of short branches.  Tie them together in small bundles.  You’ll need a lot.


For a fat wreath (and they are always the best) tie the first two bundles on to the wreath.




Tie two more bunches on overlapping and covering the ends of the previous bunches.




Continue around the wreath form  adding a balanced amount of branches.




When you have finished check to see that you don’t have an stragglers (branches poking out where they shouldn’t).  Use the pruning shears to take care of these little darlings.




This is where you can get really creative.   Should it be white roses and miniature pomegranates?




Or something exotic  –  birds of a feather?




Magnolias.  They grow lush and beautiful here on the Lower Mainland.  Hmmm?

I’ve vibrant red satin ribbon.  Simply, classic.

I think I need to sleep on this last finishing touch.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.