12 Jun 2014


Letter D

I can't really remember when I got my doll house for Christmas. It must have been when I still lived with my grandparents. Somebody in the family knew a carpenter who made a wooden doll house for me with two rooms. One was the kitchen the other was a bedroom together with a little living area, a sofa, chairs and a table. As there was no money yet in occupied Germany just after WWII,  people used to swap things they needed.  The Deutsche Mark was introduced in 1948. The carpenter had children and my mother could knit, so she knitted pullovers and baby outfits for the kids and got the doll house instead. It was especially made for me.

I can't remember the original furniture the carpenter had made, not even that I played with it, I remember a Christmas in 1951 when I was 8 years old and had moved with my parents to Bonn.

I tried to find some pictures on internet to show how I remember it, I haven't seen it anymore since probably 59 years ! When my father died I took it with me to Waterloo and it must be in our attic. One day I have to look after it.

The kitchen was well equipped I even had a little electric stove and a pan and could make tiny little pancakes. I had dishes, cutlery, and cooking pots all in doll house sizes. My American aunt had sent me a little family, there was mum, dad two children and a baby in a pram. I was the only one amongst my friends who had such a perfect doll house even with little figurines.

Unfortunately I couldn't play that much with my doll house, because for an unknown reason it was only put up on the 1st of December and disappeared the 2nd January. In my father's family it was tradition that girls were only allowed to play with the doll house during the Christmas time, for the boys it was the same with a train.

Of course I hated when it was packed in cartons again and disappeared for a year ! I was mostly heard broken and really hated my father for this. My mother had nothing to say, she would have let the doll house standing in my room the whole year. So each year it was the same drama, I cried, my mother and father argued and at the end my doll house disappeared in the attic or in the basement I don't remember.

I think my father never realized what harm he did to me, he just did the same like he was brought up and I think his childhood hasn't been very funny. My grandpa was an imposing person and my cousins and I were afraid of him. He wasn't at all like my maternal grandpa with his warm and generous heart.

This yearly Christmas drama left traces and I swore that if one day I had children, trains or doll houses would never disappear for a whole year !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday


Anonymous said...

I never had a doll house, so I don't know what I missed. But we didn't have an attic, so there was no place to store anything.
I would say, to look for your doll house and have it in the living room FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!!

Fun60 said...

I have never heard of this strange tradition of putting toys away for a whole year. I don't understand the sense behind it at all!

storybeader said...

what a tradition! Guess they were trying to make Christmas a special time of year... I wonder if all the furniture and figurines are still around. That would be a find! {:-D

Jo said...

I read once about men of that era that: Father knows best" and who knows how much damage those darn control freaks caused to their children. If I was you, I'd look for that doll's house and set it up in a place in your house where you can look at it for the rest of your life! This should make up for that denial all those years ago! (((Hugs))) Jo xx

Cristina Pop said...

Such a great story! You should really look after it! I`m sure you`ll love to see it again :)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I think you should find it and put it where you can see it all the time...

I'm all about making up for missed opportunities!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I have a dolls house in my teaching space and the kids, especially girls love it.

Andrew said...

What a puzzling thing for your father to do. I don't understand why. Pleased that you still have it, unseen and put away.

Lady Lilith said...

Cute dollhouse. It is a pity to have it locked up for a whole year. It looks like it had a lot of personality.

Linens and Royals said...

I am still waiting for you to get your dolls's house out of the attic and show. I do like the doll house pics. but I want to see yours.
What a strange tradition to put toys away for most of the year. That must have been traumatic for you.

Grantham Lynn said...

Sorry it got locked away. Make me sad. I never had a doll house but I had a corner I played in and little furniture my father made. It was in their attic and got put in my mothers storage. You've reminder me of it. Maybe I can get it if she ever opens the storage!
I enjoyed visiting I am following you.
Have a great weekend,

Grantham Lynn said...

Sorry it got locked away. Make me sad. I never had a doll house but I had a corner I played in and little furniture my father made. It was in their attic and got put in my mothers storage. You've reminder me of it. Maybe I can get it if she ever opens the storage!
I enjoyed visiting I am following you.
Have a great weekend,

Annesphamily said...

I think that was very sad indeed! A girl should always have her doll house and a boy his train! My girlfriend Karen's daughter never liked dolls and always asked for science things for Christmas. She is a grad student today and studies, Science! LOL!
I wish you could find your doll house and display it. I think it should be yours to do as you please all these years later. I am very sorry for the trauma you suffered. My friend Kozue who was born in Japan was raised very strictly. In fact, last year when school got out for the summer she flew to Japan with her two children. Her mother had enrolled them in the Japanese school! I just don't think children should have to go to school twelve months. I think education is the very best thing, I just think everyone needs to take a break! I am glad you have good memories of the actual doll house. Thanks for sharing.

Splendid Little Stars said...

wow. That's a story rich with details.
How sad that the doll house was put away after so short a time.
Thanks for sharing!

Esther Joy said...

Interesting memories! My oldest daughter made a dollhouse from a kit for my youngest daughter. We left it out, although it took up a lot of room. I think I had more fun buying furniture for it than my daughter did playing with it!

Jenny said...

I've not heard of this. I think it would be difficult on a child!

I hope you get a dollhouse again and you can leave it out all year!

Thanks for sharing this memory.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How sad. We sometimes watch a show called Antiques Roadshow where people bring their old stuff to see how much it is worth. It always makes me sad when they show old toys that are like new, because you realize that no child ever got to have fun playing with them.