A TALL CHRISTMAS DOLL
By Ada Brownell
The Great Depression left tracks all over my family, so in the early 1940s with eight of us children and I the youngest, many Christmases we had no gifts. But one year, probably while I was 4 or 5, I received a doll almost as tall as I was. She obviously was used because she had little cracks all over her hard "skin," even up into her molded hair. Her clothing, however, clean and new, showed someone made it for her, probably Mama.
I hated that doll. I wanted a soft baby doll like I saw another girl have, with a bottle that you could fill with water, and when you stuck the nipple into the hole in the doll's mouth, the bottle emptied and the baby doll wet its pants. That big doll I had did nothing but stand up.
Just a little growing up, and every time I looked at that doll, I was ashamed of myself--a selfish, unthankful kid who hated a gift given in love. I didn't like the doll any more than I ever did, but I loved my parents more. I saw myself, probably as God saw me, and that did something in me.
I learned whether or not there are gifts under a tree, or who we share the holiday with, it's possible to have a merry Christmas. Jesus came, and I knew He loved me because I learned to sing Jesus Loves Me in Sunday school. He brought the gift of hope to anyone who will receive it, and that not only made the angels sing, humankind has been singing year 'round since that day.