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Here's Alison: The Christmas Doll

Not every Christmas Day brings the gift that we long for, as Alison Ross reveals.

They were beautiful, those sleeping dolls, with real hair and china blue eyes. Such beautiful creatures had not been around in my early life. I did have a doll my aunt had given me when I had turned five. My sister was always the one who played with it, often bribing me to allow her to take it to school.

The weeks flew and suddenly it was only a week till Christmas day. Money was short in our family, but a girl could dream, couldn’t she? I had asked for a doll. I told my Mother exactly what I wanted. A sleeping doll, I knew there was a large parcel on top of my parents' wardrobe. It was doll sized. There was no real reason for my dreams not to come true, was there?

Several of my friends had sleeping dolls. My heart ached to own one. I closed my eyes and I could see her. I already had her name picked out. Carol. It was going to be my most wonderful Christmas ever. I had heard a long time ago, that there was no Santa Claus, but maybe…

Christmas morning dawned bright and sunny. I had held the dream in my heart for a long, time. And yes, there was the parcel, exactly the right size, under our Christmas tree. My name was written on it.

Every Christmas my mother performed a miracle. There were always parcels under our tree. A clockwork toy, sweets, oranges and nuts, a comic, paper dolls for us girls and cap guns for the boys.

My excitement mounted as the presents were handed out. Four to go, three, two, and finally me. I tore off the wrappings, then stared in horror at the rag doll my hard-up parents had bought for me. I was engulfed with sadness. I knew I would never get one of those beautiful dolls.

I thanked my parents. Putting the doll aside, I played with my clockwork toy.

That morning was a milestone in my life. I never played with a doll again. I had, quite suddenly, grown past them.

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