Chapter Eight

 

I am learning many things as I progress through my first year and one of them is that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is very busy. One of the advantages of just being a wooden doll is all that is required of you is to watch and that I am capable of doing.

These past several days have been spent watching Esther make a braided rug for the Hitty dolls that live at the Fifer's house. She explained to me that no rug was pictured on the second floor of their Hitty doll house and since there was one illustrated in the original Hitty book, she felt they should have one. She is making one for me also. Esther appreciates the fact that I just watch and do not make comments. She is trying to make it as close in style as the one in the book. It is shown in black and white so choosing the colors that blended together was a bit of problem but she is pleased with her final choice.

This has also been a time of reflection for me. With so much reference to what is in the book about the original Hitty it has set me to thinking. It would have been delightful if I could have spent more time with her when we were in Stockbridge. She has a very lonely and isolated life. It is true she has many visitors but that is not like being part of a family where one is privileged to be part of everyday activities like she was a hundred years ago. She must miss it. All the Hitty dolls today owe a lot to her, indeed, our very existence!

There is so much to learn about traditions. I understand that all families have some and many are the same the world over. Each day the mailman brings greeting cards from friends. The notes on the Christmas cards often bring a smile to Esther's face. A few of her friends are not used to her interest in a doll so with 'tongue in cheek' she has included this picture of me with some of her responses. I have enjoyed watching her write the cards and I understand that cookie making is next. I am not sure how much interest I will have in the kitchen.

 

A story about Esther's miniature Impressionist art rooms was published in one of the local newspapers last week and it sparked another paper's interest. The second reporter and photographer came and the article appeared this week. She was pleased with both stories. The second one included the miniature house Twin Manors as well. It was built about 15 years ago and is the centerpiece of the Robertson's miniature collection, however, the art rooms have been the focus of Esther's attention for the past four years. In the past several weeks there have been quite a few visitors but I am not sure that the holiday season is responsible. I am often privileged to be in the room when visitors are here and some are even curious about me.

The Christmas decorations create a festive atmosphere. A small tree with green and red lights stands on the sideboard and outdoors the house is outlined with lights. There is a beautiful little village representing the Charles Dickens era on the mantel. Since the original Hitty actually met him I am sure she would be pleased. I hope the room she is in has some holiday decorations. It would be a shame to miss all this but I am sure she experienced many such seasons. Perhaps it is the sentimentality of the season that has my thoughts turning to her so often these days. My wish for the holidays is that all the current Hitty dolls are as privileged as I am.

Christmas week has finally arrived and yes, I did get to watch part of the cookie making. I was spared all the mixing, cutting and baking and just got to watch the decorating part. It does appear to be a lot of work but Esther tells me that these particular cookies are the family favorite and she makes them every year. I heard her say she needs about nine dozen and they won't last until the New Year holiday.

 

Now the only concern seems to be about the weather. Will it snow or not and will the roads be dry or will Carol and Martha have a rough time getting here. They plan to come on Christmas Day after watching Ben open his gifts. I do hope they have a safe trip. Esther is going to put the turkey in to cook as soon as she knows they are in route since if all goes well they should be here in time for dinner. Russell will spend part of the morning playing the piano for the folks at the nursing center so they too will have a pleasant Christmas morning. It all sounds so special.

 

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