I have a couple of stories to share this evening. The first is about how much Christmas has changed. I took my granddaughters to the American Girl Store for lunch and a little shopping spree for their dolls. As they filled my shopping bag with clothes boxes, accessories for the dolls, pets for the dolls…..(and I was wondering how much this was all going to cost me!)…..I thought about my own childhood doll. I had a Madame Alexander doll and I pretended that she was a pioneer girl, like Laura Ingalls Wilder of the ‘LIttle House’ series. Laura grew up during the 1870s and traveled across country in a covered wagon. Laura had a corn cob for a doll, and her Christmas gift consisted of a tin cup with some candy inside.
My Madame Alexander doll had a small collection of clothes, most which were hand-sewn by my grandmother.
My mother only had paper dolls that she received in her Christmas stocking during the 1930s. If she was lucky, she found an orange and some nuts in her stocking too.
My reason for taking the girls to the doll store was because they receive so many gifts under the tree that whatever I gave them would be lost in the sea of presents!
I guess what I am wondering is how do we get back to better values? Going to the doll store was more about the experience that the gifts for me; I hope they remember me as the grandmother that took them to the doll store.
My second story has to do with a kind act. I was on the subway going to Madison Square Garden for a New York Knicks game when a little man asked me in broken English how to get to Penn Station. We were already underground in the subway station below Grand Central. As I was going in his direction, I told him to stick with me — I would show him the way. He was lugging two suitcases and told me he was 78 years old! We took the shuttle across town, and then we connected to the West Side train to 34th Street. From 34th we had to walk a few blocks, but I got him into Penn Station and took him all the way to the ticket counter where he could purchase a ticket to New Jersey. He was going out to somewhere near Somers where his son lived in order to celebrate his granddaughter’s first birthday! I am a little confused as to what nationality he actually was, but he was living in Argentina. I was happy that I could help him, and really did not understand how a son could leave an older gentleman like that to fend for himself.