I was inspired to write this post after reading a wonderful slice on Two Writing Teachers about dollhouses and stories that live in old furniture.
Our daughters take great pride in their dollhouses. Our older daughter inherited my dollhouse that was made for me by my mother and is a copy of my childhood home. My husband found an unfinished Victorian-style dollhouse for our younger daughter for her birthday. Over many years, the girls have added antique furniture, chandeliers, and carpets. They have painted, added wallpaper and flooring.
The girls decorate their dollhouses for holidays. Mind you, these girls are now in their late 20s and live away from home, but they continue to make time for this important tradition! For Halloween, they have made tiny pumpkins that sit on the porches, bats that hang from thread in the windows, and orange and black paper chain garlands that hang on the porches. They even cover each piece of furniture with a little white cloth to make the houses look abandoned and haunted. For Christmas, out come the trees, decorated with little colored lights, the wreath, tiny paper snowflakes that the girls have somehow managed to cut out hang in each window, and there is even a Christmas dinner made out of clay that graces the dining room table. Stockings hang by the fireplaces, and tiny gifts are piled under the trees.
The product of the girls’ efforts is quite magnificent, but what impresses me more is the process they go through and the purpose of that process. Every year it’s the same. They get out the special boxes from the attic marked “dollhouses” and set to work. Each girl in her own room working quiety at decorating her dollhouse. Each girl attending to every little detail that will transform her house for the holiday. Each girl sitting back, analyzing her work, and making revisions where necessary. When finished, they admire each other’s work. And that’s it. They don’t ask people to come up and see the houses. No one but the girls spends any time in their rooms. So the dollhouses sit there throughout the holiday for the girls to enjoy. They go through this process every year just because they enjoy the tradition and the process.