My Shirley Temple Doll from Santa

I don’t really remember what year it was…I was maybe five or six. I do know it was the year that Santa brought me my heart’s desire. A Shirley Temple doll. The Ideal Doll Company had just put out a new version of Shirley Temple. She was in the Montgomery Wards catalog. She was beautiful. And she had clothes. I had even braved sitting on Santa’s lap (always an exercise in terror control for me) at a children’s Christmas party so I could whisper what I wanted in his ear.

How could you not love Shirley? Here she is with Bojangles in my favorite dance sequence from The Little Colonel.

I was a big doll girl. I had a collection, as a matter of fact, that included a Madame Alexander Scarlett O’Hara with green eyes, and a set of handmade Dolls Around the World. Still do, though, maybe ironically, neither of my daughters have any interest in dolls (they find the eyes a bit creepy) so my collection is packed away. And, maybe also ironically, I don’t have that Shirley Temple doll anymore. She was well played with, so well-loved. I loved everything about her: her little red Mary Janes, her knee socks, her curls, her dimples and her frilly dresses. I remember running into the living room where the tree was and seeing Shirley on the fireplace hearth where Santa always left his gifts. I think I cried a little. I wasn’t a big squealer but I probably did that too. I don’t remember anything else I got that year (did I get anything else, Mom?). I just remember thanking Santa over and over in my head: Thank you, Santa. So much. For bringing me Shirley Temple. I love her. Love, Kecia.

What about you? Did you ever get your absolute heart’s desire from Santa? And was it everything you wanted it to be?

10 thoughts on “My Shirley Temple Doll from Santa

  1. I remember the year I got the Barbie Dream House I’d been wanting – oh, and a bike too, a pretty, purple Huffy! I don’t think I got quite as excited as you describe, though both got many hours of play. Fun post; thanks for sharing!

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Hi Jeannette! Oooh! A Barbie Dream House, really? I had to go over to the neighbor’s to play with hers. I had one lonely Barbie. 🙂 I think they usually travel in packs.

      • Minnie says:

        Kecia, I had the one lonely Barbie also!!

      • Kecia Adams says:

        LOL! Yes! Good thing my friend had older sisters who had all the shoes, clothes, etc. Of course I really took care of my one Barbie. My mom hated Barbie, though. Don’t know if that was a feminist thing or just a marketing thing…buy Malibu Barbie for $3.95 but then be on the hook for all her STUFF!!

  2. The year I started working full time (after being a full time mom) one of my daughters was having a hard time. I knew it was going to be a special Christmas because we were a dual income family for the first time. but it seemed everywhere I looked, I found something for my eldest daughter. But since my rule is the number of gifts and the $$$ spent must be the same for all three of my children, every gift I bought for her meant I bought one for each of my other 2 children.

    I know commercialism in not politically correct but that Christmas was incredible for me. My kids got every single thing they had asked for, dreamed of, wished silently for. and then a bit more. It was an expensive Christmas but…the gift for my kids was so meaningful because they learned wishes can come true. That at times in life, our wildest dreams can come true. And it never hurts to ask – you never know what the answer will be.

    All three of those learnings have stayed with them and have held them in good stead ever since. So yes, it was a commercial Christmas but it turned out to be so meaningful for my teenagers.

    great blog. thanks for sharing.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Thanks for your comment, Louise. Sometimes its the things we expect to make the least impact that make the most. 🙂 My teenager has a bit of a rough time recently and I’m hoping this Christmas will be special for her. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you got the Shirley Temple doll you so wanted. If the American Girl dolls had been around when I was young, I’d have wanted one desperately. When I bought one for my older daughter, she was interested but didn’t love it. I’m the one who loved the doll’s backstory, the accessories, and the peek into a particular period in time.

    • Kecia Adams says:

      Ooh, yes! Whenever the catalog comes to my house for the American Girls dolls, I pour a cup of coffee and spend a half hour going through it. My daughters both had one of their dolls, but it wasn’t a huge favorite for them. And now, of course, they’re beyond it. 😦 (But not me!)

  4. Debra Kristi says:

    Ooh Kecia! Growing up my neighbor had a Shirley Temple doll collection that would have had you drooling. She had this huge glass cabinet in her living room full of them. I remember I used to stand fixated in front of that thing just staring at them when I would go over there. LOL I never had one, myself. I remember the year I got my Barbie Dream House or Cindy’s Dream House (I think that’s what it was called). Does anyone remember the Cindy doll? She had a radio that really played music and the lamps on the night stands turned off and on. Barbie’s didn’t do that till much later. The Barbie Dream House my daughter now has does that kind of cool stuff.

  5. Janine says:

    What great stories you have of the Shirley Temple doll. I received my doll when I was nine so l never really played with it. It sat in my room and then my mother stored it away for me so she is in excellent condition. My doll looks exactly like your doll in the picture. I had the red dress like your’s made for her about 10 years ago. She has an arcylic case that she sits in. I want to sell her now and have been searching on the internet to see where I could sell her. If anyone knows where I can sell my Shirely Temple doll I would be most appreciative.

Leave a Reply to Debra Kristi Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s