A Christmas Kodak Moment By Tara Paray
Ever have a Christmas ugly cry? I have, and, yay for me, it was caught on camera!
Picture it: sometime in the 80s. Cabbage Patch Kids are all the rage, and that means they can’t be found anywhere! Once a toy store got them in stock, they were gone in mere minutes! The news of their arrival spread, not like wildfire as this was pre-Internet. But quickly, by word of mouth (oh, how I miss old school things sometimes…).
I didn’t care. I was little and I wanted that doll! They were soooooo cute! And everybody had one! And… and… I don’t understand supply and demand. I’m a kid!
My father apparently took that to heart. I’m not sure how it all came about, but his sister the seamstress came across a pattern… for a CABBAGE PATCH KID! So she made one for him and my mom to give me that Christmas. It wasn’t the official one, but it was as close as they could get. Nothing would stop them from getting me what I wanted!
Christmas morning. I know there’s no kid from the Patch in my boxes. I dutifully and, yes, still happily, open my presents, happy to have received them at all whilst learning to live with true disappointment. Oh, the angst of being a girl!
Then! When I thought all the unwrapping was done, my dad pulls out this big box and hints that maybe it’s for me and I just didn’t see it. Another present? What could it be?
I shook it – that’s required.
I felt around the outside – just felt like a box.
With no idea what it could be, I started tearing off the wrapping. A big brown container with no writing on the sides revealed nothing as to its contents. Curiosity’s got me now! So I rip open the top. Then this happened:
(And I have to live with the fact that’s on film for eternity.)
It wasn’t an official store bought doll. It was BETTER! Made just for me. Awwwww.
I named her Mary Ellen after my aunt who made her. I still have her, too, on a shelf with other special keepsakes from my younger years. I did eventually get my official doll, too (his name is Reggie Wally). The way I got him and how my dad struggled to get him is for another time (and hopefully the book I’m writing). I still have him, too. He sits near his handmade sister, two reminders of what love looks like in material form.
I hope your holiday and winter season is filled with reminders of love!